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DHS Issues Proposed Anti-Terrorism Regulations for High Risk Chemical Facilities


New York, Jan 08, 2007

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released for public review and comment proposed regulations aimed at strengthening the security of chemical facilities nationwide.

Under the regulations, chemical facilities fitting certain profiles would be required to perform an online risk assessment to assist in determining their level of vulnerability to terrorist attacks. High risk facilities would then be required to conduct further assessments and to submit site security plans that meet performance standards to be established by DHS. The standards, the department says, will be designed to achieve specific outcomes, such as securing the perimeter and critical targets, controlling access, deterring theft of potentially dangerous chemicals and preventing internal sabotage.

The program is based on the Risk Analysis and Management for Critical Asset Protection (RAMCAP) Vulnerability Assessment Methodology, a framework developed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) as a broad methodology for determining the level of terrorist threat and vulnerabilities of all critical U.S. infrastructure sectors.

According to DHS, while many chemical facilities have initiated voluntary security programs and made significant investments to achieve satisfactory security levels, voluntary efforts alone would not provide sufficient security for the nation. DHS was recently granted the authority to regulate the security of high-risk chemical facilities under the Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2007. Failure to comply could lead to penalties of up to $25,000 per day; egregious acts of noncompliance could result in an order to cease operations.

Interested parties are invited to submit comments on all aspects of the proposed regulatory program, including the practical and policy issues integral to successful implementation. Comments must be received by February 7, 2007.

Comments may be submitted electronically (www.regulations.gov) or by mail to:

IP/CNPPD/Dennis Deziel
Mail Stop 8610, Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528-8610

For additional information on the proposed regulations or instructions on submitting comments, view the Federal Register notice.

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