CISA issues advisory opinions to help clarify CFATS rules, whenever appropriate, and in the interest of effective administration of the CFATS program. The advisory opinions are often in response to requests from chemical facilities and industry groups.
Advisory Opinion 2019-001: Top-Screen Reporting of Theft/Diversion EXP/IEDP Mixtures
Summary: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has received multiple inquiries requesting clarification on the appropriate reporting of theft/diversion mixtures under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) regulation. This advisory opinion explains DHS’s interpretation of 6 C.F.R. § 27.204 and Appendix A to the CFATS regulation as requiring facilities possessing threshold quantities of theft/diversion mixtures to report those quantities to DHS.
Advisory Opinion 2016-001: RBPS-12 Background Check Requirements for Legacy Employees
Summary: Under CFATS, covered chemical facilities must ensure that background checks are conducted on certain individuals with or seeking access to restricted areas or critical assets. See 6 C.F.R. § 27.230(a)(12). The attached letter addresses the requirement to conduct these background checks on legacy/long-time employees in addition to conducting them on newer employees. The Department’s longstanding position and interpretation of 6 C.F.R. § 27.230(a)(12) is that background checks are required to be conducted for all facility personnel with access to restricted areas or critical assets at high-risk chemical facilities, regardless of their length of service, as described in more detail in the attachment.
Advisory Opinion 2016-002: "A Commercial Grade" Interpretation
Summary: Any facility that holds a chemical of interest (COI) listed in Appendix A at or above the specified Screening Threshold Quantity (STQ) and concentration must report these COI to the Department via a Top-Screen survey. A number of COI listed on Appendix A do not have associated specific, numerical minimum concentrations. In lieu of numerical concentrations, the COI are listed with the qualifier “ACG,” which stands for A Commercial Grade. DHS has received multiple inquiries from the stakeholder community requesting clarification of the term “A Commercial Grade.” This advisory opinion contains the Department’s interpretation of the term “A Commercial Grade” as used in CFATS.
Advisory Opinion 2016-003: "Transportation Packaging" Interpretation
Summary: 6 CFR § 27.203(c) requires facilities to include only theft/diversion (T/D) chemicals of interest (COI) that are in transportation packaging, as defined in 49 CFR § 171.8, when determining whether their holdings and COI are at or above the STQ. The Department has received multiple inquiries from the stakeholder community requesting clarification of the term “transportation packaging.” This advisory opinion contains the Department’s interpretation of the term as it is used in the CFATS regulations and is not intended to impact the meaning or applicability of any other regulation, including the Hazardous Materials Regulations.