With more than 230 changes and 25 new questions, many focused on transportation issues, the Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA) Version 2.0 is an overhaul to the original to better serve ag retailers. The revised assessment, developed by the Asmark Institute in conjunction with the Agricultural Retailers Association, was recently released for use by the agricultural retail sector.

The SVA is a web-based tool developed specifically for facilities to identify and assess potential security threats, risks and vulnerabilities. Given the heightened awareness of terrorism since 2001, hardening security at agricultural facilities continues to be a priority.

"Completing the SVA continues to be beneficial because of the proactive thought process it provokes," said Amber Duke, Vice President of the Asmark Institute.

The original SVA was first published in 2003 and has served our industry well with more than 8,400 of the assessments having been completed. The new SVA builds on lessons learned during the past 10 years and draws on the experience and expertise of more than 70 industry professionals. It has been expanded to provide more emphasis on issues raised by the Department of Transportation and the additional layers of security that have been developed during the past decade.

Retailers who complete the assessment will receive a list of recommended countermeasures to help offset their vulnerabilities, along with site-specific information required in preparing their DOT Security Plan. The countermeasures can be used to further hone security at the facility and for the transportation of hazardous materials.

Central to the Asmark Institute SVA methodology is the utilization of layers of protection, which are programmed into the model. This methodology has been determined to meet the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) security vulnerability assessment design criteria.

The license for the SVA has been renewed with ARA, who in turn will jointly promote it with its partners through the Agribusiness Security Working Group, comprised of the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and CropLife America (CLA). Retailers may contact their participating state agribusiness association for more information or to register for the new security vulnerability assessment.