CFATS Extended through December

Since the original passage of the Chemical Facility Antiterrorism (CFATS) Act in 2007, Congress has continued to struggle over the breadth and depth of the  provisions. 

Earlier this year, the House passed HR 2868 that would have expanded the original provisions for the  chemical manufacturing community; added new inherently safer technology provisions; and extended the regulations to include drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities.  The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed legislation that extended the life of the original measure but did not act on water/wastewater inclusion or add inherently safer technology provisions. 

With the differences between the House bill and the Senate Committee’s measure still unresolved, the CFATS authorization is set to expire on October 4, 2010.  However, as part of the FY-11 Continuing Resolution, Congress extends the authority for DHS to regulate high risk chemical facilities through December 3, 2010. 

Given the unlikely event of further action on either of the CFATS bills, Congress is expected to extend the current authorization throughout the remainder of FY-11 at some point before the end of this year.  It also means that both the House and Senate must begin again when the new 112th Congress convenes in January 2011.  All  legislation not signed by the President expires at the end of each two-year  Congressional session.

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