Chemical Facility Security: Regulation and Issues for Congress
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
Pagination or Media Count:
The Department of Homeland Security DHS has proposed security regulations for chemical facilities, implementing the statutory authority granted in the Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2007 P.L. 109-295, Section 550. The proposed regulations 71 Federal Register 78,276 78,332 December 28, 2006 require chemical facilities possessing amounts and types of substances considered by the DHS Secretary to be hazardous to notify DHS and undergo a consequence-based screening process. The Secretary would then determine what chemical facilities are high-risk, and thus need to comply with additional security requirements. The proposed security requirements would be performance-based, rather than prescriptive, and tiered, with facilities in higher tiers having more stringent requirements than those in lower tiers. High-risk chemical facilities will be required to create and submit to DHS a vulnerability assessment create and submit to DHS a site security plan, addressing the vulnerability assessment and complying with the performance-based standards and implement the site security plan at the chemical facility. The DHS Secretary will approve or disapprove each step in the process, requiring the chemical facility to improve the facility submission or implementation in the case of disapproval. The proposed security regulations also establish a new category of protected information, Chemical-terrorism Security and Vulnerability Information CVI, granting it a status between sensitive but unclassified and classified information. The Secretary maintains discretion over who will gain access to this information, how it may be used, and what will comprise CVI. Additionally, the proposed security regulations will likely preempt state and local chemical facility security regulations.
- Civil Defense