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Letter: Organisations write to US Senate on CFATS

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Below are highlights from a letter written by a collection of organisations, including the API, to the US Senate on the new H.R. 4007 CFATS bill.

“We, the undersigned organisations would like to express our support for H.R. 4007, the Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Acts Act of 2014, and urge you to support the bill as well. H.R. 4007 is a streamlined bill that provides a four year authorisation of the CFATS program and guidance to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on key issues of chemical facility security.

“The bill addresses several important policy goals. First, it provides a multi year authorisation to allow DHS to confidently implement CFATS and industry to make important investments with the certainty that goes along with knowing the program will be authorised. The current practice of year to year extensions, or worse, short term continuing resolutions through the appropriations process, is a destabilising force in the implementation and investment process.

“Secondly, the legislation also addresses some of the major impediments to completing site security plans and full implementation of the program. It addresses certain concerns surrounding the personnel surety requirements needed for access; gives covered facilities the ability to meet site security plans through alternate security plans approved by DHS and an option to use third parties as inspectors; improves Congressional oversight regarding the tiering methodology; and ensures better coordination with state and local officials. It also provides a mechanism for expedited approval for lower tiered facilities.

“We recognise the complexities in implementing a program like CFATS and are fully aware of some of the flaws in management exposed over the past few years. This multi year authorisation will give DHS the time and stability it needs to improve its implementation, but at the same time, will ensure that Congress has the ability to monitor the program and make any necessary changes to it before the next authorisation.”

Edited from letter by Claira Lloyd

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