July 29, 2010

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs voted unanimously to amend the Chemical and Water Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2868), which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2009. The House passed bill was replaced with a substitute amendment offered by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) that will reauthorize the existing Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program through Oct. 4, 2013 and without any government mandates for the use of Inherently Safer Technology (IST) provisions. The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), a national trade association representing U.S. fertilizer manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, many of which are regulated under CFATS, was pleased with the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s passage of a reauthorization bill that does not include IST.

“The fertilizer industry is strongly committed to security measures that prevent fertilizers from being used for any purpose for which they are not intended,” said TFI President Ford B. West. “However, we have not been able to support provisions, such as IST, which will unnecessarily jeopardize the availability of widely used, lower-cost sources of essential plant nutrient products, and as such we’re pleased with the outcome of the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s consideration and amendment of H.R. 2868.”

In addition to eliminating IST and reauthorizing the current CFATS program, Sen. Collins’ substitute amendment will establish voluntary programs through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that will facilitate training courses to improve partnerships between the private sector and state and local communities under CFATS, and provide chemical facilities the opportunity to receive recommendations from DHS to aid in their compliance under the CFATS program. Collins’ substitute amendment will also create an inventory of chemical facility security best practices and will establish an advisory board to advise DHS on the implementation of the CFATS program and the new voluntary measures that have been introduced.

“Overall, TFI is satisfied with the passage of Sen. Collins’ substitute amendment, and we look forward to continuing to engage with lawmakers and DHS in crafting regulations to ensure the safety and security of our industry’s facilities and products.” said West.

About the Fertilizer Institute

The Fertilizer Institute represents the nation’s fertilizer industry. Producers, wholesalers, retailers and trading firms which comprise its membership are served by a full time Washington, D.C., staff in various legislative, educational and technical areas as well as with information and public relations programs.