Testifying before Congress last week, Suzanne Spaulding, deputy undersecretary for the DHS’ National Protection and Programs Directorate, confirmed that the plan - which would have required companies to submit personal information of employees with access to high-risk facilities to the agency to be screened against an FBI terror database - had been shelved. According to the story, Spaulding didn’t say why the plan was dropped or if it would be replaced.
Spaulding did, however, provide the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee with an update on the progress of CFATS. According to a written statement submitted to the subcommittee by Spaulding, the Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD) has received more than 41,000 "Top-Screens" (an initial consequence-based screening tool submitted by chemical facilities possessing a chemical of interest) submitted by chemical facilities to date.
As of July 20, 2012, Spaulding said in the statement that CFATS covers 4,425 facilities determined to be high-risk across the country, of which 3,662 are currently subject to final high-risk determinations and submission of a site security plan (SSP) or alternative security program (ASP). She said that ISCD has completed its initial review of all Tier 1 SSPs and has begun to review Tier 2 SSPs.
Spaulding went on to say in the statement that the president’s budget for 2013 fiscal year could detrimentally impact the DHS’ ability to implement CFATS. She said the appropriations bill approved the subcommittee would cut the Infrastructure Security Compliance Program’s budget by more than half of what was enacted in 2012.
Click here to read Spaulding’s entire written statement to the committee.