Prepare For Next Anti-Terrorism Step

Ag retail facilities should have received notification from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) if considered high risk. Retailers now have the opportunity to report any changes that could mitigate or reduce their risk level.

More than 35,000 ag retail facilities submitted Top-Screen reports to DHS. According to the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), approximately 7,000 of those operations have been potentially identified as high risk, initially designated as tier levels 1 through 4. Tier 1 represents the highest risk facilities while Tier 4 is the lowest risk of all facilities covered by the new Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) regulations.

As part of the notification, facilities received instructions regarding additional reporting requirements as part of the new CFATS regulations. A facility’s final tier designation will be determined after the successful completion and submission of an SVA to DHS.

ARA stresses that only authorized Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI) users on a facility’s staff should have access to DHS’ Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA) and any Alternative Security Plan (ASP) information. DHS’ CVI training is Web-based and takes about 20 minutes to complete.

Any CVI-related materials should only be shared with trusted individuals with whom your facility works with that demonstrate a "need to know," says ARA. Also, in order to share CVI information, all processes outlined in the CVI Procedural Manual must be followed.

The Asmark Institute SVA meets the Center for Chemical Process Safety methodology approved by DHS for use by Tier 4 facilities. It may be submitted as an ASP for DHS review and approval, provided the Asmark Institute SVA has been applied by the facility in a manner that satisfies DHS security requirements.

Facilities that submitted Top-Screens to DHS but were not determined high-risk will receive a letter via the U.S. Postal Service indicating they are considered by the agency to be a "non-regulated" facility.

For more information about the CFATS program, visit www.dhs.gov/chemicalsecurity, the CSAT Help-Desk Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) at http://csat-help.dhs.gov/faq, or by calling the CSAT Helpline at 866-323-2957.

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