Meehan Introduces CFATS Authorization Bill

Feb 6, 2014 Issues: Chemical Facility Security

Today, Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies Subcommittee Chairman Patrick Meehan (R-PA) introduced H.R. 4007, the “Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Authorization and Accountability Act of 2014.” U.S. House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee Chairman Peter King (R-NY), Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee Chairman Candice Miller (R-MI), Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) and Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) joined Rep. Meehan in introducing the bill.

H.R. 4007 authorizes the CFATS program, which issues and enforces security standards for high-risk chemical facilities, for two years while requiring certain vital chemical security goals be met within this time period. Specifically, the bill improves the certification process by allowing automatic re-approval of Alternative Site Security Plans and permitting third-party audits and inspections with the approval of the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The bill also seeks to eliminate the problem off-the-grid facilities by requiring DHS to coordinate with state and local entities in addition to industry associations, and requires DHS to implement a workable risk assessment and tiering methodology.  The Secretary of DHS must confirm progress has been made in these areas within 18 months.

Subcommittee Chairman Meehan: “The fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas less than a year ago tragically demonstrated the potential for catastrophe at one of our country’s thousands of chemical facilities. The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program is an important part of ensuring these facilities take reasonable precautions to protect against terrorist attack. This bipartisan legislation takes meaningful, prudent steps toward strengthening the security of our chemical facilities and it sends a message to both industry and the Obama Administration that Congress is serious about addressing the vulnerability of our chemical sector to terrorist attack.”

Full text of H.R. 4007 is available HERE.

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