ARLINGTON, Va., June 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) filed comments yesterday in response to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Information Collection Request (ICR) regarding the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Personnel Surety Program (PSP).
In the comments, NACD expressed appreciation that DHS withdrew its previous PSP proposal from the Office of Management and Budget last year, sought feedback from and considered the views of the CFATS-regulated community, and reissued a new proposal in March that incorporated some of that feedback. However, NACD is concerned that DHS chose not to include additional suggestions from industry into the new proposal.
First, NACD is concerned that DHS will not necessarily inform a facility if an individual whose information that facility has submitted results in a match to the Terrorist Screening Data Base. NACD Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Jennifer Gibson wrote, "If DHS does not notify facilities of the screening results, facility owners and operators will be unable to affirm that individuals with access to sensitive areas do not present security threats. In order to ensure that those intent on harming the chemical industry and the nation are not allowed access to critical assets, NACD strongly encourages DHS to reconsider its decision not to inform facilities of individuals' TSDB status."
NACD particularly appreciates the fact that DHS has moved closer to the position of allowing for the expanded use of existing federal vetting programs including the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) and the Commercial Drivers' License Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME), but is also disappointed that DHS elected to retain the requirement that companies submit information on individuals who will have unescorted access to critical assets 48 hours in advance of that access being granted. This is particularly burdensome for chemical distributors who receive the majority of their shipments via truck and who are often small operations unable to afford a TWIC reader. Gibson comments, "Any potential benefit of the 48 hour notification requirement does not justify the burdens that it will place on facility operations. In fact, without an assurance that DHS will notify facilities of the TSDB status of individuals seeking access, there is no justification for the 48 hour notification requirement."
In addition, Gibson stated, "NACD encourages DHS to consider alternatives that would relieve unnecessary burdens and make the PSP more efficient."
NACD and its over 400 member companies are vital to the chemical supply chain providing products to over 750,000 end users. They make a delivery every seven seconds while maintaining a safety record that is more than twice as good as all manufacturing combined. NACD members are leaders in health, safety, security, and environmental performance through implementation of Responsible Distribution, a third-party verified management practice established in 1991 as a condition of membership. For additional information on our members, their safety record or NACD, visit NACD at www.nacd.com.
Contact: Lucinda Schofer
SOURCE National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD)