SOURCE: National Association of Chemical Distributors

National Association of Chemical Distributors

October 15, 2014 15:41 ET

NACD Urges DHS to Make Improvements to CFATS Program

ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwired - October 15, 2014) - Today, the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) submitted comments to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding improvements to Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS). DHS requested input from industry stakeholders in advance of updates to the chemical regulations.

NACD offered multiple changes to the program to make compliance easier while further increasing the security of chemical facilities. NACD Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Jennifer Gibson wrote, "Measures to streamline information, increase efficiencies, and simplify processes will improve CFATS further and allow more resources to be dedicated directly to enhancing security. Maintaining the robustness of the CFATS program while also making it simple to understand and implement will further facilitate compliance."

The association urged DHS to streamline the information submission process, to clarify and further encourage the use of Alternative Security Programs, and to simplify the Site Security Plan approval process. Additionally, NACD expressed concern over the risk tiering methodology of the program. Said Gibson, "The CFATS risk tiering methodology has been a major concern since the program was launched. Some tiering assignments do not make sense, and there is absolutely no transparency in the system. This leads to regulatory uncertainty for facilities in determining whether to bring in new products and invest in new security measures. While recognizing that tiering involves sensitive information, NACD encourages DHS to make the process more transparent."

Lastly, NACD highlighted problems with the Personnel Surety Program and challenged DHS to make commonsense changes. Stated Gibson, "It is unreasonable to require companies to submit information to check against the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) multiple times if an employee of the company goes to multiple sites. There is no need to submit the same information for the same person at every single site. NACD is also concerned DHS will not necessarily inform a facility if an individual whose information the facility has submitted results in a match to the TSDB. This is contrary to the purpose of CFATS, which is to keep terrorists out of facilities with chemicals of interest and other critical assets."

To view NACD's complete comments, click here.

NACD and its nearly 440 member companies are vital to the chemical supply chain providing products to over 750,000 end users. NACD members are leaders in health, safety, security, and environmental performance through implementation of Responsible Distribution, established in 1991 as a condition of membership and a third-party verified management practice. For more information, visit www.NACD.com.

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