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Taking a Lesson in Federal Compliance from the Chemical Industry

Taking a Lesson in Federal Compliance from the Chemical Industry
Taking a Lesson in Federal Compliance from the Chemical Industry

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By Jon Harmon
Honeywell Process Solutions
April 09, 2009 

In many ways, the role of the CSO is directly tied to business 
profitability. By creating and enforcing policies that protect human, 
physical and intellectual assets, the CSO ensures the very integrity of 
the organization. This link to the bottom line, though, is about to 
become much stronger=E2=80=94and quite possibly much sooner than anticipated.

Events occurring in the U.S. chemical-manufacturing industry, 
specifically those relating to security guidelines being enforced by the 
federal government, are likely foreshadowing what's next in line for 
other industries.

In 2007, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) introduced the 
Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), a rigorous program 
designed to protect high-risk chemical facilities from attacks. The 
legislation mandates that sites identified as "high-risk facilities" 
implement solutions, under the guidance of Risk-based Performance 
Standards (RBPS), to address gaps in safety and security. Under the new 
Congress, there will likely be additional issues addressed that may 
intensify the requirements, such as the need for inherently safer 
technologies (ISTs) and state and local interpretations related to 
enforcing compliance.

The penalties for non-compliance can range from hefty fines to total 
plant shutdowns. Under this scenario, the CSO of today's chemical plant 
has never had more responsibility riding on his/her shoulders.


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