The Department of Homeland Security published a notice of implementation for the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Personnel Surety Program.

This important notice covers Tier 1 and Tier 2 CFATS facilities and requires screening employees, contractors, visitors and others seeking unescorted access to restricted areas holding chemicals of interest.

Facilities will be individually notified by DHS when to begin implementing the new Terrorism Screening Database (TSDB). The full screening includes: verify identity; check criminal history; validate legal authorization to work; and identify people with terrorist ties.

The new TSDB screening requires the use of information in government-held databases, and in the implementation notice DHS provides four options:

  1. Direct Vetting - submit information via the CSAT or their designee (e.g., background check company)
  2. Use of Vetting - submit information about an existing Federal credential (TWIC, HME,  NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST and Trusted Traveler Programs) via the CSAT or designee
  3. Electronic Verification of TWIC cards with a TWIC Reader
  4. Visual verification of Federal credentials with the facility verifying the credential is not expired

According to the DHS notice, "The Department believes the greatest security benefit is achieved when a high-risk chemical facility selects either Option 1 and/or Option 2. Option 3 also provides significant security benefit. Option 4 provides some security benefit but less than Option 1, Option 2, or Option 3."

Upon notification, Tier 1 and 2 facilities will need to consider best option(s) for compliance, and update their Site Security Plans indicating which option(s) they will use, and submit for approval. A facility will have 60 days to comply once the site security plan is approved. 

To review the complete notice: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-12-18/pdf/2015-31625.pdf