Requirement To Report Chemicals To DHS On Hold
Homeland security officials are cutting farmers some slack by indefinitely postponing extensive chemical reporting requirements meant to deter terrorism.
Tens of thousands of companies nationwide must soon register their chemical use with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Following numerous complaints, though, department officials have exempted farms from the looming Jan. 22 reporting deadline.
“We continue adding more and more requirements on business,” Stanislaus County Agricultural Commissioner Dennis Gudgel said according to the Sacramento Bee. “It’s like stacking bricks on a stick; eventually, the stick is going to break.”
The reporting respite will save farmers money, for a while. Some also hope it could encourage a more efficient use of information already collected by states like California.
“If DHS could undertake a collaboration with California, then they may be able to figure out a way to do this that’s practical for everybody,” Kings County Agricultural Commissioner Tim Niswander says.
Farmers may not be off the hook forever, though. DHS says it is “gathering more information” about applying chemical reporting requirements to agriculture. Still, even a temporary exemption lifts a burden.
Preparing the initial chemical registration would probably cost companies between $2,300 and $3,500, federal officials estimated.
As reported in the December issue of Government Security, companies, facilities and manufacturers that store or use certain quantities of the designated chemicals will have to register and complete a Top screen. More information can be found here.