In a big win for IME members, DHS officially noticed that it has paused its rulemaking implementing legislation to secure the handling of AN. DHS was in the final stages of issuing a rule that would have created an onerous chain-of-custody program that dwarfed the intent of the law that required the rulemaking, which in turn would have resulted in huge disruptions to the AN supply chain that would have brought the explosives industry to its knees.
DHS recognized that the agency’s proposal could not be cost justified. DHS officials plan to return to Capitol Hill to ask for the authority to build a security program based on a number of “high threat precursors chemicals” used to build an improvised explosive devices (IED), rather than focusing on just one AN. IME repeatedly pointed out to DHS and Congress that focusing on AN alone would not raise the Nation’s security profile since IEDs can be made from a variety of chemicals. IME will continue to be vigilant on this matter.