US to review key list of 300 potential terror chemicals

30 June 2009 00:37  [Source: ICIS news]

BALTIMORE, Maryland (ICIS news)--A list of chemicals that put thousands of facilities under US antiterrorism security measures could be expanded or possibly reduced, top officials said on Monday.

Sue Armstrong, director of infrastructure security compliance at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), told a chemicals sector security meeting that the list of hazardous or weapons-capable chemicals - known as Appendix A to the department’s Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) - is under review.

The department uses the list, which identifies some 300 chemicals or substances “of interest”, to determine whether a facility falls under its jurisdiction for meeting antiterrorism security standards set by DHS.

Any facility that produces, transports, uses or stores certain amounts of any of the Appendix A substances is required to report to the department.

Such a report triggers review process to determine if those chemicals qualify the site as being at high risk for a terrorist attack and subject to DHS security standards.

As many as 36,000 US facilities initially reported possession of one or more of the 300 substances, and 7,000 of those have been determined by the department to be high-risk sites.

Expansion of the Appendix A list would likely bring more US facilities under the regulatory purview of the department, while a reduction in the number of listed substances - thought to be unlikely - would cut the number of regulated sites.

Armstrong said that additions to or removals from the Appendix A list would be determined by a review group. She did not say who would be the members of the group.

“Any changes to Appendix A would then be made through the rulemaking process,” Armstrong said, “including a period of public comment.” 

She did not indicate when the review would take place or be completed.

Armstrong spoke at the opening session of the three-day 2009 Chemical Security Summit, which is co-sponsored by the DHS and the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA).

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By: Joe Kamalick
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