House Passes CFATS Reauthorization

On July 8, the House passed HR 4007, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Program Authorization and Accountability Act.  This measure authorizes funding for the program over the next three years.  While it preserves the exemption for water and wastewater coverage, it does include provisions that would allow independent third parties to conduct an analysis of program weaknesses – including the exemption.  Nearly as important is the fact that this “analysis” provision was an amendment proposed and supported by House Democrats.
In the Senate, a companion piece titled “Protecting American Chemical Facilities from Attack Act” has yet to be introduced but is definitely on the list for action in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.  There’s also some interest in adding a bipartisan provision that would allow specific opportunities for “self certification” by chemical facilities in the lowest risk tier.