230926 H R 4470 CFATS Reauthorization Senate
September 26, 2023
To the Members of the United States Senate:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce urges you to pass H.R. 4470, the “Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act of 2023.” This bipartisan bill, which passed the House 409–1 in July, would extend the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program through July 27, 2025.
CFATS statutory authority—which originated in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks—expired on July 27, 2023 despite strong support from the business community, industry, and Congress for this vital program to continue.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which administers CFATS, and industry have worked diligently for many years to cultivate relationships that enhance the security and resilience of America’s chemical facilities. Chemical enterprises are significant contributors to the economy and are at the forefront of the development and implementation of robust risk management practices.
The CFATS program features both requirements and technical assistance for approximately 3,200 facilities related to access control, cybersecurity, perimeter security, and personnel vetting. These measures help reduce the risk that certain high-risk chemicals could be released, sabotaged, or stolen by malicious actors.
The expiration of CFATS weakens America’s national security. Over the past month, some 9,000 individuals have not been screened to determine whether they have ties to terrorism. Nonetheless, industry will continue to make investments in facility security to the best of its ability and experience, but there is little substitute for programmatic certainty.
The Chamber commends Congress for extending CFATS several times since it was established in 2006, and this reauthorization cycle should be no different. Passing H.R. 4470 is a practical solution to CFATS renewal.
The Chamber is committed to working with Congress to minimize the opportunities for threat actors to harm our communities, facilities, and employees.
Neil L. Bradley
Executive Vice President, Chief Policy Officer,
And Head of Strategic Advocacy
U.S. Chamber of Commerce