Grain groups ask DHS to revise chemical facility security rule
Two of the country’s largest grain shipper groups asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to make substantial changes to a list of agricultural chemicals it proposes to use to determine whether facilities potentially are regulated under its chemical facility antiterrorism rule.
The National Grain and Feed Association and Grain Elevator and Processing Society believe DHS overstepped the intentions of Congress when it listed chemicals, as well as the threshold quantity trigger levels, that would require “virtually all” U.S. grain, feed, processing, export facilities and most farmers to evaluate whether they constitute a “high risk” chemical facility under the agency’s regulations.
Facilities that fall under the “high risk” category would be subject to additional DHS regulations and would be required to conduct vulnerability assessments and implement additional facility measures.
The two trade groups called DHS’s chemical security regulations “misguided” because they would address myriad substances present at any — or at very low — quantities. That would leave the “indelible impression that ‘if everything is dangerous, then nothing is,' ' the groups said.
The groups advised DHS to “adopt a risk-based approach (to chemical security).
“Our overarching concern is that subjecting the grain, feed, grain processing and export industries — and indeed virtually all sectors of the U.S. agricultural and food system — to the chemical registration and Top Screen process will be viewed as unnecessary and burdensome, ultimately creating a sense of apathy and undermining the overall food and agriculture sector’s partnership with government to address critical infrastructure security,” the groups warned.