SOCMA Expresses Concern with Expansion of DHS Personnel Surety Program

The Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA) recently submitted comments to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expressing concern about the proposed expansion of background checks as part of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Personnel Surety Program (PSP).

In its request for comments, DHS described its intent to extend to Tier 3 and 4 high-risk CFATS facilities the PSP obligation to do background checks for potential terrorist ties, a move which SOCMA opposes.

In our comments to DHS, we argued that because PSP data has only begun to be evaluated through the Terrorist Screen Database (TSBD) for existing Tier 1 and Tier 2 facilities, DHS should conduct a formal assessment to determine whether the provision of such data generates positive and effective security outcomes. SOCMA believes it would be burdensome to further expand existing requirements without the surety that the federal screening program is itself performing satisfactorily. SOCMA would also like to see more consistency in enforcement of the CFATS program, and we encouraged the agency to improve its training program for site inspections to further generate positive security outcomes for the chemical industry. 

Read the full transcript of SOCMA’s comments on Personnel Surety

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