Safeguarding chemical facilities moves forward

The effort to safeguard the nation’s high-risk chemical facilities continues to move forward as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implements comprehensive federal regulations, according to information from the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

The new security regulations will raise the bar for protecting all of the nation’s chemical facilities. For the first time, a federal agency, DHS is authorized to enforce national risk-based security regulations utilizing 19 categories of performance standards to ensure that chemical facilities assess vulnerabilities and implement detailed plans to address them, ACC said.

The federal agency has clear authority to inspect the facilities and apply strong penalties, including facility shutdowns, for those that fail to act. While DHS has not yet finalized Appendix A to the rules, which will determine exactly which facilities they cover, many ACC member companies are not waiting, and instead are registering with DHS, gathering data, and completing the DHS screening process at their facilities, ACC said.

ACC added that it is actively reaching out to explain the new requirements to hundreds of companies in and outside of its membership, as well as sponsoring workshops on the issue.

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