Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced in a May 2013 fact sheet that it had approved 85 site-security plans for chemical facilities and authorized 380 security plans. Speaking at a conference last week, DHS Director of the Infrastructure Security Compliance Division, David Wulf, confirmed the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program has increased those numbers with 500 site-security plans authorized and 13 site-security plans approved.
Under the CFATS program, which was first authorized by Congress in Section 550 of the DHS Appropriations Act of 2007, facilities with quantities of chemicals above a certain threshold must complete a "top screen" listing the chemicals on site. Following the submission, facilities are assigned to Tier 1 through Tier 4, based on the security threat posted on site. Tier 1 facilities are considered most at risk.
Facilities then complete site-security plans and, once complete, have the security plans authorized. Prior to ultimate approval of the site-security plan, the facility is inspected.
CFATS has been the subject of significant criticism over the Agency's inability to authorize and approve site-security plans in a timely manner. An inspector general report in April 2013 concluded that lingering problems raised questions as to whether the program could achieve its mission.
According to the May fact sheet, the number of facilities regulated under the CFATS program declined by 31 to 4,351 since April. The fact sheet also reports that more than 3,000 facilities have voluntarily removed, reduced, or modified their holdings of chemicals of interest over the last month, up from 2,900 in April.