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  • Press Release

Restoring National Chemical Security Program Vital to Combating Terrorism

Scott Jensen

Washington, D.C. – According to a new survey report released by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the country lost valuable tools to fight terrorism and secure chemical facilities when Congress allowed the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) to expire last July.

The chemical industry manufactures products that are vital to the everyday health and well-being of our nation, which is why Congress directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2006 to create CFATS to help protect the chemical sector.

After delivering solid results for almost two decades Congress failed to pass legislation to reauthorize CFATS. ACC conducted a survey of member companies to better understand the concerns and impacts regarding the expiration of CFATS.

“For the first time in nearly two decades our country finds itself without a chemical security program,” said Chris Jahn, ACC’s president and CEO. “The loss of CFATS is a gift to our adversaries and makes it easier for terrorists to attack our country.”

Overwhelming Support

A majority of companies responding to the survey expressed support for restoring CFATS and they are concerned securing chemical facilities will be more difficult without CFATS. And most companies made it clear that chemical security should be regulated at the federal level and not through a patchwork of state programs.

  • Ninety-six percent of companies support restoring CFATS.
  • Eighty-five percent of companies are concerned that not restoring CFATS will hinder chemical security.

Delivering Value

A large number of companies said they benefited from the security tools that can only be provided through CFATS. They said these tools were especially useful when developing security plans and, in some cases, irreplaceable. Particularly the ability to vet personnel against the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s terrorist database and the insight and expertise provide by audits and inspections conducted under CFATS by DHS.

  • Seventy-five percent of companies say the ability to vet personnel against the terrorist screening database (TSDB) was important.
  • Fifty-six percent of the respondents do not have an alternative way to adequately vet personnel for potential security threats.
  • Ninety-two percent of companies say DHS was helpful to designing/improving security plans.
  • Nearly half say they do not have an alternative way to obtain the same level of assistance for developing security plans that they receive from DHS through working together under CFATS.

“CFATS provided a powerful one-two punch in the fight against terrorism,” Jahn explained. “The program was highly effective in helping companies vet personnel for potential ties to terrorism and beef up their security plans. CFATS is a good example of how smart regulations can help the protect the country and provide value to the regulated community.”

Congress Must Act

In addition to the support of large and small businesses, emergency responders and labor have sent letters urging Congress to restore the program.

“Congress has propped open the door for our adversaries by letting CFATS expire. When it comes to national security companies should not be forced to go it alone,” Jahn concluded. “The House and Senate must do their jobs and restore CFATS.”

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council’s mission is to advocate for the people, policy, and products of chemistry that make the United States the global leader in innovation and manufacturing. To achieve this, we: Champion science-based policy solutions across all levels of government; Drive continuous performance improvement to protect employees and communities through Responsible Care®; Foster the development of sustainability practices throughout ACC member companies; and Communicate authentically with communities about challenges and solutions for a safer, healthier and more sustainable way of life. Our vision is a world made better by chemistry, where people live happier, healthier, and more prosperous lives, safely and sustainably—for generations to come.