Washington, D.C. – Kate Donahue, President of Hampford Research, Inc., and a member of the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates’ Board of Governors, testified before a House Homeland Security subcommittee, stating that specialty chemical manufacturers need greater regulatory certainty of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) through a long-term authorization.
Addressing the uncertainty caused by CFATS’s expiration as a result of the government shutdown last year, Donahue stated, “Even under ideal circumstances, it costs companies, especially small businesses, time and money to plan for, pay for, prepare for, and clear days off of calendars of multiple employees to comply with” CFATS requirements. “Responsible companies like Hampford want the CFATS program – but we want a stable and predictable program,” she testified. “These are the kinds of disruptions and regulatory uncertainty that Congress should do its best to avoid.”
Donahue, whose company is a 30-employee, family-owned specialty chemical manufacturer in Connecticut, testified on behalf of SOCMA at the hearing on H.R. 4007, a bill that would authorize the CFATS program for three years.
“The CFATS program is working, but it would help my company and others like it if Congress would ensure CFATS’s continued stability through a longer-term authorization like H.R. 4007 would provide,” Donahue testified. “This bill simply codifies what was in the original 2006 spending bill that established the program, and removes the program from the annual funding fire drills.”
In terms of the program’s effectiveness, Donahue pointed out that more than 3,000 chemical facilities have changed their respective processes such that they have been able to screen out of the CFATS program. “CFATS is driving facilities to reduce inherent hazards, relying not on regulatory mandates but on the company’s expert judgment to do so where it makes sense,” said Donahue.
The “Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Authorization and Accountability Act of 2014” was introduced February 6, 2014, by U.S. Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.