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DHS Chemical Security

New DHS Chemical Security Regulations

DHS Announces Extension for Specific Facilities
December 21, 2007

DHS issued a letter announcing a time extension will be applied for certain facilities until further notice, or unless otherwise specifically notified in writing by DHS.  “The extension applies to facilities such as farms (e.g., crop, fruit, nut, and vegetable); ranches and rangeland; poultry; dairy, and equine facilities; turfgrass growers, golf courses; nurseries; floricultural operations and public and private parks.“

The announcement letter:

Office of Infrastructure Protection
National Protection
Programs Directorate
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528

December 21, 2007

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing to notify you that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is granting a time extension for certain facilities required to submit information under federal chemical security regulations. On April 9, 2007, DHS published the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Interim Final Rule (6 CFR Part 27); and on November 20,2007, DHS published a final list of chemicals of interest, known as Appendix A. See 72 FR 17688 and 72 FR 65396. With the publication of the final Appendix A, all provisions of the regulations are in effect.

Upon publication of Appendix A, any facility that possesses any chemical of interest at or above the screening threshold quantity specified in Appendix A, was required to complete and submit information--called a "Top-Screen"--to DHS by January 22, 2008. See 6 CFR §§ 27.200(b)(2), 27.21 O(a)(1 )(i).

In the final Appendix A, DHS intended to limit the coverage of that requirement, as related to farmers and other agricultural users of the chemicals of interest, by revising screening thresholds and counting rules for certain chemicals. See 72 FR 65406-65407,65415 (Nov. 20,2007). Since publication of the final Appendix A, however, additional questions and concerns have been raised regarding the applicability of the Top-Screen requirement to agricultural facilities and operations. DHS is gathering more information about these issues in order to determine whether any modification ofthe Top-Screen requirements might be warranted.

In addition, the United States Congress has now passed, and the President has signed, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2008, which authorizes DHS to regulate the sale and transfer of Ammonium Nitrate. The law authorizes DHS to develop processes for the registration of Ammonium Nitrate purchasers and for the maintenance of relevant records. Because this law will likely cover many farmers and other agricultural operations, DHS may review its approach towards Chemicals of Interest used in agricultural operations.

Accordingly, given the nature of these agricultural operations and the circumstances described above, I am exercising my authority under 6 CFR § 27.21O(c) to extend the deadline for submitting Top-Screens under the following conditions:

(1) Until further notice, or unless otherwise specifically notified in writing by DHS, the TopScreens will not be required for any facility that is required to submit a Top-Screen solely because it possesses any Chemical of Interest, at or above the applicable screening threshold quantity, for use--

(a) in preparation for the treatment of crops, feed, land, livestock (including poultry) or other areas of an agricultural production facility; or

(b) during application to or treatment of crops, feed, land, livestock (including poultry) or other areas of an agricultural production facility;

(2) This extension applies to facilities such as farms (e.g., crop, fruit, nut, and vegetable); ranches and rangeland; poultry, dairy, and equine facilities; turfgrass growers; golf courses; nurseries; floricultural operations; and public and private parks.

(3) This extension does not apply to chemical distribution facilities, or commercial chemical application services.

If you are have any questions about the extension described above, please contact Dennis Deziel, Deputy Director, DHS Compliance Security Compliance Division (dennis.deziel@dhs.gov) or the CSAT Helpdesk at 866-323-2957 or csat.dhs.gov.

Sincerely,

Robert Stephan
Assistant Secretary

 

Posted December 5, 2007
Farmers and ranchers may be affected by a new Department of Homeland Security Regulation.

 In 2005 and 2006, the Secretary of Homeland Security identified the need for legislation authorizing DHS to develop and implement a framework to regulate the security of high-risk chemical facilities in the United States. In October 2006, Congress passed and the President signed the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2007, which in Section 550 authorizes DHS to require high-risk chemical facilities to complete security vulnerability assessments, develop site security plans, and implement risk-based measures designed to satisfy DHS-defined risk-based performance standards. The Act also authorized DHS to enforce compliance with the security regulations, including conducting audits and inspections of high-risk facilities, imposing civil penalties of up to $25,000 per day, and shutting down facilities that fail to comply with the regulations.

For more information on DHS’s Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards go to: www.dhs.gov/chemicalsecurity

 

What’s important to agriculture, based on the information we have at this time, is:

  • Some farms will probably need to complete a Chemical Security Anti-Terrorism (CSAT) Top Screen, which is an on-line assessment tool available at the URL above.
  • If growers have any of the materials over the threshold quantities that are on the CSAT Top Screen list on their farm as of November 20, 2007, they need to complete the CSAT Top-Screen before January 21, based on 60 days after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register.
  • After this initial period, if a farmer receives chemicals of interest above the threshold quantities they have 60 days to complete a Top Screen. If you never go over the threshold quantities at any one time, you don’t need to do a Top Screen. 
  • If your operation changes and you have quantities above what you reported, you will need to do a new Top Screen.
  • Chemicals of interest and quantities that are most likely to  affect agriculture include, but are not limited to:
    1. 10,000 lbs. (4 typical pull behind tanks, completely loaded) Anhydrous Ammonia
    2. 2500 lbs (bulk, not bagged or in some other transportation package) chlorine
    3. 500 lbs. (bagged, on a trailer, or in some other transportation package) chlorine
    4. 2000 lbs. (bagged, on a trailer, or in some other transportation package) ammonium nitrate
    5. 400 lbs. (bagged, on a trailer, or in some other transportation package) potassium nitrate
    6. 400 lbs. (bagged, on a trailer, or in some other transportation package) sodium nitrate

 EDEN and USDA/CSREES representatives will meet with DHS representatives in an effort to provide more clarity on what growers need to know in order to comply. By December 31, EDEN expects to publish educational materials for use with pre-harvest audiences. At this time, EDEN and USDA/CSREES are monitoring guidance issued to the post harvest industry and will relay more information as it becomes available.


Last Updated:10/2/2009 12:25 AM
 


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