Chemical Sector Regulatory Authorities and Executive Orders

Two men wearing neon green vests and yellow hard hats shaking hands at a chemical facility.As the majority of Chemical Sector assets are privately owned and operated, effective security and resilience planning requires a shared commitment between the public and private sectors to implement the most effective risk management strategies throughout the sector. However, the highest-risk assets are regulated for security through several different regulatory programs.

The information on this page is for informational purposes and may not be exhaustive. Visit the webpages below to learn more specifics on each of the regulatory authorities.

Executive Orders

Executive Order 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security

Executive Order 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security directs the federal government to improve operational coordination with state and local partners; improve federal agency coordination and information sharing; modernize policies, regulations, and standards; and work with stakeholders to identify best practices. More information about Executive Order 13650 can be found on the Occupation Safety and Health Administration website.

Executive Order, Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure

The Presidential Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure directs the federal government to improve the cybersecurity of federal networks, support the cybersecurity efforts of the nation’s critical infrastructure owners and operators, enhance cyber deterrence measures, and forge international coalitions to fight cyberattacks across the globe.

Department of Homeland Security Authorities

Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards,

The Department continues to strengthen security at the Nation’s high-risk chemical facilities through the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program. The CFATS program identifies and regulates high-risk chemical facilities to ensure they have security measures in place to reduce the risks associated with these chemicals. DHS chemical security inspectors work in all 50 states to help ensure facilities have security measures in place to meet CFATS requirements.

Ammonium Nitrate Security Program

The Ammonium Nitrate Security Program is a proposed regulation developed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in response to direction from Congress to "regulate the sale and transfer of ammonium nitrate by an ammonium nitrate facility ... to prevent the misappropriation or use of ammonium nitrate in an act of terrorism."


The SAFETY Act provides important legal liability protections for providers of Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technologies—whether they are products or services. The goal of the SAFETY Act is to encourage the development and deployment of effective anti-terrorism products and services by providing liability protections.

Maritime Transportation Security Act

The Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) was enacted to prevent a Maritime Transportation Security Incident (TSI). Under MTSA, chemicals transported by ship and chemical facilities adjacent to navigable waterways are required to perform a vulnerability assessment and develop a Facility Security Plan (FSP), which must be approved by the local captain of the port (COTP).

Rail Transportation Security

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is responsible for security requirements for rail transportation, covering freight railroad carriers and rail operations at certain, fixed-site facilities that ship or receive specified hazardous materials (HAZMAT) by rail, known as rail security-sensitive materials (RSSM). More information about the Rail Transportation Security rule can be found on the Federal Register Notice Webpage.

Trade Act of 2002

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is required to collect electronic cargo information from all modes of commercial transport prior to the arrival of the cargo into or departure from the United States. The information required must be sufficient to enable CBP to identify high-risk shipments. This information assists DHS in tracking the movement of HAZMAT in order to ensure cargo safety and security. More information about CBP’s role in HAZMAT can be found on the CBP Webpage on the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).

Department of Justice Authorities

Controlled Substances Act

Through a combination of industry outreach and voluntary compliance measures, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) strives to control chemical diversion in partnership with industry and the public. More information about DEA’s security requirements can be found at the Office of Diversion Control.

Federal Explosives Laws

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) licenses manufacturers, dealers, and importers of explosives, and issues permits for users of explosives. More information about Federal Explosives Laws can be found on the ATF Explosives Enforcement Webpage.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Authorities

Learn more on complying with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) laws and regulations, which help you prevent, prepare for, and respond to environmental emergencies, including chemical releases and oil spills.

Chemical Safety Information, Site Security and Fuels Regulatory Relief Act

Learn more on how facilities should report Risk Management Plans under the Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 112(r).

Clean Water Act

The Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters. The basis of the CWA was enacted in 1948 and was called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, but the Act was significantly reorganized and expanded in 1972. "Clean Water Act" became the Act's common name with amendments in 1972.

Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA) was created to help communities plan for emergencies involving hazardous substances.

Safe Drinking Water Act

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the federal law that protects public drinking water supplies throughout the nation. Under the SDWA, EPA sets standards for drinking water quality and with its partners implements various technical and financial programs to ensure drinking water safety.

Toxic Substances Control Act Chemical Testing Regulations

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) gives the EPA authority to issue data development regulations that require manufacturers and processors of existing chemicals to test their chemicals for health and environmental effects.

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) gives EPA the authority to regulate the registration, distribution, sale and use of pesticides.

Department of Transportation Authorities

Hazardous Materials Transportation Act

The Secretary of the Department of Transportation receives the authority to regulate the transportation of hazardous materials from the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA), as amended and codified in 49 U.S.C. 5101 et seq. The Department of Transportation governs the transportation of HAZMAT on public highways, by rail, in aircraft, and in vessels, as well as the operational aspects of the vehicles used to carry HAZMAT.

Federal Rail Safety

The Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Railroad Safety promotes and regulates safety throughout the Nation's railroad industry regarding the transport of explosive and hazardous materials.

Department of Commerce Authorities

Chemical Weapons Convention

The United States is a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which prohibits the development, production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons. The CWC Implementation Act of 1988 authorizes the collection of information on certain activities involving chemicals covered by the CWC, as well as onsite inspections by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is the international organization responsible for administering and verifying CWC compliance worldwide.

Export Administration Regulations

The Department of Commerce regulates the export of dual-use items (i.e., items with both commercial and potential military uses), including those covered by the CWC, under the Export Administration Regulation.

Department of State Authorities

International Traffic in Arms Regulations

The Department of State regulates the export of munitions items, which include certain chemical weapons agents and their immediate precursors covered by the CWC, under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. Additionally, the State Department, as the U.S. National Authority, is responsible for otherwise ensuring U.S. compliance with the CWC.

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