June 29, 2023
As the president of the Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council representing chemical manufacturers in Pennsylvania, we are asking members of Congress to support legislation to reauthorize the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) before the program expires on July 27th, 2023.
Our members are a critical sector of Pennsylvania’s economy and are essential to making the chemicals and products that make everyday life possible. They are leading the charge to advance new innovations with a focus on sustainability, circularity, and aggressive carbon reduction goals while continuing to prioritize the safety of the industry, its workers, and the communities where they operate. This is why we are urging Congress to pass a long-term authorization of this critical CFATS program. Securing the future of CFATS will help provide the regulatory stability and certainty needed for companies to continue to make sound financial decisions and capital investments in safeguarding their facilities.
CFATS provides a strong yet flexible approach by setting a consistent national standard. Under CFATS, companies must develop and submit security plans to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for approval. The program establishes practical security performance standards to address a wide range of potential threat scenarios, including a physical attack, theft and diversion, and cyberattacks. The standards allow facilities to tailor their approach to address unique security risks and they are adaptable to help address emerging threats.
CFATS has a solid 15-year regulatory history, and the program has delivered solid results. According to a recent analysis by the DHS, security measures at CFATS-regulated facilities have increased by 60%. As a result, communities across our state are safer. This program is vital to national security and should not be allowed to expire. CFATS has been reauthorized by Congress four times with strong bipartisan support and this time should be no different. Recently, U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Tom Carper (D-DE), and James Lankford (R-OK) introduced bipartisan legislation to extend this critical program. We urge Congress to support a long-term reauthorization for CFATS.