Proposed anti-terrorist law would boost security costs

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

A proposed anti-terrorist law on chemicals would require food
companies, among others, toimplement potentially costly security
measures to protect their sites from theft or attack.

The law, proposed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is meant to improve security at high-risk chemical facilities.The proposed rule specifically mentions the inclusion of the food, nutrition, cosmetic and pharmaceuticalsectors under the law.

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) said that because many processing facilities use anhydrous ammonia in their refrigeration systems, they may be considered chemical facilities underthe rule.

Under the current proposal, chemical facilities fitting certain specified profiles would complete a risk assessment through a secure department website. After review, DHS will rank the facilities to determine which ones would be considered high risk and would require a site security plan.

It would be up to the DHS to approve the plan. Companies that do not comply would face penalties and other remedies setout by the law. Sites would be required to periodically update both its vulnerability assessment andsite security plant.

"Although most dairy facilities would not likely be considered high risk operations, the DHS Secretary has broad discretion for deciding what types of facilities fall into thiscategory,"​ the association stated. "IDFA plans to submit comments to DHS to ensure that the dairy processing industry is not unnecessarily swept into the scope of these regulations."

The deadline for public comments is February 7.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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