What actions has DHS taken to reduce the vulnerability of chemical facilities to sabotage or theft of chemicals that could be used in an explosive device or chemical weapon?

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The area of chemical security is part of the overall purview of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Chemical Facilities are an important component of what DHS identifies as the Chemical Sector Infrastructure.

DHS has a number of programs and resources to assist private industry, the public sector, and law enforcement with securing chemical facilities from threats including cyber attacks, biohazards, theft, and diversion for use in weapons.

One key regulatory security-related program is the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), which focuses on high-risk chemical facilities. CFATS aims to ensure that such facilities’ security measures are adequate for reducing risks associated with hazardous chemicals. Another important program is the proposed Ammonium Nitrate Security Program (ANSP), a regulatory program for purchaser and seller registration. It is intended to reduce the likelihood of a terrorist attack associated with the misuse of ammonium nitrate. Among the recent measures introduced are the Personnel Surety Program, which improves the vetting of individuals who have access to critical assets and restricted areas.

In working with the Chemical Sector, DHS organizes numerous events each year in which stakeholders and DHS can exchange security-related information and share chemical-security related best practices. Furthermore, the Chemical Sector-Specific Agency offers knowledge and expertise for the collaborative development, coordination, and implementation of programs that will improve security and resilience.

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