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PT Notes

Executive Order Status Report - Improving Data Management

PT Notes is a series of topical technical notes provided periodically by Primatech for your benefit. Please feel free to provide feedback.

Executive Order 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, was issued on August 1, 2013 owing to continued catastrophic chemical facility incidents. The Executive Order has the objective of enhancing the safety and security of chemical facilities and reducing risks associated with hazardous chemicals to owners and operators, workers, and communities. A Working Group was appointed to oversee work on the Executive Order.

The Working Group published a status report on June 6, 2014. An analysis of the current operating environment, existing regulatory programs, and stakeholder feedback resulted in immediate actions and a plan for future actions to further minimize risks, organized by five thematic areas:

• Strengthening Community Planning and Preparedness
• Enhancing Federal Operational Coordination
• Improving Data Management
• Modernizing Policies and Regulations
• Incorporating Stakeholder Feedback and Developing Best Practices

This PT Note addresses Improving Data Management. Several issues were identified:

• Federal agencies collect information on chemical facility safety and security but differing formats and management of these data do not fully support interagency compliance analysis. Currently, there is no chemical security and safety data clearinghouse that contains all of the data points germane to all Federal agency regulations.

• Stakeholders identified concerns with duplicative databases and the need for multiple entries of the same or similar data. This duplication stems in part from multiple regulatory programs that developed and evolved over decades, with each incorporating technologies and data collection requirements independent of one another (often due to differing statutory requirements).

• Stakeholders expressed the need to improve current data-sharing practices, and suggested creating a single system capable of handling all Agencies' facility reporting requirements.

The Working Group took a number of actions to address these issues, including:

• Updating EPA's Substance Registry Service (SRS) and Facility Registry Service (FRS) to include relevant OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) and DHS Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) data.

• Engaging in data sharing across regulatory programs, such as the DHS CFATS program and EPA's Risk Management Program (RMP), to help locate potentially non-compliant facilities by identifying facilities that had registered with one regulatory program but not the other.

• Testing a new Emergency Response Planner system in EPA Region 8 that aggregates chemical facility and infrastructure data from various Federal and State databases and displays it on an interactive Geographic Information System application.

• DHS worked with all State Homeland Security Advisors (HSAs) to show them how to access information on CFATS facilities within their jurisdictions.

• DHS engaged trade associations to foster outreach to potentially noncompliant facilities that have not been engaged in the past and to help raise awareness about chemical facility security regulations.

The Working Group identified four priority action areas to improve data management, to include:

• Establishing a dedicated cross-agency team of experts to standardize data and develop a common facility identifier.

• Aggregating data from across the Federal agencies and establishing a single Web-based interface for data collection.

• Improving information tools for regulated chemicals.

The Working Group report is available at: https://www.osha.gov/chemicalexecutiveorder/

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