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Increased Enforcement of Chemical Storage Anti-Terrorism Statute

April 27, 2016Alerts

The recent Paris, San Bernardino and Belgian terrorist attacks likely will prompt the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to increase enforcement of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS). Congress enacted the CFATS in 2007 and reauthorized them in 2014. Companies in various industries (such as agriculture, food, electronics, paints, plastics, utilities, chemicals) that store threshold quantities of chemicals deemed by Homeland Security to present defined national security risks could be subject to the CFATS. Roughly only 2500 facilities in the United States are currently regulated, but this number is likely to increase. It includes large manufacturing companies as well as “main street” businesses. Potentially affected companies should review Homeland Security’s list of approximately 300 “Chemicals of Interest” (which includes many common industrial substances). Compliance with the CFATS can be difficult, although there are modifications companies can make to remove themselves from regulation.