Category Archives: Site Security Officer

Do I Need to Resubmit a Top-Screen?

There are still circumstances which may require your facility to resubmit a Top-Screen today, even if you have already resubmitted using CSAT 2.0. For example, a facility must report material modifications to its chemical holdings or facility operations, as these changes may alter a facility’s tier. Material modifications may include:

  • The addition or removal of COI at the STQ and concentration
  • Changes to quantity, location, or packaging of a COI as previously reported on a Top-Screen

Facilities are encouraged to report the highest expected quantity and concentration of COI they anticipate possessing over the lifecycle of their operations. By taking this approach, facilities can maintain a more efficient reporting process as they will not need to resubmit a Top-Screen when the quantity or concentration of a COI is reduced through normal operations.

Additionally, CFATS-covered facilities are required to update their Top-Screens on a regular basis, as determined by their tier:

  • A Tier 1 or Tier 2 facility must update its Top-Screen two years after its SSP is approved
  • A Tier 3 or Tier 4 facility must update its Top-Screen three years after its SSP is approved

Let us know if we can help you prepare and submit your CFATS Top Screen and prepare your facility for a Compliance Inspection.

To read about what to expect from a CFATS CI, click here.

Preparing for a CFATS Compliance Inspection

Many companies aren’t prepared when they receive a letter from the DHS Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD) notifying them of an upcoming facility Compliance Inspection (CI). You might have documents that are out of date, or you may be missing the necessary forms. If left unchecked, you could be forced to waste time and money in enforcing corrective actions. When it comes to advising our clients to be prepared, these are the top three tips we give them for a successful CFATS Compliance Inspection.

Review Your Documents

When you receive a notice from DHS about an upcoming inspection, this is always a good time to review your security plan and required documents to make sure that you have everything in order. Also, this is a good time to verify that you have conducted the required drills and/or exercises, and an annual audit of the security plan.

Training Moment

Training is very important for facility personnel and this is a good opportunity to make sure all your training is up to date and to have a general discussion regarding security of the facility. The training can focus on topics that will most likely be covered during the inspection; including access control, monitoring, screening, security personnel (who is the FSO, Alt. FSO?), NTAS security measures, etc.

 Organize

One thing that we recommend and develop for majority of our clients is to have a single security plan binder with all relevant documents and forms. This is a perfect, centralized place to store and secure all the forms and documents that the inspectors will want to review during the inspection. We have had great success with these binders for all of our regulated clients; CFATS, MTSA, TSA, DOT, etc. As we tell our clients, it is best to get the inspectors the requested material in a timely fashion and get the inspection over with as quickly as possible.

Recently one of our clients had a Compliance Inspection that they passed without any issues, “We went through our security plan book while the inspector was here and we were complimented on how all the files were in one book and not in different locations.  We didn’t spend much time with it, because everything was in the binder that they had questions about.”

Let us know if we can help you prepare for your CFATS Compliance Inspection and develop a security binder for you and help you succeed with your inspections.

To read about what to expect from a CFATS CI, click here.

CFATS Quarterly Update

Recently DHS released their Fall Quarterly Update providing more detail on the implementation of the CFATS program.

CFATS Update

As of September 1, 2017, CFATS covers 3,478 facilities. DHS has completed more than 2,700 Compliance Inspections (to read more about Compliance Inspections, click here). Since launching CSAT 2.0 a year ago, DHS has received more than 25,000 CSAT Top Screens. DHS is continuing to issue tiering letters to facilities as their Top Screens are received and reviewed.

You can read more about CSAT 2.0 here.

SVA/SSP Questions

One topic discussed in the update in the new questions that facilities will need to answer when submitting a new or revised SVA/SSP.

When submitting the SSP, the new questions facilities will need to address include:

  • Q3.10.050 Personnel Presence
  • Q3.10.400 through Q3.10.420 Inventory Controls
  • Q3.40.400 through Q3.40.430 Cyber Control and Business Systems
  • Q3.50.320 Personnel Surety, Types of Affected Individuals
  • Q3.50.710 Recordkeeping Affirmation

In addition to these new SSP question, facilities are asked to select whether a certain detection and delay security measure applies to perimeter and/or critical assets. The following SSP questions should be reviewed to ensure the location(s) are correctly associated with the security measures applied:

  • Q3.10.070 Mobile Patrols
  • Q3.10.120 Intrusion Detection Systems
  • Q3.10.180 through Q3.10.230 Intrusion Detection Sensors
  • Q3.10.290 and Q3.10.310 Closed Circuit Television
  • Q3.20.030 through Q3.20.160 Perimeter Security
  • Q3.20.430 and Q3.20.440 Access Control Systems
  • Q3.20.560 Anti-Vehicle Measures

Personnel Surety Program (PSP)

Tier 1 and Tier 2 facilities will see questions that address RBPS 12(iv), screening for terrorist ties. Questions Q3.50.330 through Q3.50.550 allow facilities to identify the option(s) chosen and measure(s) used to implement those options for compliance with RBPS 12(iv). To read more about those options, click here.

Additionally, DHS is going to integrate the Personnel Surety Program into the CSAT 2.0 Portal. This should make it much easier and provide better functionality for the user.

Chiefs of Regulatory Compliance

DHS also announced in this update that they have hired Chiefs of Regulatory Compliance (CRCs) for majority of their Regional Offices. CRCs will serve as the lead DHS representatives administering the CFATS regulation and serving as advisors to the Office of Infrastructure Protection Regional Directors.

Region CRCs:

  • Region 1 (VT, RI, ME, NH, CT, MA) – Charles Colley charles.colley@hq.dhs.gov
  • Region 2 (VI, PR, NJ, NY) – John Dean john.dean@hq.dhs.gov
  • Region 3 (DC, DE, WV, MD, VA, PA) – Don Keen donald.keen@hq.dhs.gov
  • Region 4 (MS, SC, AL, KY, FL, NC, TN, GA) – Cheryl Louck cheryl.louck@hq.dhs.gov
  • Region 5 (MN, WI, IN, MI, IL, OH) – Kathy Young kathryn.young@hq.dhs.gov
  • Region 6 (NM, OK, LA, AR, TX) – Steve Shedd steven.shedd@hq.dhs.gov
  • Region 7 (NE, KS, IA, MO) – Dave Martak david.martak@hq.dhs.gov
  • Region 8 (WY, ND, SD, MT, UT, CO) – Jim Williams james.williams@hq.dhs.gov
  • Region 9 (MP, GU, HI, NV, AZ, CA) – Marcie Stone marcie.stone@hq.dhs.gov
  • Region 10 (AK, ID, OR, WA) – Marc Glasser marc.glasser@hq.dhs.gov

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

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 Reinstates Top Screen Requirements

On October 1, 2016, DHS has reinstated the requirement to submit Top Screens using CSAT 2.0.

Starting today, October 4, 2016, DHS will begin notifying facilities that they have to submit a new Top Screen. However, facilities may choose to proactively resubmit a Top Screen prior to receiving notification from DHS.

Facilities are given 60 days to submit a new Top Screen.

To read more about CSAT 2.0, click here.

CSAT 2.0 Update: Changes Coming in October

DHS has released an update to the upcoming launch of Chemical Security Assessment Tool 2.0 (CSAT 2.0). They state that in the coming months, DHS will be reaching out directly to facilities believed to maintain Chemicals of Interest (COI) at or above the threshold quantities. These facilities will be required to submit new Top Screens to DHS using the new CSAT 2.0 online tool.

What does this mean for you and your facility?

DHS suspended the requirement to submit Top Screens and Security Vulnerability Assessments (SVA) on July 20, 2016 to prepare for the launch of CSAT 2.0.

After the transition to CSAT 2.0 and the improved risk tiering methodology in October 2016, DHS will begin to individually notify “chemical facilities of interest” to resubmit a new Top Screen using CSAT 2.0. They state that chemical facilities of interest include facilities that were previously determined not to be high-risk. The letters will be issued through CSAT 2.0 to each facility’s designated CFATS Authorizer and Submitter in a phased manner over the course of several months.

DHS states that CSAT 2.0 will improve the integration between the CSAT SVA and Site Security Plan (SSP) surveys, streamlining the compliance process and reducing the burden associated with completing these surveys.

Next Steps

 DHS will replace the current CSAT surveys with the revised surveys this fall.

  • On October 1, 2016, DHS will reinstate the Top-Screen and SVA submission requirements.
  • DHS will individually notify facilities in a phased manner to resubmit their Top-Screens using the new tool.

Training on CSAT 2.0

DHS will be hosting several webinars and presentations at several cities around the country to demonstrate the new tool.

Webinars:

In-Person Demonstrations:

  • In September, DHS will post session dates, times, and locations