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DHS Publishes Chemicals of Interest List for Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards


The Department of Homeland Security today released Appendix A of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), a critical element of its chemical security efforts.

The appendix contains a list of chemicals that, if possessed by a facility in a specified quantity, trigger a requirement to complete and submit an easy-to-use, online consequence assessment tool called a Top-Screen.

Using the information gathered through the Top-Screen, the department will be better able to make a preliminary determination as to whether a facility presents a high level of security risk and whether it will be required to comply with the substantive requirements of CFATS.

“The publication of Appendix A is a critical piece of the federal effort to increase security at high-risk facilities, making it less likely that terrorists can use dangerous chemicals in attacks,” said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. “The chemical security Interim Final Rule defined how the department will implement this substantial new authority given by Congress. With the release of Appendix A, we continue the process of minimizing a significant threat to better ensure the security of American citizens.”

To determine the type and quantity of chemicals that will be subject to the preliminary screening process, DHS examined the following three security issues:

1. Release – quantities of toxic, flammable, or explosive chemicals that have the potential to create significant adverse consequences for human life or health if intentionally released or detonated;
2. Theft and diversion – chemicals that have the potential, if stolen or diverted, to be used or converted into weapons; and
3. Sabotage and contamination – chemicals that, if mixed with other readily available materials, have the potential to create significant adverse consequences for human life or health.

The department identified these chemicals in the specific amounts for preliminary screening based on their potential to create significant human life or health consequences.

Appendix A lists approximately 300 chemicals of interest and includes common industrial chemicals such as chlorine, propane and anhydrous ammonia as well as specialty chemicals such as arsine and phosphorus trichloride. Facilities that possess chemicals of interest at or above the listed screening threshold quantities are required to complete the Top-Screen within 60 calendar days of the publication of Appendix A.

DHS has worked closely with the chemical industry as well as state and local authorities on strengthening security at chemical facilities throughout the country. While many chemical facilities have already initiated voluntary security programs and made significant investments to improve security, gaps remain. The CFATS regulation imposes for the first time comprehensive federal security regulations for high-risk chemical facilities. The CFATS regulation, issued on April 9, 2007, is already being implemented at certain high risk chemical facilities across the nation.

For more information on chemical security or to view the Appendix A final rule of CFATS, please visit


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