Chemicals of Interest - Department of Homeland Security


Chemicals of Interest - Department of Homeland Security

The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program identifies and regulates high-risk chemical facilities to ensure they have security measures in place to reduce the risks associated with these chemicals.  Keeping hazardous chemicals out of the hands of those who would misuse them is a responsibility the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (Department of Homeland Security) shares with facility owners and operators, employees, and emergency responders.

Initially authorized by Congress in 2007, the program uses a dynamic multi-tiered risk assessment process and requires facilities identified as high-risk to meet and maintain performance-based security standards appropriate to the facilities and the risks they pose. DHS chemical security inspectors work in all 50 states to help ensure facilities have security measures in place to meet CFATS requirements.

On December 18, 2014, the President signed into law the Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act of 2014 (“the CFATS Act of 2014”), which recodifies and reauthorizes the CFATS program for four years.



The Department developed Appendix A that includes a list of chemicals and their respective screening threshold quantities (STQ), which are categorized under three main security issues:

  • Release: Toxic, flammable, or explosive chemicals or materials that can be released at a facility.
  • Theft or Diversion: Chemicals or materials that, if stolen or diverted, can be converted into weapons using simple chemistry, equipment, or techniques.
  • Sabotage: Chemicals or materials that can be mixed with readily available materials.

If as an aggregate the Campus has any of these materials above their Screening Threshold Quantities (STQs), then we are subject to this regulation.  Thus, one more reason to keep your inventories up to date.

In developing the list, the Department looked to existing expert sources of information including other federal regulations related to chemicals. The other sources that the Department referenced in part are:

  • Chemicals covered under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Risk Management Program;
  • Chemicals included in the Chemical Weapons Convention;
  • Hazardous materials, such as gases that are poisonous by inhalation; and
  • Explosives regulated by the Department of Transportation.

This printer-friendly fact sheet lists the most commonly reported COI, their main security issues, and the risks they pose.

CFATS Most Commonly Regulated Chemicals of Interest Fact Sheet 



The Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) regulation applies to facilities across many industries that possess or plan to possess any of the DHS-regulated chemicals of interest (COI) at or above specific quantities and concentrations. These facilities must report their holdings to DHS.


Colleges and Universities 


Pool and Water Parks

The Department continues to assess available information about chemicals critical to government mission and the economy. The Department will use the information it collects through the Top-Screen process to identify facilities responsible for economically critical and mission-critical chemicals.