Katko Opening Statement at Securing Our Nation’s Chemical Facilities Hearing

WASHINGTON – Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Innovation Subcommittee Ranking Member John Katko (R-N.Y.) today delivered the following opening statement at a subcommittee hearing entitled, Securing Our Nation’s Chemical Facilities: Stakeholder Perspectives on Improving the CFATS Program.

Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this important hearing today.  As this is my first hearing as Ranking Member of this subcommittee, I look forward to working with you, and all the members of this subcommittee, to improve our cybersecurity and protect
our nation’s critical infrastructure.

A long-term reauthorization of the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards Program, or CFATS, is a crucial component of this subcommittee’s work to protect our critical infrastructure.

CFATS began in 2007 as a program aimed at keeping dangerous chemicals out of the hands of terrorists. Since then, it has evolved into a comprehensive, effective program that provides chemical facilities with the flexibility to implement security standards appropriate to mitigate their facility’s level of risk.

CFATS must continue to evolve in small ways to ensure chemical facilities are equipped to address evolving security risks. The current program is a strong foundation upon which to build.

The collaborative nature of this program between the Department of Homeland Security and chemical facilities is a key part of its value. I believe that any changes to CFATS should preserve and encourage this collaboration.

In addition, the certainty that the four-year authorization of the 2014 bill provided was a strong signal to both DHS and industry stakeholders to invest and improve the program. Prioritizing another long-term bill is key to the success of this program.

As we look to reauthorize this program, it is important that we hear from those involved and affected by the program. I appreciate GAO and DHS for providing their testimony last month on this topic, and our witnesses for taking time this morning.

I look forward to our discussion about the CFATS program and look forward to working with my colleagues on this Committee and in the Senate to continue this important program

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Contact: Nicole Hager

202-226-8417

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