Those clients who have not yet complied with the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”)1 requirement that certain owners or operators of facilities possessing threshold quantities of any “DHS Chemicals of Interest” register and complete an online screening assessment (a Chemical Security Assessment Tool Top-Screen2) by January 22, 2008, need to know that an extension can be obtained.
Since it is estimated that it will take over 30 hours to complete the registration and online assessment, entities that are not now compliant may request an extension from DHS by submitting a formal letter via regular mail to the following address:
Department of Homeland Security
Chemical Security and Compliance Division
Mail Stop 8100
Washington, DC 20528-8100.
Examples of DHS Chemicals of Interest include:
It should be noted, however, that numerous other chemicals have threshold quantities as small as 100 grams, with others having thresholds of only 2.2 pounds. All clients maintaining chemicals are urged to check the listing of chemicals and quantities at the website noted below. DHS believes facilities required to complete the screening assessment largely will fall into one of the three categories: chemical manufacturing, storage and distribution facilities; petroleum refineries; and liquefied natural gas storage (peak shaving) facilities.
In addition to those entities required to make an initial registration, any facilities contacted by DHS either by letter or through a Federal Register Notice will be required to register and complete the online screening assessment by the date set forth in the letter or notice. Screening assessments also will be required within 60 days of a facility obtaining threshold quantities of any of the DHS Chemicals of Interest.
Failure to timely complete a screening assessment may result in civil penalties of up to $25,000 per day, a DHS audit and inspection or an order to cease operations.
Based on the responses given in the online screening assessment or any other information available, DHS may at any time determine that a facility presents a high level of security risk. If so, DHS will notify the facility and place it into one of four risk-based tiers with different requirements for each tier. Generally, owners or operators of any facility that presents a high level of security risk must complete a security vulnerability assessment and develop and implement a site security plan using security measures that satisfy DHS risk-based performance standards.
This Client Alert has been prepared by Lewis and Roca LLP for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Readers should seek professional legal advice on matters involving these issues.
1 A complete list of the DHS Chemicals of Interest is available at 6 C.F.R. part 27, app. A., and is available at www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/chemsec_appendixachemicalofinterestlist. pdf.
2 A list of the Top-Screen Chemical Security Assessment Tool Top-Screen questions is available at www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/chemsec_csattopscreenquestions.pdf.