CFATS program reauthorized; hazmat endorsement requirements delayed

Originally published on LPGas Magazine

Photo: dem10/E+/Getty Images

President Donald Trump signed a three-year extension of the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program, which sets security requirements for chemical and energy facilities across the country.

The three-year extension will renew the existing program requirements through July 27, 2023.

According to the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), the majority in both chambers of Congress looked to shape the future of the CFATS program through vastly differing viewpoints in recent years. House Democrats introduced several legislative proposals that would have increased the compliance burden on many industries regulated by the program, says NPGA. Conversely, Senate Republicans threatened to defund the program entirely, which would have created significant uncertainty around security requirements at CFATS facilities, adds NPGA.

Throughout the recent reauthorization efforts, NPGA engaged congressional stakeholders and administration officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in an attempt to lessen the burden of the CFATS program on the propane industry and its customers.
But legislators did not have the appetite to modify the program beyond the existing requirements, says NPGA.

NPGA is planning to meet with DHS officials to further discuss opportunities to modify the threshold quantities and the agency’s approach to its regulation of the propane industry.

Hazmat endorsements

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) granted an exemption from certain process requirements related to security threat assessments (STA) for hazardous materials endorsements (HME) given the need for HME drivers to work without interruption during the COVID-19 crisis. Under this exemption, states could extend the expiration date of HME that expire on or after March 1, 2020, for 180 days.

The agency determined it is in the public interest to extend the exemption through Oct. 29.

The extension permits states to extend the expiration date for an HME even if the individual did not initiate or complete submission of required information for an STA at least 60 days before expiration of the HME. Individuals who were eligible for an extension of their HME during the initial exemption may continue to be eligible under this notice of extension.

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