SIA praises House passage of CFATS program authorization

The Security Industry Association (SIA), a trade association for security solution providers, welcomed on Wednesday the House of Representatives' passage of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Program Authorization and Accountability Act.

The House adopted the SIA-endorsed legislation unanimously on Tuesday. H.R. 4007, which was sponsored by Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.), provides the first statutory authorization for the CFATS program at the Department of Homeland Security.

"The security industry provides many of the innovative solutions being implemented to meet requirements under CFATS," Don Erickson, the CEO of SIA, said. "Providing a multi-year authorization and making improvements to the implementation process will help ensure that solutions to make our nation safer are more readily adopted."

Meehan, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies, said the bill would authorize CFATS for three years while requiring that certain chemical security goals be met within the time period. The legislation would also allow for automatic approval of alternative site security plans and third-party audits and inspections with approval from the DHS secretary.

The bill was referred to the Senate, where it awaits further action.

CFATS was created in 2006 to address recommendations from the 9/11 Commission to secure infrastructure from terrorist attack. The program ensures that facilities handling certain chemicals meet risk-based physical security standards.

SIA represents more than 500 member companies and 300,000 security leaders and experts.