Department of Homeland Security Appendix A FAQs

What is CFATS?

The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Interim Final Rule, published April 9, 2007, establishes a risk-based approach to screening and securing chemical facilities determined by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to be “high risk.” In order to make that determination, CFATS requires facilities in possession of specific quantities of DHS defined Chemicals of Interest (COI) to complete a Top-Screen questionnaire.

Why does EHS require labs to update the Chemicals of Interest every 60 days?

According to CFATS, any facility processing COI has 60 days to report when the amount of any COI meets or exceeds the Screening Threshold Quantity (STQ). EHS runs a report on all chemical inventories every 60 days to monitor levels of COIs. This assists us in preventing any COI that is close to the STQ from exceeding it, or report to DHS within the 60 day limit any COI that is over the STQ.

Why are we being regulated by DHS? 

Section 550 of the DHS Appropriations Act of 2007 grants DHS the authority to regulate chemical facilities that “present high levels of security risk.” Under the CFATS regulation, DHS may issue a violation and require that corrective actions be taken to correct any noncompliance issues. Violation of such a compliance order may result in civil penalties of $25,000 per day or to cease operations.

Facilities that are required to comply with at least some provisions of the CFATS regulation will largely fall into the following categories:

  • chemical manufacturing, storage, and distribution;
  • energy and utilities;
  • agriculture and food;
  • paints and coatings;
  • explosives;
  • mining;
  • electronics;
  • plastics;
  • universities and research institutions; and
  • healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

What is a COI?

Chemicals of Interest: chemicals that give rise to one or more security issues, namely: release, theft/diversion, and/or sabotage/contamination. Appendix A of the CFATS Final Rule contains a list of all COIs with their pertinent information including: STQ, type of threat, CAS #, synonyms etc.

What is “STQ”?

Screening Threshold Quantity; the amount at or above which the possession of a DHS COI must be reported to DHS using the CFATS rule. Each STQ is different for every COI and a COI may have several STQs dependent upon its use or category.

What is a “facility”?

A facility is any establishment that possesses or plans to possess a quantity of a DHS COI at or above the established STQ. The University defines a facility as any University owned or leased building.

What is a Top-Screen?

The Top-Screen is a questionnaire that gives DHS detailed information regarding any facility that has any of the DHS COI at or above the applicable STQ.

What happens if we meet or exceed an STQ?

Any facility that manufactures, uses, stores or distributes any of the DHS COI at or above the applicable STQ, and does not fall into an exemption, must complete and submit a Top-Screen questionnaire as a first step in complying with CFATS. The facility must complete and submit a Top-Screen to DHS within 60 calendar days of coming into possession of the COI. EHS will submit this after working with the relevant department.

Also each facility will be required to submit a Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA), Site Security Plan (SSP) and Risk Based Performance Standards (RBPS). EHS will work with the department to prepare and submit the required information to DHS. A department or building representative will need to be appointed to work with EHS to prepare these submittals.


This regulation and its complex requirements are why we ask that when dealing with COI you contact EHS before ordering unusual quantities, mail or ship offsite, dispose of as waste [CM1]any unused quantities or acquire any new COI.


If you have any questions please contact Rick Byrum at 335-9379 or at

To determine if your inventory has been updated in the last 60 days go to the EHS Assist Guide and scroll down to page 9: or for questions regarding the EHSA inventory program contact Rachelle Justice 353-4692 or

Click on Praxair cylinders for help in determining volumes for  gases that are listed in Appendix A, or if more help is needed, contact Laurie Taylor 335-8031 or