Coalition letter on CFATS Reauthorization
Dear Chairman Pallone and Ranking Member Walden:
We write to thank the Committee on Energy and Commerce for the opportunity to comment on the reauthorization of the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS).
The continuing findings of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) and the recent industrial disasters in Wisconsin (Husky), Texas (ITC) and Pennsylvania (Philadelphia Energy Solutions) illustrate that a major industrial chemical release, fire, or explosion can endanger workers and communities and can cause the closure of important industrial facilities. CFATS is a critical program to defend against these incidents.
Reauthorizing CFATS represents an important opportunity to strengthen its effectiveness. We believe the existing statute should be improved in several areas: it should include water treatment and maritime-covered facilities, for example, and should include a requirement that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) verify statements submitted by facilities that claim to no longer fall within the jurisdiction of CFATS. In addition to these and other specific improvements, we offer six broad goals for the bill, each of which we would welcome the opportunity to discuss with the Committee.