There may be some changes in the air for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Top Screen process, but in the meantime, a significant number of retail facilities have been designated “high risk.”
DHS announced earlier this summer that 31,000 chemical facilities submitted Top Screen assessment information to the agency, including 3,500 agricultural facilities. Of those, the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) learned that DHS provided approximately 900 agribusiness facilities with a preliminary designation in one of the four tiers under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) rules based upon the facility’s chemical security risk.
Many agribusiness facilities storing chemicals of interest such as ammonium nitrate, potassium nitrate, aluminum, magnesium phosphide, and chlorine have been preliminarily designated as “high risk” facilities during the tiering review process. A facility concerned with its tier ranking can request a technical consultation with DHS by calling the Chemical Security Help Desk at 866-731-2728.
An additional number of facilities will be contacted by DHS for not properly filling out the Top Screen.
DHS is planning to shorten the Top Screen process to better-fit agriculture, and is also developing ammonium nitrate registration regulations with plans to release these additional security regulations at the same time the agency announces a new Top Screen for growers.