Initially authorized by Congress in 2006 (U.S.Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2007) and created in 2007, the CFATS program aims to help prevent acts of terror on high-risk chemical facilities. This DHS-administered program requires covered chemical facilities to prepare Security Vulnerability Assessments and implement Site Security Plans (SSPs) that must satisfy the risk-based performance-based security standards appropriate to their unique security challenges and tier level. On December 18, 2014, the Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act of 2014 (“CFATS Act of 2014”) was signed into law. The Act recodified and reauthorized the CFATS program for four years. On January 18, 2019, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Program Extension Act to extend the CFATS program for 15 months was signed into law. On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which included a provision to extend the CFATS program to July 23, 2020, was signed into law. On July 22, 2020, Pub. L. No. 116-150 to extend the expiration date of the Protecting and Security Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act of 2014, to July 27, 2023, was signed into law.
Video courtesy of American Chemical Council (ACC)
On July 12, 2023, House Committee on Homeland Security member Representative Laurel Lee’s (R-FL) bill, H.R.4470, a clean, two-year reauthorization of the CFATS program, passed unanimously out of the Committee. ACD welcomed this bill and urged Congress to swiftly reconcile the House and Senate bills and promptly deliver a clean CFATS bill with an extended reauthorization period to President Biden for his signature.
On July 25, 2023, two days before CFATS was set to expire, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4470 on an overwhelmingly strong bipartisan vote of 409-1. ACD released a statement applauding the House on this passage.
On July 27, 2023, the day CFATS was to expire, ACD urged the U.S. Senate to pass H.R. 4470 immediately to avoid the program’s expiration.
Unfortunately, the Senate did not pass H.R. 4470, and on July 28, 2023, at midnight, the program expired.