CFATS Lives to Fight Another Day
|Dax Sanders, Kinder Morgan executive vice president and chief strategy officer, (right) poses with Dave Wulf, the director of the Infrastructure Security Compliance Division of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which manages the CFATS program, in front of the ship’s bell that Wulf installed to ring whenever a new Site Security Plan is approved.|
The Emergency Coronavirus Stimulus package gives the Senate some additional time to continue negotiations on a longer-term bill approved by the House and Senate and signed by President Trump on March 27, expands authorization of the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards program by another three months, until July 23.
Since ILTA testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (HSGAC) last June, we have worked diligently with the Department of Homeland Security and with Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate attempting to craft a bipartisan compromise. Our goal is a long-term reauthorization of CFATS that ensures that ILTA’s language to permanently remove gasoline and other fuel mixtures from the CFATS regulations is included in the final legislation. Recently, members of the ILTA Board of Directors spent a successful Lobby Day meeting with DHS and with offices on Capitol Hill helping to make the ILTA case (see ILTA’s March newsletter).
On March 10, Dax Sanders, Kinder Morgan executive vice president and chief strategy officer, spent a very successful day with ILTA Vice President Andy Wright discussing our concerns with Dave Wulf, director of the Infrastructure Security Compliance Division of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which manages the CFATS program, and his staff, both the majority and minority staff of the House Homeland Security Committee and the personal offices of several members of the House Homeland Security Committee.
Days after those meetings, the House voted to extend the CFATS program by 18 months. This bill never received Senate consideration and, at least for now, has been effectively replaced by the three-month extension.
In the weeks ahead, ILTA and the broad CFATS Industry Coalition will continue to push our case for reform and extension of the program. Because of the contentious political atmosphere in Washington, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, Congress could end up passing another short-term extension like the House’s 18-month legislation. However, we continue to work toward a Senate compromise that can gain broad bipartisan support.
If the process ends up with another short-term proposal, ILTA will seek to include a “technical amendment” to resolve the fuels issue. Failing that, we will continue working with DHS for a regulatory fix.