Chemical Facility Security: Issues and Options for the 113th Congress [November 15, 2013] [open pdf - 555KB]
"The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has statutory authority to regulate chemical facilities for security purposes. The 113th Congress extended this authority through January 15, 2014. Congressional policymakers have debated the scope and details of reauthorization and continue to consider establishing an authority with longer duration. […] Congressional policymakers have questioned DHS's effectiveness in implementing the authorized regulations, called chemical facility anti-terrorism standards (CFATS). The DHS finalized CFATS regulations in 2007. Since then, 348 chemical facilities have been approved in the CFATS process, which starts with information submission by chemical facilities and finishes with inspection and approval of facility security measures by DHS. […] The 113th Congress might take various approaches to this issue. Congress might allow the statutory authority to expire but continue providing appropriations to administer the regulations. Congress might permanently or temporarily extend the statutory authority to observe the impact of the current regulations and, if necessary, address any perceived weaknesses at a later date. Congress might codify the existing regulations in statute and reduce the discretion available to the Secretary of Homeland Security to change the current regulatory framework. Alternatively, Congress might substantively change the current regulation's implementation, scope, or impact by amending the existing statute or creating a new one. Finally, Congress might choose to terminate the program by allowing its authority to lapse and removing funding for the program. This would leave regulation of chemical facility security to state and local governments."
CRS Report for Congress, R42918