January 5, 2008


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the “final” Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) on November 20, 2007.  The regulations, which apply to medium and larger metal finishing facilities and also to some smaller shops, require registration and submission of chemical information.  Metal finishing operations need to evaluate the types or quantities of chemicals they have on-hand to determine their compliance status.  Affected facilities have until January 22, 2008 to register and submit a “Top-Screen” questionnaire through the secure DHS Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) web site.  A new fact sheet prepared by the National Metal Finishing Resource Center (NMFRC) explains the standards and contains background information on how metal finishers can comply.  See http://www.nmfrc.org/cfats.cfm.


According to the NMFRC, some common metal finishing chemicals that are on the DHS list, along with minimum concentrations and threshold quantities:


Min. conc.

Threshold quantity (lb)







Hydrochloric acid



Hydrofluoric acid



Nitric acid



Nitric acid



Sulfur Dioxide



Sulfur Dioxide (anhydrous)




Note this list is not exhaustive.  Metal finishers need to review the regulations and determine whether and how they may apply.


DHS will evaluate Top-Screen submissions.  Based upon the DHS’ review, some facilities that will be required to:


  • Prepare Security Vulnerability Assessments (SVAs), which identify facility security vulnerabilities, and to
  • Develop and Implement Site Security Plans (SSPs), which include measures that satisfy the identified risk-based performance standards.


Hessian & McKasy’s Environmental Law Practice Group has extensive experience in assisting clients in conducting environmental and health and safety audits and the development of environmental management systems that are designed to detect and prevent violations.  Our attorneys also assist clients in responding to notices and defending enforcement actions brought by federal and state authorities, such as the EPA and the MPCA.  We have represented metal finishing and plating operations in enforcement matters.


Hessian & McKasy’s environmental attorneys handle the full spectrum of environmental issues encountered by manufacturers, businesses, developers and individuals who have been named in an administrative, civil or criminal enforcement actions. Our environmental lawyers are regularly involved in negotiations on behalf of our clients with state and federal authorities.


The information contained within this website does not constitute legal advice.  Please see the information contained in the Disclaimer section on the home page.  Please feel free to contact any of the following individuals for more information on about the issues discussed here by contacting us directly or going to the Contact page on the www.EnviroAttorney.net site:


Joseph G. Maternowski 612-746-5754 jmaternowski@hessianmckasy.com



The views expressed here are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer, Hessian & McKasy. P.A.


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