Regulatory Update – DHS Withdraws Personnel Surety Proposal, Testifies at House Hearing

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has withdrawn its Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Personal Surety Program (PSP). DHS developed the PSP as a way to implement CFATS Risk Based Performance Standard 12. The PSP would have required each CFATS-regulated facility to submit to DHS personally-identifying information regarding individuals seeking access to restricted areas and critical assets at the facility. DHS would then arrange for these individuals to be checked against the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s classified Terrorist Screening Database. Since DHS first proposed the PSP, industry has raised concerns that the program was too prescriptive and duplicative of other established credentialing methods. Last April, NACD joined 22 other associations in sending a letter to Office of Management and Budget Administrator Cass Sunstein urging him to reject the plan. DHS Deputy Undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate Suzanne Spaulding confirmed the agency’s withdrawal of the plan during a House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on CFATS last Thursday. However, a series of votes on the House floor disrupted the hearing and prevented further discussion of the issue during the session. DHS will likely provide more information on future plans during this week’s Chemical Sector Security Summit in Baltimore. NACD will keep members informed on additional developments.