In written testimony before a US congressional panel, the
National Petrochemical and Refiners
Association (NPRA) said existing Chemical Facility
Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) are effective and should be
made permanent. The associations statement was
given to the US House Committee on Homeland Securitys
Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and
Maintaining a high level of security has always been, and
remains, a top priority at Americas refineries and petrochemical manufacturing
plants, the NPRA stated in its testimony. Operators
of these facilities are fully engaged in the
maintenance and enhancement of
Established in 2007, the CFATS program was created under the
US Department of Homeland Security(DHS) to regulate security at
chemical facilities determined by the
department to be high-risk.
We firmly believe that the current CFATS program has
been successful, but needs to be made permanent without the
addition of any extraneous provisions, the NPRA said.
CFATS must be allowed to be fully implemented by DHS
before any amendments to the program are considered.
The program is currently operating under a temporary
extension granted by Congress. Legislative proposals both to
modify the existing program and to make the program permanent
were introduced in the previous Congress and are expected to be
considered again this year.
Some previous proposals have included measures to require
the use of inherently safer technology (IST). The
NPRAs testimony reiterated the associations
longstanding opposition to this change.
IST is a conceptual and often complex framework that
covers procedures, equipment, protection and, when feasible,
the use of less hazardous chemicals, the NPRA said.
IST is not just a safety program; it is a process safety
program that involves understanding chemical engineering and
the supply chain for petroleum-based, natural gas liquids-based
and other organic chemicals derived from these basic feedstocks. We strongly oppose
the inclusion of any IST provisions in chemical security
legislation. IST and chemical engineering decisions should be
left to individual sites and not mandated by the federal
The association remains ready and willing to work with
the Committee and Congress toward the implementation of sound,
responsible, effective chemical facility security policy.