State Bill 1871, signed into law by Governor Abbott

Titled:  An Act relating to the creation of the offense of petroleum product or oil and gas equipment theft.   This penal code addition takes effect on September 1, 2017.

Definitions include: “Oil and gas equipment means machinery, drilling equipment, welding equipment, pipe, fittings, pumps, vehicles, or other equipment used in the drilling or maintenance of oil and gas wells, in the production of oil and gas, or to transport petroleum products.  Petroleum product means crude oil, natural gas, or condensate”.

The offense is committed by unlawfully appropriating oil and gas equipment “without the owner’s effective consent.”  A felony.

This is a finely crafted penal code addition – simple and direct, easy to understand, and comprehensive to our industry’s concerns.  John P. Chamberlain, Executive Director of the Energy Security Council, posted this morning:

Texas Governor Abbott signed State Bill 1871 into law. This bill applies to the theft of oil and oilfield equipment and the penalties for those committing oilfield crimes.  This law is another very useful tool for corporate security teams and law enforcement to use in the ongoing fight against oilfield theft and crime.   

 Much thanks are due to those who spent many hours helping research, craft and promote this timely legislation, including Rob Ream of BHP Billiton Petroleum; LC Wilson, Clete Buckaloo, and Kevin Pullen of Anadarko Petroleum; Mike Peters of Lewis Energy; Robert Butler from the Texas Attorney General’s office; and Paula Barnett from BP.  

2017 Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) Update 3.0 – May 18, 2017

The American Association of Port Authorities hosted a webinar regarding the FY2017 Port Security Grant Program. Duane Davis, East Section Chief for the Port Security Grant Program presented during the webinar.

Summary:

  • Notice of Funding Opportunity announcement expected June 2, 2017.
  • Grant applications will need to be submitted to FEMA by June 21, 2017.
  • Anticipated to be for the same amount as FY2016, $100,000,000.00.
  • Funding priorities remain the same as 2016:
    • Enhancing Maritime Domain Awareness
    • TWIC Readers
    • Cybersecurity Capabilities
    • Training and Exercises, etc.
  • Cost sharing remains the same as 2016, 25/75 split.

The timeframe from the NOFO announcement to application due date is only 21 days or 3 weeks. This is a very tight timeframe to get all the necessary registrations and Investment Justification (IJs) completed.

Failing to complete the following steps will likely result in an invalid application:

  • Verifying, updating, or applying for a DUNS
  • Updating or verifying SAM
  • Register and establish a AOR
  • Submit application in Grants.gov
  • Applying for, updating or verifying your EIN (can take up to 2 weeks!)
  • Submitting the final application in NDGrants

Mr. Davis stated to get the above done as soon as possible, hopefully already started. Don’t wait or it might be too late.

To read more about the PSCP, click here.

Chemical Sector Security Summit

For the first time after 10 years, the annual Chemical Sector Security Summit will be held outside the D.C. area in Houston, Texas. The summit is scheduled to take place in July 2017.

This year’s Summit will feature vital chemical security information for 2017 and beyond, while bringing together industry owners and operators, key government officials, first responders, and law enforcement to engage in face-to-face discussions and share the latest in security best practices.

Summit registration will open in spring 2017, along with updates on the venue, agenda, and speakers.

For more information, click here.

CFATS Quarterly Update

On April 4, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began issuing tiering notifications to Chemical Facility Anti- Terrorism Standards (CFATS) regulated facilities based on the results of DHS’s new enhanced risk-tiering methodology.

To date, approximately 12,000 updated Top-Screens have been received from the 27,000 facilities that previously reported holdings of chemicals of interest (COI) at or above the screening threshold quantity.

DHS has sent out over 10,000 tiering determination letters to facilities that have submitted new Top-Screens. Tiering letters are being prioritized based on when DHS received the facility Top-Screen, upcoming compliance inspection schedules, and to consider workload for submitters that have a high number of covered facilities with changes.

Over the next 18 months we will continue to notify facilities of the requirement to submit new Top-Screens and issue tiering decisions on a rolling basis.

I’ve Received a Tiering Letter, Now What?

As facilities receive tiering letters, their next steps will depend on their results.

Facilities new to the CFATS program will be required to submit security plans. If a current facility receives a revised tiering assessment, it does not necessarily mean that it will be required to submit a Site Security Plan (SSP)/Alternative Security Program (ASP).

Facilities should review their tiering letter along with their approved SSP/ASP to determine whether it meets the security measures associated with all the chemicals of interest (COI), specific security issues (Theft/Diversion, Release, or Sabotage), and tiers in the letter. If not, an SSP/ASP update may be required.

Examples of situations in which a facility will need to update its SSP may include:

  • Facilities that add a newly tiered COI, which is located in a new asset area not currently addressed in the SSP/ASP;
  • Facilities that increase in tier and do not have sufficient security measures to account for the higher tier;
  • Facilities with an added security concern from a current COI that lacks sufficient security measures to account for the new security concern.

For example, if a facility possesses chlorine tiered for “theft/diversion” but now must also account for chlorine as a “release” concern, the existing SSP/ASP would need to be revised to include security measures to address risks associated with release COI.

DHS will assess facilities on a case-by-case basis to ensure security measures are appropriate to their level of risk.

2017 Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) Update 2.0 – May 2017

Port Security Grants possibly announced in two weeks.

FEMA Grant Programs Directorate provided a presentation regarding the FY2017 Port Security Grant Program (PSGP).

Summary:

  • Announcement expected May 19, 2017.
  • Grants will need to be submitted to FEMA by June 19, 2017.
  • Anticipated to be for the same amount as FY2016, $100,000,000.00.
  • Funding priorities remain the same as 2016:
    • Enhancing Maritime Domain Awareness
    • TWIC Readers
    • Cybersecurity Capabilities
    • Training and Exercises, etc.
  • Cost sharing remains the same as 2016, 25/75 split.

To read more about the PSCP, click here and here.

DHS Tiering Methodology

Today, the Infrastructure Security Compliance Division of DHS hosted a webinar on their new tiering methodology for CFATS facilities.

The presenters stated that the increases and decreases of theft/diversion and release-toxic chemicals of interest (COI) is due to improvements and implementation modeling data available to DHS. Facilities that possess Triethanolamine and MDEA, for example, will most likely be increased to Tier Two for theft/diversion chemical weapon precursor due to the implementation of the new modeling tools.

DHS began sending out letters to facilities earlier this month based on the new tiering methodology. Facilities are instructed to review their SSP/ASP to ensure that the existing security measures are sufficient for the tier level. If a facility determines that they need to resubmit their SSP/ASP, the facility has 30 days from the date of the letter to update the Security Vulnerability Assessment and Security Plan. Note: This deadline is not mentioned in the letters that our clients have received.

 During Compliance Inspections, inspectors will verify that the security measures are appropriate to address all tiers, security issues and COI.

Feel free to contact us if more information or support is needed.

DHS Issues Tiering Letters

Yesterday, the DHS Infrastructure Security Compliance Division began sending out tiering letters to facilities that recently submitted Top Screens using the new CSAT 2.0 tool.

You will receive an email for DHS stating that “A New CSAT Letter is Available for Your Facility Survey”. You will need to log in to your CSAT account and acknowledge receipt of the letter.

To read more about CSAT 2.0 Top Screens, click here and here.

TWIC Reader Clarification

Recently the Coast Guard shared a blog post to clarify the TWIC Reader Requirements Final Rule regarding CDC facilities.

The rule applies to facilities that are considered a Certain Dangerous Cargo (CDC) facility. These facilities are designated as Risk Group A facilities and will be expected to comply with the TWIC reader rule requirements effective August 23, 2018.

The blog post clarifies what a CDC facility is. According to PAC Decision 20-04 Certain Dangerous Cargo Facilities, in “order for a facility to be classified as a CDC facility, a vessel-to-facility interface must occur, or be capable of occurring, and involve the transfer of CDC’s in bulk”.

Blog can be read here and PAC 20-04 can be found here. To read more about the TWIC Reader Requirements Final Rule, click here.

TSA Critical Pipeline Update

Excerpts from Surface Division Director Sonya Proctor:
“TSA has completed corporate security reviews on all of the nation’s top 100 pipeline systems, which collectively transport 84 percent of the nation’s energy. Through the program, TSA evaluates operator implementation of the pipeline security guidelines.”

“To ensure we remain vigilant, TSA works closely with the pipeline industry, which consists of approximately 3,000 private companies who own and operate the Nation’s pipelines. Because they are usually unstaffed, securing pipeline facilities requires a collaborative approach across government and industry. TSA has established effective working relationships to ensure strong communication and sharing of intelligence, training resources, best practices, and security guidelines. Pipeline system owners and operators maintain direct responsibility for securing pipeline systems. TSA’s role is to support owners and operators by identifying threats, developing security programs to address those threats, and encouraging and assisting the implementation of those security programs.”

2017 Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) Update

Last year the 2016 PSGP Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) was released mid-February and applications had to be submitted by late April. It looks like this year, we will have to wait until late April or early May before the NOFO is released.

DHS/FEMA has an approved budget of $93 million for the 2017 PSGP, but are currently operating under a Continuing Resolution. The 2017 PSGP documents have been prepared and some are posted in draft. However, the actual launch of the program until the federal budget is approved. Again, this is expected in April.

This delay should not keep applicants from making sure their registrations are up to date and making sure they have a plan in place. This gives applicants more time to prepare their Investment Justifications (IJs) and ensure that their project budgets are ready to go when the NOFO is released.

To read more about preparing for the 2017 PSGP, click here.