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Department of Homeland Security Issues Proposed Interim Rule for Chemical Facilities Including Pipelines Connecting to Chemical Facilities

Thanks and credit to AOPL for this information.

Last year, Congress granted the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the regulatory authority to establish and require implementation of risk-based performance standards for the security of the nation’s high-risk chemical facilities. The DHS now intends to implement an appropriate regulatory program focusing its resources first on those facilities that present the highest levels of security risk.

The proposed regulations require that chemical facilities and connecting pipeline infrastructure fitting certain profiles complete a secure online risk assessment to assist in determining their overall level of risk. High-risk facilities will then be required to conduct vulnerability assessments and submit site security plans that meet the department’s performance standards. The department will validate submissions through audits and site inspections, and will provide technical assistance to facility owners and operators as needed. Performance standards will be designed to achieve specific outcomes, such as securing the perimeter and critical targets, controlling access, deterring theft of potentially dangerous chemicals, and preventing internal sabotage. Security strategies necessary to satisfy these standards will depend upon the level of risk at each facility.

Comments to the proposed rule are due by February 7, 2006. The proposed rule is available by clicking here.