Axios Pro Exclusive Content

CFATS troubles

Nick Sobczyk
Jul 27, 2023
Chemical facilities in Louisiana

Chemical plants and factories in Louisiana. Photo: Giles Clarke/Getty Images

Congress might let the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program expire.

Why it matters: CFATS, which officially lapses Thursday, was created in the mid-2000s to require security measures for high-risk chemicals facilities.

Driving the news: The House passed a two-year reauthorization bill this week, but Rand Paul blocked a unanimous consent request to move it through the Senate Wednesday.

  • As of about noon on Thursday, Homeland Security Chair Gary Peters hadn't reached a deal with Paul to allow it to pass quickly.
  • "I'm concerned that it may lapse," Peters told reporters.
  • The result "makes us less secure," Peters said. "It makes our chemical facilities vulnerable to terrorist attack."

Context: CFATS has enthusiastic backing from the chemicals industry and most lawmakers.

  • But Paul argued on the floor that it was unnecessary red tape.
Go deeper