November 20, 2007 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the "final" Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards
(CFATS). Affected facilities have until January 22, 2008 to register
and submit a "Top-Screen" questionnaire through the secure DHS Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) web site. DHS will evaluate
Top-Screen submissions. Based on their
review some facilities that will be required to:
- prepare Security
Vulnerability Assessments (SVAs), which identify facility security
vulnerabilities, and to
- develop and implement
Site Security Plans (SSPs), which include measures that satisfy the
identified risk-based performance standards
In general, CFATS will not apply to most metal finishers because the minimum concentrations and/or threshold quantities of applicable chemicals are beyond those of chemicals present at most metal finishing shops. Here are some common metal finishing chemicals that are on the DHS list, along with minimum concentrations and threshold quantities:
Threshold quantity (lb)
|Sulfur Dioxide (anhydrous)
This table combines information for the three types of risks, defined
below. In some cases, the same chemical
can have more than one set of minimum concentration/quantity thresholds,
depending on how it is stored. Identifying Chemicals and Calculating
Quantities The first step in
determining if this regulation applies to your facility is to compare the
chemicals you have on-site with the list published by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS list is referred to as "Appendix
A" of the regulation (see pages 65421 – 65435 of the November 20, 2007 Federal Register notice)
and the chemicals listed are referred to as "chemicals of interest" (COI).
For each COI, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) evaluated the
potential security risk, considering three major categories and six
Where a potential risk
was identified for particular chemicals, DHS published a minimum concentration,
measured in percent and screening threshold quantity (STQ), measured in pounds. In some cases, for a given chemical, the
minimum concentration and/or the STQ are different depending on the security
risk category. Therefore, it is
important to understand what each security risk category encompasses and to
sort your chemicals by category. In
some cases, a chemical can be counted in more than one category. Example: A metal finishing
facility surveys their facility and finds the following concentrations and quantities
of nitric acid:
Chemical Category – The release threshold is focused on preventing
someone from intentionally releasing a chemical that could affect the
population within and beyond a facility.
This includes chemicals that are in metal finishing tanks
and those in inventory/storage.
There are three subcategories:
- Toxic Subcategory
- Flammables Subcategory
- Explosives Subcategory:
and Diversion Chemical Category – The theft threshold is focused on
preventing someone from stealing a chemical and weaponizing it. This category includes chemicals that
are in transportable containers (e.g., carboys, drums, rail tank cars). There are three subcategories:
- Chemical Weapons/Chemical
Weapon Precursors Subcategory
- Weapons of Mass Effect
Explosive Device (IED) Precursors Subcategory
Chemical Category – The sabotage threshold is focused on preventing
someone from obtaining a chemical and mixing it with other
readily-available materials to create significant adverse consequences for
human life or health. The sabotage
thresholds only apply when the chemical is being shipped, and therefore
would not typically apply to a metal finisher.
The screening threshold
quantities for nitric acid are as follows (from Appendix A):
- In use:
- Stainless steel passivation tank: 600 gal.
42% nitric acid
- Zincate strip tank: 300 gal. 50% nitric
- Cadmium strip for aluminum alloys tank: 200
gal. 68% nitric acid
- 20 carboys (300 gal.) of 68% nitric acid
- Release: nitric acid (minimum 80%): 15,000 lbs.
- Theft: nitric acid (minimum 68%): 400 lbs.
- Sabotage: not listed
Evaluation: All of the nitric acid at this facility is below the minimum
80% concentration and therefore is not counted toward the release calculation.
Evaluation: The quantity of nitric acid "in use" is not counted in the
theft category evaluation because it is not in transportable containers. The 300 gal. in inventory must be counted
since it is in transportable containers and it meets the minimum concentration
for this category (68%). Therefore the
total quantity is 300 gal., which has a weight of 3,524 lbs. This is above the screening threshold
quantity of 400 lbs. Therefore, this
facility must register and submit a "Top-Screen" questionnaire through the
secure DHS Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) web site.
Evaluation: This facility does not
ship nitric acid and therefore the sabotage category is not applicable.
The following are topics
that may assist you in complying with the Chemical
Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS).
Below the Thresholds now – but above in the
If your facility is
currently below screening threshold quantities, but in the future it meets or
exceeds a threshold, you must notify DHS within 60 calendar days from the time
you come into possession of the chemical(s).
Potassium and sodium cyanide
Potassium and sodium
cyanide are both on the Appendix A list of chemicals of interest (COI). However, in both cases, they are listed only for
the sabotage category. This category
only applies if you ship the chemical and are required under law to placard the
shipment. Therefore, in most cases, metal finishers would not report these
Solid waste, including
hazardous waste, regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
(RCRA) is excluded from the calculations required under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS)
In calculating whether a
facility posses an amount that meets the STQ for propane, a facility need not
include propane in tanks of 10,000 pounds or less.
If a release-toxic chemical of interest is
present in a mixture, and the concentration of the chemical is equal to or
greater than one percent (1%) by weight, the facility must count the amount of
the chemical of interest in the mixture toward the STQ. If a release-toxic
chemical of interest is present in a mixture, and the concentration of the
chemical is less than one percent (1%) by weight of the mixture, the facility
need not count the amount of that chemical in the mixture in determining
whether the facility possesses the STQ.