Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA), Chairman of the Infrastructure Protection Subcommittee, House Homeland Security Committee, introduced HR 4007, Today, the “Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Authorization and Accountability Act of 2014.” Five other members joined at original cosponsors, Reps Mike McCaul (R-TX), Peter King (R-NY), Candice Miller (R-MI), Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX).
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. 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), and the bill seeks to eliminate the problem of “outlier” 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. .
Most importantly, the legislation takes steps to address the systemic flaws of the proposed Personnel Surety Program (PSP). Authorization to implement PSP is currently pending at OMB. Fixing this program to allow facilities options to satisfy security vetting requirements by leveraging other proven federal vetting programs without preconditions is key to IME and other affected industries.
IME strongly supports the efforts of Chairman Meehan to move legislation that will give certainty to this program and industry security investments. We look forward to working with Chairman Meehan and supporters to expeditiously move this bill forward to enactment.