On June 8, 2007, the U. S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued sweeping rules in its Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) interim final rulemaking. The rules have the potential to involve many industrial and commercial facilities in some aspect of the Chemical Security Program. The Standards establish risk-based performance standards for chemical facilities and require "high risk" chemical facilities to conduct security vulnerability assessments and develop site security plans. The Standards also raise unique legal issues regarding access to Chemical-Terrorism Vulnerability Information, including as part of due diligence; time-sensitive hearing and appeal processes; and interaction with conflicting State programs.

CFATS broadly define a chemical facility as "any establishment that possesses or plans to possess, at any relevant point in time, a quantity of chemical substance determined by [DHS] to be potentially dangerous or that meets other risk-related criteria identified by [DHS]." The list of chemical substances defined as "potentially dangerous" is expected later this summer and in some instances any quantity of a specific chemical can trigger some programatic involvement.

Sutherland Partners Gerald J. Pels and Gerald D. Higdon spoke regarding the CFATS at the Texas Chemical Council and Association of Chemical Industry of Texas 2007 Environmental, Health and Safety Seminar on June 4.

Please click here to view a pdf of the presentation.