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New Security Regulations and How They Might Affect You

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In April 2007, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Final Rule for Chemical Facilities Anti–Terrorism Standards (CFATS) that required high–risk chemical facilities to identify and assess their vulnerabilities and implement security measures. A few select facilities, including water and wastewater systems, were exempt from these standards. However, the Federal government has made it clear that chemical security at utilities is a key concern and that they plan to lift the current exemption.

There are five different bills currently in Congress and while chances are that none of these bills will be signed into law during the current congressional session, when a law is passed (likely next year) it will have two major impacts on water and wastewater utilities: first, those utilities that have one or more chemicals of concern above specified threshold quantities (as defined by the Department of Homeland Security) will likely be required to prepare site security plans and execute physical security upgrades; and second, wastewater utilities will, for the first time, be mandated to prepare vulnerability assessments and emergency response plans.

While wastewater utilities may not see regulation until 2013–15, it is makes good business sense to begin proactively planning now by evaluating their current disinfection practices, reviewing their current chemical usage (types and storage volumes), and planning for (or preparing) their vulnerability assessments and emergency response plans.
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Keywords: Security; chemicals; legislation; vulnerability assessment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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