Implementation of Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS): Issues for Congress [April 2, 2014] [open pdf - 488KB]
"The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implements the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) regulations, which regulate security at high-risk facilities possessing more than certain amounts of one or more chemicals of interest. Facilities possessing more than the specified amount must register with DHS through this program (a process known as the Top- Screen) and perform security-related activities. The DHS identifies a subset of high-risk chemical facilities from among those that register. These high-risk chemical facilities must submit a security vulnerability assessment, which DHS uses to confirm their high-risk designation, and a site security plan, which DHS then authorizes. The DHS also inspects high-risk chemical facilities for adherence to their submitted site security plans and later for compliance with these plans following DHS approval. The DHS regulates approximately 4,300 facilities under this program and is in the process of implementing requirements for security vulnerability assessment, site security planning, and inspection. The DHS has had challenges meeting its own projections and congressional expectations regarding program performance, raising questions about its ability to achieve steady-state regulatory implementation. As of February 2014, DHS had made final risk assignments to 3,325 of the approximately 4,200 regulated facilities. The DHS 'authorizes' a site security plan when the submitted plan satisfies CFATS requirements. Following a successful authorization inspection, DHS 'approves' the site security plan. As of April 2014, DHS had authorized 1,335 site security plans; conducted 912 authorization inspections; and approved 649 site security plans."
CRS Report for Congress, R43346