Chemical Facility Security: Issues and Options for the 112th Congress [October 2, 2012] [open pdf - 447KB]
"The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has statutory authority to regulate chemical facilities for security purposes. [...] Congressional policymakers have debated the scope and details of reauthorization and continue to consider legislation establishing an authority with longer duration. Some Members of Congress support an extension, either short- or long-term, of the existing authority. Other Members call for revision and more extensive codification of chemical facility security regulatory provisions. Questions regarding the current law's effectiveness in reducing chemical facility risk and the sufficiency of federal funding for chemical facility security exacerbate the tension between continuing current policies and changing the statutory authority. Congressional policymakers have questioned DHS's [Department of Homeland Security's] effectiveness in implementing the authorized regulations, called chemical facility anti-terrorism standards (CFATS). […]. No chemical facilities have completed the CFATS [chemical facility anti-terrorism standards] process, which starts with information submission by chemical facilities and finishes with inspection and approval of facility security measures by DHS [Department of Homeland Security]. Several factors, including the amount of detailed information provided to DHS [Department of Homeland Security], effectiveness of DHS [Department of Homeland Security] program management, and the availability of CFATS [chemical facility anti-terrorism standards] inspectors, likely complicate the inspection process and lead to delays in inspection. […] Both appropriation and authorization legislation in the 112th Congress address chemical facility security. P.L. 112-175 extended the existing authority until March 27, 2013. Both FY2013 homeland security appropriations bills (S. 3216 and H.R. 5855, as passed by the House) would extend the existing authority until October 4, 2013."
CRS Report for Congress, R41642