DHS proposes CFATS personnel surety rule


Chemical plants would have three main options for satisfying background checks required by Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards under a notice of proposed rulemaking the Homeland Security Department published March 22.

The notice, which the department says it had delayed releasing after deciding to incorporate feedback from the chemical industry, would permit facilities or third-party designees to submit raw personnel data for vetting against terrorism databases; or submit for verification existing federal credential data for which terrorist ties vetting was a necessity; or have on hand for Transportation Worker Identification Credential readers that could electronically validate individuals' TWIC cards.

Chemical facilities could choose which method to use for a particular affected individual. In addition, the notice says facilities could propose an alternative in their site security plans (or alternative security programs).

CFATS regulations cover 4,380 facilities nationwide. Existing credentials chemical facilities could recognize--in addition to TWIC--are the Hazardous Materials Endorsement program, and Trusted Traveler programs including NEXUS, Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection, Free and Secure Trade or Global Entry. DHS says in the notice that it would periodically re-verify affected individuals' enrollment and send notification of an expiration.

The notice calls for facilities that utilize the first two options to start submitting information about individuals with access to restricted areas within 60 to 90 days of receiving an authorization letter from DHS (the former for tier 1 and 2 facilities, the latter for tier 3 and 4). A new individual's information would have to be submitted to DHS 48 hours in advance. 

For more:
- read the CFATS personnel surety NPRM

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