Security Legislation as it is Likely to Apply to the Water & Wastewater Industries
The 2007 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations, in 6 CFR Part 27, require DHS to identify “high-risk” chemical facilities through analysis of facility supplied “Top-Screen” information and require affected facilities to conduct Security Vulnerability Assessments (SVAs), write Site Security Plans (SSPs), and implement gapclosure measures. The regulations are affecting thousands of facilities across the United States that manufacture, use, store or transport hazardous chemicals (a.k.a. “DHS Chemicals of Interest”). Facilities that possess any of the DHS Chemicals of Interest at or above a Screening Threshold Quantity (STQ) must initiate the Top-Screen process, which will guide DHS in identifying “high risk” facilities and help determine the preliminary “risk tier” for the facility. DHS will evaluate the Top-Screen information and notify a facility in writing whether it is or is not a “high risk” facility.
It is further understood that Water & Wastewater that was previously not covered by such legislation, will now be incorporated into such legislation.
The following article appeared in the May 2009 American Water Works Association (AWWA) Washington D.C. Report:
“Word from Capitol Hill is that agreement has been reached among leadership of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Homeland Security regarding chemical facility legislation to be introduced soon.
Notwithstanding earlier reports to the contrary, it now appears that EPA may be the lead agency for drinking water security. AWWA has been meeting with staff of both House committees and has taken a clear stand that no chemical facility security legislation should mandate inherently safer technologies on drinking water systems, or give federal, officials “shutdown” authority over a water system.”
It is anticipated that the legislation will come into affect shortly after August 2009.
Components of CFATS:
Currently, the administration of the CFATS legislation is handled by the DHS on a Federal basis with more than two hundred (200) inspectors assigned to compliance and enforcement of the legislation requirements.
Facilities that have chemicals above threshold must submit information to DHS using internet-based Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) CSAT has five segments being:
- Security Vulnerability Assessment
- Site Security Plan
- Personnel Surety Portal