US Congress urged to re-authorise chem plant anti-terrorism programme
HOUSTON (ICIS)–Two members of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) urged legislators to re-authorise the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) programme before it expires on 27 July during a subcommittee hearing this week.
Matthew Fridley, senior director of security and safety for Brenntag North America, and Richard Erstad, vice president, general counsel and secretary of Hawkins, Inc, provided comments to the US House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection in support of a clean, long-term re-authorisation of the programme.
The programme, administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), addresses terrorism and other security threats to chemical plants.
The request for a clean re-authorisation means a bill with no other legislation attached to it.
Because CFATS is so vital, re-authorisation is vulnerable to riders and other add-on bills that are unrelated to chemical security.
NACD president and CEO Eric R Byer said that unlike some programmes that can be re-authorised retroactively, the CFATS programme will cease to exist if it is not re-authorised before it expires, leaving the nation without an important safeguard against potential acts of terrorism.
“As one of the most successful chemical security programmes in existence, the CFATS programme serves a critical role to our industry by protecting our nation’s high-risk chemical facilities from acts of terror and providing the industry with the stability needed to make important investments,” Byer said.
The programme was last re-authorised in 2020 with unanimous support in both chambers of Congress, Byer said.
Additional reporting by Al Greenwood
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