Last week, ACA sent letters of support to Congressional leadership for the House Committee on Homeland Security and Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, urging immediate passage of legislation to reauthorize the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implements the CFATS program under a variety of short-term authorizations by Congress; and authorization for the current CFATS standards will expire after July 27, 2023, if Congress does not reauthorize the program.

The CFATS program’s primary mission is to help reduce the risk of a terrorist attack on chemical facilities by addressing a wide range of potential terrorist threats, including cyberattacks. The program currently covers more than 3,200 chemical facilities, which have been assessed to present a risk of terrorist attack or exploitation.

With member companies who own and operate paint, coating, and chemical manufacturing facilities, ACA strongly supports the safe handling and use of chemicals. ACA has long expressed that it is imperative that the CFATS program is reauthorized to maintain safe and secure chemical facilities. As such, ACA supports a multi-year, clean reauthorization of the CFATS program before it expires on July 27, 2023.

“CFATS provides a uniform, national program for regulating chemical security. Continuity of this

framework provides the certainty required for the considerable planning and investment decisions that are needed to protect both our facilities and the surrounding communities,” stated ACA in its letter. “Allowing CFATS to expire would open the door for agencies with no anti-terrorism expertise to fill the void, or a patchwork of state and local regulations that may vary widely in scope and effectiveness. This could result in inconsistent anti-terrorism standards across the country and could undermine national security.”

In June, U.S. Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Tom Carper (D-DE), and James Lankford (R-OK) introduced bipartisan legislation to extend the CFATS program for five years (S.2178). The pending legislation under consideration in the House of Representatives would extend the program for two years (H.R.4470). ACA is hopeful that Congress will come to a compromise and pass legislation reauthorizing the CFATS program by July 27, 2023.

Contact ACA’s Rhett Cash for more information.