Implementation of Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS): Issues for Congress [October 14, 2014] [open pdf - 500KB]
"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 reviews and authorizes. The DHS also inspects and approves high-risk chemical facilities for adherence to their submitted site security plans. It also later inspects for compliance with these plans following DHS approval. The DHS regulates approximately 3,900 facilities under this program and is in the process of implementing the regulatory 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 April 2014, DHS had made final risk assignments to 3,316 of the approximately 4,200 facilities then regulated. The DHS reported in October 2014 that it now regulates approximately 3,700 facilities, though it did not report the number with final risk assignments. 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."
CRS Report for Congress, R43346