Chemical Facilities and CFATS

The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) were set by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and authorized by Congress in 2007. President Obama signed them into law on December 19, 2014. The law centers around the Terrorist Attacks Act of 2014, which was designed to protect and secure chemical facilities from the threat of terrorist strikes.

Since last fall, a new methodology for determining which facilities are high-risk has been rolled out by the DHS. All facilities that previously reported to the DHS are resubmitting their information to be processed using this streamlined, well-informed risk assessment. 

Here’s what chemical facilities should know about CFATS requirements:

  • Facilities required to comply with at least some provisions of the CFATS regulation are: chemical manufacturing, storage and distribution; energy and utilities; agriculture and food; paints and coatings; explosives; mining; electronics; plastics; and healthcare.
  • Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) cards are another DHS-issued security credential approved to cover this requirement.
  • DHS requires CFATS-regulated facilities to conduct a background check that includes the following four measures:
    • Measures designed to verify and validate identity
    • Measures designed to check criminal history
    • Measures designed to verify and validate legal authorization to work
    • Measures designed to identify people with terrorist ties (a check of the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB). This is a governmental function and is not available to DISA.

If you’d like more information about these standards or have questions about how your facility is impacted by them, you can contact a DISA representative at