Dow Chemical official on behalf of ACC calls on Congress to strengthen foundation of Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program by providing multi-year authorization of regulations
May 14, 2014
– Tim Scott, Chief Security Officer and Corporate Director of Emergency Services and Security at The Dow Chemical Company, today testified at a hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. In his testimony, he delivered the message that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has addressed many of the initial challenges that come with implementing a program as complex and ambitious as the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program and urged members to support a multi-year authorization of the program.
“Despite some challenges along the way, we believe that CFATS has turned the corner and is moving in the right direction,” said Mr. Scott on behalf of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and Dow. “The quality of inspections has vastly improved. The pace of implementation has picked up significantly, and the partnership is working once again. Progress is being made, and the security of the chemical industry is stronger today, more than ever before.”
In fact, DHS marked a significant milestone earlier this week for improving the pace of CFATS by approving the 750th site security plan under the program. In an effort to enhance the process for developing and reviewing security plans under CFATS, ACC developed new tools last year that won praise from DHS for making them available to all regulated facilities.
In recognition of this progress, Mr. Scott called on Congress to strengthen the foundation of CFATS by providing for a long overdue multi-year authorization of the regulations.
“A multi-year authorization puts DHS and CFATS closer in line to the industry’s capital planning process and allows some certainty for industry to take action,” he said. “A multi-year authorization also brings stability to DHS—in planning and implementing CFATS and also staffing to be sure the necessary expertise is in place and will remain in place—to accomplish the mission.”
Mr. Scott went on to stress that chemical security remains a top priority for ACC’s members, who have invested nearly $13 billion to further enhance site, transportation and cybersecurity at their facilities under the Responsible Care® Security Code. And, he noted that ACC continues to support effective federal regulation of chemical security through the use of the Risk-Based Performance Standards established by CFATS.
“Maintaining the original premise of Risk-Based Performance Standards and allowing individual sites the flexibility to determine the local solution that will meet the standards also spurs progress,” said Mr. Scott. “No two sites are the same, but all must meet the same goal. This flexibility allows each unique site the flexibility to identify the solution that meets the performance standard in the best manner for that site.”
Noting that there is still unfinished business, Mr. Scott suggested several areas that still need to be addressed to ensure that CFATS works better and delivers on its full potential.
“We are making progress, but more needs to be done,” he concluded. “We need to fine tune the Personnel Surety Program so that it adds value to all concerned. We need to ensure that risk is being determined in a fair and consistent manner. We need to ensure transparency about the people at sites who have access to sensitive areas and about the risk they are working so hard to mitigate. And we need to leverage the plethora of industry security programs that are in place today, such as ACC’s Responsible Care® program. Put together, all of these goals will establish a sound regulatory framework that will ensure the security of our nation’s chemical infrastructure for decades to come.”