Federal Site Security Plans (for Chemicals of Interest)

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) oversees the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) that requires facilities to prepare vulnerability assessments and develop and implement Site Security Plans if they are considered high risk. In some specified circumstances, a facility may be able to submit an alternate security program.

A regulated facility is any establishment that possesses or plans to possess, at any relevant point in time, a quantity of a chemical substance determined to be potentially dangerous or that meets other risk-related criteria identified by the Department. Groups that may be impacted include:

  • Industrial facilities
  • Production agriculture
  • Laboratories
  • Food processing
  • Warehousing and distribution
  • Retail businesses
  • Drinking water and wastewater treatment plants

Michigan facilities are reminded to review Appendix A: Chemicals of Interest List and site security planning information available at www.dhs.gov/topic/chemical-security. Appendix A includes approximately 300 chemicals of interest including chlorine, propane, hydrogen, ammonia, nitric acid, vinyl chloride, ethylene oxide, acrolein, and formaldehyde.

Owners of facilities with chemicals above the threshold quantities should complete a preliminary online assessment to determine the level of risk associated with their facility by January 19, 2008. After this step, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will determine if the facility presents a security risk and is subject to the Chemical Facility and Anti-Terrorism Standards. Submissions will be validated through audits and site inspections. The DHS will provide technical assistance to facility owners and operators as needed. Security standards will be required to achieve specific outcomes, such as securing the perimeter and critical targets, controlling access, deterring theft of potentially dangerous chemicals, and preventing internal sabotage.


CFATS Agricultural Extension 

DHS has granted a registration extension for certain agricultural facilities. Until further notice, CFATS registration not required for facilities with chemicals at or above the Appendix A threshold quantities for use:

(a) in preparation for the treatment of crops, feed, land, livestock (including poultry) or other areas of an agricultural production facility; or

(b) during application to or treatment of crops, feed, land, livestock (including poultry) or other areas of an agricultural production facility;

This extension applies to facilities such as farms (e.g., crop, fruit, nut, and vegetable); ranches and rangeland; poultry, dairy, and equine facilities; turf grass growers; golf courses; nurseries; floricultural operations; and public and private parks.

This extension does not apply to chemical distribution facilities, or commercial chemical application services.


The CFATS rule gives the DHS authority to seek compliance through the imposition of civil penalties of up to $25,000 per day and the ability to shut down non-compliant facilities.

Some states have existing laws for regulating chemical facilities. Only state laws and requirements that conflict or interfere with these regulations, or the purpose for the regulations, will be preempted. Currently, the DHS has no reason to conclude that any existing state laws are applied in a way that would impede the federal rule.  In the preamble to the regulation, DHS further clarifies this provision, specifically indicating that CFATS has no affect on EPCRA, CAA Section 1129r), and other laws administered by EPA.

In Michigan, there are over 300 chemicals included on the DHS list are also listed as polluting materials in the state's Part 5 rules. The state rules require a Pollution Incident Prevention Plan (PIPP) when a facility meets threshold planning quantities as identified in the Michigan rules (2200 pounds when stored or used indoors; 440 pounds outdoors) along with storage, inspections, and release reporting requirements. These rules are promulgated under Part 31, Water Resources Protection, of Act 451 of 1994 as amended.

If you have questions about CFATS or problems registering, call the Chemical Security Analysis Tool (CSAT) Helpline at 866-323-2957 from 7 am to 7 pm EST, Monday through Friday. You may also email Mark Lambert with the DHS at mark.lambert@dhs.gov.

If you have questions about the state's Part 5 rule requirements, contact the Water Resources Division district office that oversees your area. A list of contacts is at www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/wrd-pipp-staff_344829_7.pdf.

If you have agriculture related questions, please visit the Michigan Department of Agriculture's emergency preparedness website at https://www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7-125-1566_22384---,00.html.