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Chemical Facilities Security a Priority at DHS

Sorry about the couple of days without new posts.  I took a few days off for New Years.

This just in from a friend…

The Department of Homeland Security today made available for public review an aggressive and comprehensive set of proposed regulations that will improve security at high-risk chemical facilities nationwide. The proposed regulations are expected to be published in the Federal Register next week as an Advanced Notice of Rulemaking and will be available for public comment until February 7, 2007.

The proposed regulations require that chemical facilities fitting certain profiles complete a secure online risk assessment to assist in determining their overall level of risk. High-risk facilities will then be required to conduct vulnerability assessments and submit site security plans that meet the department’s performance standards. The department will validate submissions through audits and site inspections, and will provide technical assistance to facility owners and operators as needed. Performance standards will be designed to achieve specific outcomes, such as securing the perimeter and critical targets, controlling access, deterring theft of potentially dangerous chemicals, and preventing internal sabotage. Security strategies necessary to satisfy these standards will depend upon the level of risk at each facility.

The proposed regulations provide chemical facilities with two quick and simple opportunities to challenge the disapproval of a site security plan. Failure to comply with performance standards may result in civil penalties up to $25,000 per day, and egregious instances of noncompliance could result in an order to cease operations.

The Advanced Notice of Rulemaking is available on the DHS website.

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