The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has revealed a set of proposed regulations improving security at high-risk chemical plants across the U.S. President George W. Bush and the US Congress have set a deadline for compliance of 4 April.
Chemical companies are advised that non-compliance carries a $25,000 daily fine or may lead to a complete facility shutdown.
Chemical plants are required to carry out an online risk assessment to find out their level of risk category. If termed high-risk, plants are required to go through vulnerability assessments and put forward a security plan. DHS will validate applications through site inspections and audits. According to the proposed regulations, a chemical plant has leave to appeal if a security plan is turned down by the DHS.
The security strategies that will be employed depend on the risk category of each chemical plant. DHS has lined up few requirements, such as securing the perimeter, controlling access, preventing internal sabotage and discouraging pilfering of potentially dangerous chemicals.
The draft regulations are available for public comment until 7 February 2007.
The homeland security appropriations act of 2007 gave DHS power to regulate the high-risk chemical plant security.