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Letter to House of Representatives re CFATS

October 19, 2011

The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Eric Cantor
Majority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Democratic Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.  20515

The Honorable Steny Hoyer
Democratic Whip
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, Democratic Leader Pelosi, and Democratic Whip Hoyer:We, the organizations and companies listed below, represent thousands of American businesses and employ millions of American workers.  We are manufacturers, producers, processors, transporters, and retailers in agriculture, chemistry, energy, forest products, food processing, medicine, and other businesses that form our nation’s infrastructure.

We strongly support a bill that provides a multi-year extension of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  We respectfully urge the House of Representatives to consider and pass bipartisan CFATS legislation.

It is crucial that the House of Representatives pass a CFATS bill with a multi-year extension to allow both DHS and our industries to continue to fully implement the CFATS program.  It is important that the owners and operators of facilities have the regulatory certainty and consistency to make investments and decisions to ensure the long-term success and stability of the CFATS program.  The current practice of year-to-year extensions undermines implementation because it is unclear if investments made during these short-term extensions will continue to satisfy regulatory standards in the future.

We urge Congress to use this opportunity to ensure that DHS continues to implement CFATS in a way that promotes regulatory efficiency and minimizes costly, burdensome requirements.  While we support personnel surety standards to ensure that workers who are given access to restricted areas of CFATS facilities are properly vetted, DHS has proposed an onerous personnel surety program that fails to fully leverage existing background security programs and would require facilities to resubmit workers’ personal identifying information without enhancing security.  We ask that CFATS legislation direct DHS to leverage existing federal security programs that require screening through the Terrorist Screening Database to satisfy compliance under the CFATS program and avoid needlessly requiring additional background security checks or resubmission of workers’ personal identifying information.

The undersigned organizations urge you to support a multi-year extension of the CFATS program that removes onerous duplication.  Increasing the compliance burden on both DHS and industry by adding another duplicative vetting program would waste federal and private resources without enhancing security.  A long-term extension of CFATS combined with a sensible personnel surety program would enhance security and focus resources on other aspects of keeping our nation safe.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Agricultural Retailers Association
American Chemistry Council
American Coatings Association
American Forest & Paper Association
American Petroleum Institute
American Trucking Associations
Association of Oil Pipe Lines
Chevron
CropLife America
DuPont
Institute of Makers of Explosives
International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses
International Liquid Terminals Association
Interstate Natural Gas Association of America
International Warehouse Logistics Association
National Agricultural Aviation Association
National Association of Chemical Distributors
National Association of Manufacturers
National Oilseed Processors Association
National Mining Association
National Pest Management Association
National Petrochemical & Refiners Association
National Propane Gas Association
North American Millers’ Association
Petroleum Equipment Suppliers Association
Petroleum Marketers Association of America
Shell Oil Company
Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates, Inc.
The Dow Chemical Company
The Fertilizer Institute
The Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce
United States Chamber of Commerce
United States Steel Corporation

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