Final Chemical List for DHS Security Rule Includes Anhydrous Ammonia
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last Friday announced the final list of chemicals that apply to its chemical security rule. Many food and dairy processing facilities will be subject to the rule, because they use anhydrous ammonia in refrigeration systems. Other onsite chemicals may also trigger the rule.
According to the DHS Security Appropriations Act of 2007, all chemical facilities as defined by the regulation will be required to complete a screening process. Those that fit a certain high-risk profile will be required to complete a vulnerability assessment and a site security plan.
IDFA previously urged DHS to remove anhydrous ammonia used in refrigeration systems from the chemical security list and to make other changes, saying that that the proposed list would subject several million facilities to unnecessary screening. Although most dairy processing facilities would most likely not be considered high-risk operations, IDFA estimates that more than 100,000 food processing, manufacturing and distribution facilities use anhydrous ammonia in varying amounts and could make them eligible for screening.
"While the final list is vastly improved from what was originally proposed, we are disappointed that many dairy processors will be needlessly impacted and will need to take steps to be in compliance," said Clay Detlefsen, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs.
Under the final rule, all facilities that possess anhydrous ammonia at 10,000 pounds or more, or any of the other listed chemicals above their specified thresholds, will be required to complete the online Top-Screen process within 60 days of publication of the final chemical list, which is expected the week of November 19, 2007.
Top-Screen will generate a series of responses to questions regarding the chemicals manufactured, processed, used, stored or distributed by a facility, which DHS will then link to geospatial information to determine whether the facility meets DHS's undisclosed concept of high risk. The Top-Screen process is expected to be available online in the next few weeks.
IDFA is preparing a Hotline for members that will include the complete list of chemicals and explain the steps necessary for compliance. Members with questions may contact Clay Detlefsen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-220-3554.
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Posted November 5, 2007