Chemicals of Interest - Department of Homeland Security 

The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program identifies and regulates high-risk chemical facilities to ensure they have security measures in place to reduce the risks associated with these chemicals.

Initially authorized by Congress in 2007, the program uses a dynamic multi-tiered risk assessment process and requires facilities identified as high-risk to meet and maintain performance-based security standards appropriate to the facilities and the risks they pose. DHS chemical security inspectors work in all 50 states to help ensure facilities have security measures in place to meet CFATS requirements.

On December 18, 2014, the President signed into law the Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act of 2014 (“the CFATS Act of 2014”), which recodifies and reauthorizes the CFATS program for four years.

Chemicals of Interest

The Department developed Appendix A that includes a list of chemicals that present one or more security issues.  If as an aggregate the Campus has any of these materials above their Screening Threshold Quantities (STQs), then we are subject to this regulation.  Thus, one more reason to keep your inventories up to date.

In developing the list, the Department looked to existing expert sources of information including other federal regulations related to chemicals. The other sources that the Department referenced in part are:

  • Chemicals covered under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Risk Management Program;
  • Chemicals included in the Chemical Weapons Convention;
  • Hazardous materials, such as gases that are poisonous by inhalation; and
  • Explosives regulated by the Department of Transportation.

The Department of Homeland Security has identified three security issues related to chemicals:

  • Release: Toxic, flammable, or explosive chemicals or materials that, if released from a facility, have the potential for significant adverse consequences for human life or health.
  • Theft or Diversion: Chemicals or materials that, if stolen or diverted, have the potential to be misused as weapons or easily converted into weapons using simple chemistry, equipment or techniques, in order to create significant adverse consequences for human life or health.
  • Sabotage: Chemicals or materials that, if mixed with readily available materials, have the potential to create significant adverse consequences for human life or health.

The Department continues to assess available information about chemicals critical to government mission and the economy. The Department will use the information it collects through the Top-Screen process to identify facilities responsible for economically critical and mission-critical chemicals.