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Chemical Security

Chemical Facility Anti-terrorism Standards (CFATS)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is charged with keeping US citizens safe and secure from chemical terrorism. Regulations that detail this mandate were published in the Federal Register/Vol. 72, No. 67/Monday, April 9, 2007. See http://www.dhs.gov/files/laws/gc_1166796969417.shtm. These regulations provide guidance for securing certain “chemicals of interest” that could be used directly or indirectly for terroristic purposes. DHS requires facilities to monitor these chemicals of interest, report to DHS when these chemicals of interest are possessed above threshold amounts, and to put in place appropriate security measures when that occurs. Universities throughout the US, including the University of Minnesota, lobbied and succeeded in cutting the list of chemicals of interest in half, from 325 to 162, for research laboratories.

CFATS Compliance Requirements

In order to demonstrate to DHS that we are able to monitor these chemicals, the University needs to inventory them at least every 60 days or create a baseline inventory and then track purchases. The University has elected to conduct a baseline chemical inventory survey and then have the University of Minnesota's Department of Environmental Health and Safety (DEHS) monitor and approve purchases of chemicals of interest. This approach reduces the burden to researchers while staying in compliance with CFATS and is supported by the Vice Presidents of Research and University Services. Cooperation by the research community to purchase these chemicals consistently through the University's purchasing protocol is necessary to maintain compliance. PURCHASE CHEMICALS OF INTEREST ONLY THROUGH EFS FROM U STORES. Click here and print the reminder poster.

CFATS Compliance Efforts

A thorough chemical survey was conducted in spring 2011 to establish a baseline inventory. DEHS is working with University Stores to allow DEHS to preview and approve all chemicals of interest purchased through the UStores front end from the major chemical vendors. This will allow the University to monitor chemicals of interest inventories to ensure that they are not possessed in amounts that exceed the DHS screening threshold quantities (STQ's). If a chemical of interest is found to be possessed in an amount that exceeds the STQ, DHS will be notified and several additional expensive and burdensome regulatory requirements will then have to be met by the department at the University that possesses the chemical. If you possess any of the chemicals of interest at or above the STQ for that chemical, please contact Brian Brosnan at (612) 624-6836 or bros0020@umn.edu.

Post Inventory Efforts

The University directs all research faculty to order chemicals of interest only through the U Stores front end or work with DEHS if the chemicals are not available through U Stores.

Do not use Procurement Cards (P-Cards) and Purchase Orders for this limited number of chemicals.

A specialty gas supplier has been contracted by purchasing to supply the University research community with gases that are regulated by Homeland Security. This contractor is familiar with chemical security regulations and the requirement to purchase these gases through the U Stores front end. The University has posters available to labs that are free of charge. These posters list the chemicals of interest and give the DEHS and U Stores contact information. A sample of the poster can be viewed here.

If you have questions about the Homeland Security regulations or the University's policies toward complying with the regulations, please contact Brian Brosnan at (612) 624-6836 or bros0020@umn.edu.