NJBIA is urging members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation to support legislation reauthorizing the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), the nation’s first regulatory program for high-risk chemical facilities, which is scheduled to expire July 27.
CFATS identifies and regulates high-risk facilities to help ensure security measures are in place to stop terrorists from weaponizing dangerous chemicals. NJBIA members include companies whose manufacturing facilities are impacted by CFATS.
“NJBIA is committed to protecting our industries, workers and communities, which is why we are urging Congress to pass a long-term authorization of this critical program as soon as possible,” NJBIA Deputy Chief of Government Affairs Officer Ray Cantor wrote in a June 23 letter to New Jersey’s 12 members of the House of Representatives and two U.S. senators.
“Securing the future of CFATS will help provide regulatory stability and certainty needed for companies to continue to make sound financial decisions and capital investments in safeguarding their facilities,” Cantor said.
According to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, CFATS regulations apply to more than 300 chemicals found in facilities across many different industries. These include chemical manufacturing, storage and distribution, energy and utilities, agriculture and food, explosives, mining, electronics, plastics, colleges and universities, laboratories, paint and coatings, and healthcare and pharmaceuticals, among others.
CFATS provides a strong yet flexible approach by setting a consistent national standard, Cantor said. Under CFATS, companies must develop and submit security plans to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for approval.
The program establishes practical security performance standards to address a wide range of potential threat scenarios, including a physical attack, theft and diversion and cyberattacks. The standards allow facilities to tailor their approach to address unique security risks and they are adaptable to help address emerging threats.
“CFATS has a solid 15-year regulatory history, and the program has delivered solid results,” Cantor said, noting that a recent Department of Homeland Security analysis found that security measures at CFATS-regulated facilities have increased 60%.
“This program is vital to national security and should not be allowed to expire,” Cantor wrote. “CFATS has been reauthorized by Congress four times with strong bipartisan support and this time should be no different. We urge you to work with your colleagues to support a long-term reauthorization for CFATS.”