Chemical Security Program (CFATS) Reauthorized for 15 Months: Win, Lose or Draw?
Today, the House finalized the last leg of reauthorization for the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Program (CFATS), extending it from expiring on January 19th, 2018 to April 19th, 2020. No substantive changes were included in the bill, but before the next deadline, all corners of Congress will be engaged.
This falls one day after Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Ron Johnson (R-WI) came to terms with new ranking member Gary Peters (D-MI) on extending the program to 15 months. A sharp distinction from Sen. Johnson’s six-month offer and a contrast from the 2-year offer by the unified House.
On a good note, the CFATS program is reauthorized for 15 months and can continue to protect America’s critical infrastructure. But what's changed? In fact, there were not changes in the program, no substantive “aha” moments of Congressional oversight this year, or even eye-opening discoveries from the GAO report on the program?
It's 2019, so prepare for a different Congress, new players and hopefully reforms brought to the table...
* Michael Kennedy, Principal Attorney at Kennedy Law & Policy, has spent most of his career developing and evolving homeland security laws to adapt to the private sector. He's a recognized expert in Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism law and in all aspects of the regulation. Kennedy was also the main contributor to the Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act of 2014 (the Act) which Kennedy advocated before Congress that was later signed by President Barack Obama on Dec. 18, 2014. He has advised three trade associations on critical infrastructure issues, served twice as the Assistant Chair of the Chemical Sector Coordinating Counsel and was a liaison to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense.