US regulatory programme needs better implementation - SOCMA

22 December 2011 22:45  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US Society of Chemical Manufacturers (SOCMA) reiterated on Thursday its support of a rigorous security programme for facilities that use or store chemicals, but expressed concern for the slow pace of its implementation.

The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) require facilities like chemical plants, universities and hospitals to go through a thorough security evaluation, planning and implementation process, including on-site inspections by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

CFATS imposes stiff penalties for non-compliance, including shutdown.

The programme has come under fire lately after a recent report revealed it was not being implemented properly, according to news media reports.

While SOCMA said several facilities have put the programme into practice, the group “remains concerned about the slow pace of implementation”.

“The process of getting site security plans approved has been taking longer than everyone involved, including DHS and Congress, would have liked," said Bill Allmond, SOCMA’s Vice President of Government Relations.

Allmond said any changes to CFATS need to focus on improving the implementation, not the regulation.

“CFATS is a fundamentally sound security policy that needs better administration by the Department,” he said. “Now that DHS has identified where they need to improve, they should be allowed to do so without delay.”

By: Bobbie Clark
+1 713 525 2653

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