Legislation (H.R. 901) introduced by Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA), chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies on March 3 would extend the authority of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to regulate the security of the nation's chemical facilities but does not include several provisions, such as inherently safer technology, H.R. 901would simply extend current chemical facility antiterrorism standards (CFATS) by seven years. The CFATS program requires all high-risk chemical facilities to complete security vulnerability assessments, develop site security plans, and implement protective measures necessary to meet DHS-defined risk-based performance standards. Publicly owned wastewater and drinking water treatment works and community water systems are exempt from the CFATS provisions, although many of them use large quantities of chemicals. Interim chemical facility antiterrorism standards were issued in 2007 following enactment of legislation in 2006. The CFATS program was set to expire in October 2010, but Congress has extended it through March 18 under legislation providing stopgap funding for federal agencies."
Similar legislation (S. 473) introduced by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, also does not contain these provisions. Her bill would extend the current CFATS program by three years and contains language providing for voluntary training and technical assistance. The Senate bill mirrors the bill unanimously approved by the Senate committee last July.