ACC member companies manufacture products that are critical to the everyday health and well-being of our nation and essential to developing a greener, cleaner, and more competitive economy. Because of their critical role to our nation's economy and their responsibility to their employees and communities, safety and security continue to be a top priority for ACC members—including cybersecurity.
Within months of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, ACC created a stringent, mandatory security program called the Responsible Care® Security Code. Over the past decade, ACC members have invested more than $14 billion under the Security Code to further enhance site, transportation, and cyber security at their facilities; the Security Code has become a gold standard for the industry and serves as a model for regulatory programs.
It is not only appropriate but necessary that industry’s efforts are combined with a smart regulatory approach to ensure that everyone throughout the chemical sector is doing their part to protect this important part of the country's critical infrastructure.
ACC and its members support a host of federal programs that currently regulate all aspects of chemical security, including the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS). In 2006, ACC helped lead the charge in Congress to pass legislation to give the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the authority to create CFATS. This stringent program regulates security for a wide variety of facilities that make, store, or use chemicals from farms to factories. CFATS allows facilities to tailor their security plans to meet their unique needs while providing DHS with clear authority to fine or shutdown facilities that do not meet the program’s comprehensive security standards.
Advancements on CFATS
ACC supports efforts to renew the public/private security partnership between DHS and the regulated community. These efforts include DHS working with ACC and its members to develop an Alternative Security Program (ASP) Guidance Document and Template to enhance the process for submitting security plans.
ACC’S Policy Position
America’s security policy must establish clear and effective federal regulations to protect facilities that produce, use, or store chemicals.
- To build on the successful effort already underway to secure chemical facilities, the federal government must provide regulatory certainty.
- Regulations should continue to require facilities to meet stringent security standards without interfering with their ability to use chemicals that are necessary to meet the needs of the nation. Congress should leave decisions regarding chemical substitution in the hands of facility operators who fully understand the ramifications—beyond security—of such complex decisions.
- ACC believes more transparency on all factors related to a covered facility’s risk-based tier status would help further improve the CFATS program.
- Despite some progress on advancing personnel surety and seeking broad stakeholder input, DHS does not currently have a workable Personnel Surety Program (PSP) program in place, resulting in no security plans being completely authorized or approved. DHS should address this issue and ensure that all high-risk chemical facilities are safe, secure, and fully comply with CFATS.
- ACC believes DHS should work with industry to adopt an alternative self-inspection program for lower tier facilities (Tiers 3 & 4) to help streamline the program and the security plan approval process.
ACC strongly urges Congress to pass legislation and urges DHS to make improvements that would allow CFATS to move forward in a manner consistent with these principles.