12 Jun Expansion of the CFATS PSP Program
The Department of Homeland Security forwarded to the White House Office and Management and Budget late in 2018, a proposal to expand the Chemical Facility Anti-terrorism Standards (CFATS) program’s Personnel Surety Program (PSP). The PSP, stipulated by the CFATS risk-based performance standard 12, Part 4, requires that employees at, and visitors to, CFATS regulated facilities be vetted against the federal terrorist screening database. This program was rolled out a few years ago to cover those CFATS facilities in risk Tiers 1 and 2. There are approximately 120 facilities in these two tiers.
DHS received authorization from the White House in late May to expand the program to cover CFATS facilities in risk Tiers 3 and 4. There are over 3,000 CFATS facilities in Tiers 3 and 4.
DHS plans to rollout this expansion to the PSP over the course of the next three years. The department is preparing a program implementation notice they plan to publish in the Federal Register in the next 30 days or so. The department will send out notices to groups of facilities on a monthly basis, which will be selected randomly. Once facilities receive a notice, they will have 30 days to modify their preexisting Site Security Plan (SSP) to incorporate the PSP obligation. The updated SSP will then be sent to DHS, who will review and approve the new, updated plan. Once a facility receives DHS approval for their updated plan, they will have 60 days to implement the PSP requirement. There are several options for demonstrating compliance and each facility may elect its own approach.
DHS plans to also circulate some additional tools to assist with compliance including a set of best practices, informed by lessons learned from implementing the program for Tiers 1 and 2. The department also plans to host a few sessions on the program expansion at the upcoming Chemical Security Summit, which will take place in New Orleans from July 16-18, 2019. Additional information about the Summit may be found here: https://www.dhs.gov/cisa/chemical-sector-security-summit.