Department of Homeland Security's Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS)
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Chemical Facility anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Final Rule, published November 20, 2007, imposes comprehensive federal security regulations for high-risk chemical facilities. A risk-based approach is used to screen and to secure chemical facilities as determined by the DHS that "present high levels of security risk." In order to make that determination, CFATS requires facilities in possession at or above the listed Screening Threshold Quantity (STQ) of DHS defined Chemicals of Interest (COI) to complete the Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) Top-Screen.
Chemical of Interest (COI) -- Appendix A
DHS uses Appendix A as part of the CFATS process to identify, assess, and secure high-risk facilities. Colleges and universities are among the many types of facilites that possess COI for legitimate uses, and DHS may determine some to be high risk facilites subject to CFATS.
Over 300 COI that DHS believes may pose significant risks to human life or health if misused by terrorists are listed in Appendix A . The COI are organized by security and vulnerability issues by the following potential uses by a terrorist:
- steal, divert, or otherwise acquired to use as a weapon at another time and place (Theft/Diversion COI); or
- sabotage or contaminate to explode or release in transit (Sabotage COI); or
- release as an explosive or to form a flammable or toxic cloud (Release COI).
A chemical facility is defined in 6 CFR Part 27 as "any establishment that possesses or plans to possess, at any relevant point in time, a quantity of a chemical substance determined by the Secretary to be potentially dangerous or that meets other risk-related criteria identified by the Department."
The DHS recognizes that colleges and universities are composed of many individual building, operations, and areas, only some of which may possess COI. A college or university with a high-risk facility on campus - such as a research complex - may decide, for example to implement appropriate security measure only at the high-risk "facility," as opposed to the entire campus.
The Top-Screen is an online questionnaire that collects basic information about a facility's location and operations and is used by DHS to preliminarily determine if the facility is high risk. Any facility that possesses a COI at or above the applicable screening threshold quantities (STQ) listed in Appendix A of CFATS must complete and submit a Top-Screen to DHS with in 60 calendar days of coming into possession of COI. However, a release COI used in a laboratory under the supervision of a "technically qualified individual" need not be counted toward a facility's STQ.
Wright State Responsibilities
Wright State conducts research in chemistry, medicine, and other fields where chemicals of interest (COIs) may be regularly used, stored, or even produced in:
- chemistry labs
- research facilities,
- pool complexes,
- medical programs, or
- other facilities.
Many of these chemicals have the potential to be deliberately diverted, released, or otherwise misused by terrorists.
Chemical Inventory Management
Inventory management is an essential component to comply with the DHS CFATS regulation. According to CFATS, any facility possessing COI has 60 days to report when the amount of any COI meets or exceeds the Screening Threshold Quantity (STQ).
- Laboratories must update inventories every 60 days to ensure regulatory compliance.
- Laboratories must inform EHS when purchasing any COI.
EHS runs a report on all chemical inventories every 60 days to monitor levels of COIs. These updates assists us in preventing any COI that is close to the STQ from exceeding it or enables us to report to DHS within the 60 day limit any COI that is over the STQ.
Compliance is mandatory. Violation of a compliance order issued by DHS may result in additional orders assessing civil penalties of $25,000 per day per violation and/or requiring the facility to cease operations.
How can we help you?
- Marjorie Markopoulos | Biological Safety & Chemical Hygiene Officer | 937-775-2797
- Greg Merkle | Environmental Health and Safety Specialist | 937-775-2217