October 17, 2014
U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Protection and Programs Directorate
Office of Infrastructure Protection, Infrastructure Security Compliance Division
245 Murray Lane, Mail Stop 0610
Arlington, VA 20528-0610
Re: Docket number DHS-2014-0016: Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards
Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
Dear Director Wulf,
We, the undersigned organizations, respectfully submit the following comments in response to
Docket number DHS-2014-0016: Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for the
Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program. The organizations below
represents a broad range of companies in the industrial refrigeration industry, including end users
of ammonia refrigeration, contractors and manufacturers. Many of our members have over
10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia in closed-circuit refrigeration systems at our facilities.
These systems are stationary (fixed) at the sites and do not involve transporting of the refrigerant.
The refrigerant in the stationary systems is not in storage containers and is not
transported/shipped in portable tankers.
Treatment of Non-Traditional Chemical Facilities
We appreciate the Department’s recognition that a one-size-fits-all approach is not optimal for a
diverse regulated community and that attention should be placed on how CFATS best applies to
non-traditional chemical facilities. Our members operate facilities that have closed-circuit (loop)
refrigeration systems with anhydrous ammonia as their primary refrigerant. By virtue of using
anhydrous ammonia for closed-circuit refrigeration systems, those facilities with over 10,000
pounds used as such are currently required to file a Top-Screen with DHS. However, we are not
aware of any of our members that have been placed in a tier because of the risk posed by
ammonia. Rather, these facilities are placed in a tier due to other threshold chemicals of interest
also being present at the facility. We strongly believe that for facilities utilizing closed-circuit
systems with anhydrous ammonia should not be subject to filing a Top Screen unless another
threshold quantity COI is present.
e. Appendix A—Comments on all aspects of CFATS Appendix A, including:
(1) Comments on the possible addition of chemicals to, and/or the deletion or modification
of certain COI currently listed in Appendix A;
We propose that anhydrous ammonia used for closed-circuit refrigeration systems be deleted (or,
at a minimum, be clearly noted as exempt) from COI currently listed in Appendix A. Closed-
circuit refrigeration systems using anhydrous ammonia have not been shown to be terrorist
targets for theft and theft is correctly not listed as a risk for anhydrous ammonia in the CFATS
program. Similarly, and correctly, flammability, explosives, and sabotage/contamination are not
included in the CFAFTS for anhydrous ammonia. The only security issue stated in the CFATS
program for anhydrous ammonia is “Release – Toxic” and this risk is already sufficiently
covered by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Risk Management Program (RMP) and the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Process Safety Management (PSM)
regulations. These programs require security measures for the refrigeration systems (e.g. access
by authorized personnel only, barricades/separations by fences, locks, machinery rooms, etc.).
g. Alignment with Other Regulatory Programs
The current requirement for facilities with over 10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia used for
closed-circuit refrigeration systems to file a Top Screen under the CFATS program is duplicative
and unnecessary. The issue of toxicity is thoroughly covered by RMP and PSM regulations.
RMP and PSM require facilities to develop detailed plans that address the risks of a toxic release
of ammonia used for closed-circuit refrigeration systems. Through proper coordination and
collaboration, DHS will have sufficient information about facilities with threshold quantities of
anhydrous ammonia, thus removing the need for these facilities to file Top Screens solely
because they have a threshold quantity of anhydrous ammonia that is used for a closed-circuit
There is precedent for exempting facilities where anhydrous ammonia is solely used as a
refrigerant. OSHA 29 CFR 1919.111, titled "Storage and Handling of Anhydrous Ammonia",
states in Section 1910.111(a)(1)(ii)(b) as follows:
This OSHA 29 CFR 1919.111 standard does not apply to:
Ammonia manufacturing plants.
Refrigeration plants where ammonia is used solely as a refrigerant.
f. Small Business Considerations
We represent numerous small businesses that have over 10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia in
their refrigeration systems. These small businesses are already required to incur significant costs
to comply with RMP and PSM regulations. The addition of CFATS compliance adds
unnecessary compliance costs for these small businesses with no tangible benefit to security. As
stated previously, anhydrous ammonia is only listed as a threat for toxic release, which is already
covered by RMP and PSM. We do not see a need for these small businesses to incur additional
compliance burdens when RMP and PSM require these facilities that use anhydrous ammonia for
closed-circuit refrigeration systems to address the risks related to toxic release and the
information filed with EPA and OSHA is available to DHS.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comment on the future direction of the CFATS
program. Please let us know if you have any questions about our submission or if we can be of
any assistance as the rulemaking process moves forward.
American Frozen Food Institute
American Meat Institute
Global Cold Chain Alliance
International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses
International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration
Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association
U.S. Poultry and Egg Association