Any facility that manufactures, uses, stores or distributes certain Chemicals of Interest (COI) above a specified quantity must complete and submit a Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) Top-Screen to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by Tuesday, Jan. 22, according to the Agricultural Retailers Association.

The final Appendix A COI includes many common agricultural products such as solid ammonium nitrate fertilizer (23 percent nitrogen content or greater), anhydrous ammonia, ammonia (concentration 20 percent or greater), potassium nitrate, sodium nitrate and propane. After registering for CSAT, facilities are provided access to the Top Screen, which enables the Department to determine if they are a high risk chemical facility covered by the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Interim Final Rule (CFATS).

For facilities that are determined to be high risk, other tools, specifically the Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA) and Site Security Plan (SSP) template will be made available to satisfy additional CFATS requirements. ARA recommends agricultural retailers and distributors make sure they have registered with DHS and complete the Top Screen before the deadline if they possess a COI in the specified quantity and related security issue for that product. If a facility would like to request an extension, formal letters can be sent via regular mail to: Department of Homeland Security, Chemical Security and Compliance Division, Mail Stop 8100, Washington, D.C. 20528-8100.

On Dec. 21, 2007, DHS issued a letter granting a time extension for farmers and other agricultural users who are required to submit information under these chemical security regulations. ARA has raised concerns with DHS officials that this extension does not apply to chemical distribution facilities or commercial chemical application services. To view a copy of the DHS Ag Extension letter, follow this link.

Contact Richard Gupton of ARA at (202) 457-0825 or if you have any questions or need additional information.