Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today (Wednesday, July 07, 2010) delivered remarks highlighting the Department's ongoing efforts to bolster security and increase resiliency at high-risk chemical facilities through the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program at the 2010 Chemical Sector Security Summit.
"Securing our nation's chemical sector requires extensive collaboration with our private sector partners," said Secretary Napolitano. "Flexible, practical and collaborative programs such as DHS' National Infrastructure Protection Plan, the Chemical Sector Coordinating Council and CFATS play a key role in enhancing the security and resiliency of our nation’s chemical facilities and other critical infrastructure."
In her remarks, Secretary Napolitano outlined ongoing efforts to identify high-risk chemical facilities through CFATS, and underscored the importance of the program's common-sense performance standards to help protect individual facilities against threats without compromising their unique operational characteristics or efficiency.
Secretary Napolitano also highlighted the Department's unique role in combating chemical security threats through both regulatory and voluntary programs—a coordinated effort which includes multiple agencies and missions within the Department.
For instance, the Coast Guard has significant regulatory authority over chemical facilities along ports and waterways as part of the Maritime Transportation Security Act while the Transportation Security Administration works with industry partners to protect hazardous chemicals transported by rail and pipelines.
Additionally, to ensure the security of citizens throughout the nation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection screens cargo at our land and sea ports of entry to prevent chemical and radiological threats from entering the country, while the National Protection and Programs Directorate's Office of Infrastructure Protection works directly with the chemical sector to ensure compliance with CFATS, and with the Chemical Sector Coordinating Council on a variety of voluntary security initiatives.
Underscoring the interconnectedness of the chemical sector to other sectors including energy, transportation and agriculture, Secretary Napolitano also emphasized the importance of cybersecurity—in addition to physical security measures—as a key part of any critical infrastructure security strategy.
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