New Department of Homeland Security rules are targeting public pools, and those not in compliance may face substantial fines.
The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards require pool operators storing 500 pounds or more of transportable gas chlorine (at a minimum concentration of 9.77 percent) or a minimum of 2,500 pounds of nonportable gas chlorine to file an online report, or Top-Screen, with the department. Facilities that have not filed may be subject to a fine of $25,000 a day and an order to cease operations.
The new regulations were published in the Federal Register and announced at a high-level press conference. The deadline for reporting was Jan. 22, 2008, but some pools associated with a public or private park may be eligible for an indefinite extension, according to a Dec. 21, 2007, announcement from Robert Stephan, the Homeland Security assistant secretary for infrastructure protection.
This is the first national regulation of its kind, said Amy Kudwa, Homeland Security spokes-person. Robin Izzo, assistant director of environmental health and safety at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J., said the regulations mean some aquatics centers now are considered chemical facilities.
Izzo said the regulatory efforts started several years ago when Congress gave Homeland Security the responsibility of creating a national standard. The new standards cite three risk categories release, theft and sabotage and list approximately 300 chemicals of interest. Once facilities have submitted the Top-Screen, Homeland Security officials will determine which ones are at a risk level that warrants further assessment.
For more information on the requirements and instructions on how to submit a Top-Screen, visit www.dhs.gov/chemicalsecurity or http://csat-help.dhs.gov.