From: Richard Rosera <richardrosera**At_Symbol_Here**GMAIL.COM>
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Laboratory Outreach by the Department of Homeland Security Concerning Chemicals of Interest (Antiterrorism)
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2018 22:43:24 -0700
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: FA3E293B-E47F-4A32-BD0B-1C589C343688**At_Symbol_Here**

Below is information from Patrick Coyle's blog for today.  The actual links mentioned below can be accessed from his blog:

It is possible that some laboratories may have inadvertently acquired =E2=80=98chemicals of interest' in quantities which are sufficient to require the submission of a 'Top Screen' to DHS.

Richard Rosera
BS ChemE, MS ChemE, MBA
Rosearray EHS Services LLC
101 Beryl Street
Los Alamos, NM 87547


ISCD Publishes Two More Industry Outreach Fact Sheets

Today the DHS Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD) published links to two new fact sheets on their Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Knowledge Center. The first is another in the recent series explaining the impact of the CFATS program on various industries; this one addresses laboratories. This is part of the ongoing ISCD outreach effort designed to connect with facilities that have not realized that they may be covered under the CFATS program. The second fact sheet outlines the first steps that a facility needs to take when it determines that it may be affected by the CFATS program.


This fact sheet is very similar in format and information to the ones that I have previously discussed. The major difference is that the list of potentially affected chemicals is significantly different. One major difference in the list is that it includes a wide variety of chemical warfare agents. Unfortunately, ISCD failed to address the most contentious issue associated with those chemicals; the incredibly small amount (100-g) that qualifies as a screening threshold quantity (STQ) that would require reporting under CFATS.


This fact sheet outlines the initial steps that a chemical facility needs to take when it suspects that it may be covered by the CFATS regulations (6 CFR 27), culminating in the submission of a Top Screen. The steps outlined include:

• Check your chemicals of interest (COI);
• Complete Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI) training;
• Register your facility; and
• Submit a Top Screen

As you would expect from a =E2=80=98fact sheet' the explanations provided for each of the steps are very brief and lacking in detail. Fortunately, links are provided to the appropriate parts of the CFATS web site for a more detailed explanation.


There is one unusual comment in the first steps fact sheet that I do not recall having seen in any other ISCD publication to date. In the discussion of what constitutes a chemical facility under the CFATS regulations, the fact sheet notes that:

"Under CFATS, a chemical facility is any establishment, from a large facility to an individual person [emphasis added] which possesses or plans to possess at any point in time, certain COI at or above a specified quantity or concentration."

The definition of =E2=80=98chemical facility' under the CFATS regulations states that { =A727.105}:

"Chemical Facility or facility shall mean any establishment[emphasis added] that possesses or plans to possess, at any relevant point in time, a quantity of a chemical substance determined by the Secretary to be potentially dangerous or that meets other risk-related criteria identified by the Department."

That =E2=80=98any establishment' term is undefined, and I suppose that it could be stretched to include an =E2=80=98individual person'.. At the very least I would expect to hear some arguments from lawyers if ISCD attempted to push regulatory activity down to a personally owned laboratory not associated with a business.

Having said that, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that there could exist personal labs (particularly in the biological, pharmaceutical or agricultural sectors) where COI could be found at or above the STQ. The fact that that such laboratories would generally be expected to have less security than a similar corporate lab or even an academic lab would be of potential concern to ISCD as a possible terrorist target.

I am not sure how ISCD would locate such labs in order to conduct outreach activities. I suspect that the most common way of identifying such labs would be as the result of investigations of chemical releases or other chemical incidents by local authorities. If it was a purely local investigation (not the CSB, EPA, or OSHA for instance), I doubt that the word would get back to ISCD.

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