Complete Story



Washington, D.C. – Tim O’Brien, President of Detotec North America and past Board Chairman for the Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME), at the request of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), testified on the explosives industry’s top legislative concern before the Committee in a roundtable regarding the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program on June 4, 2019.

Titled “Sensibly Reforming the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Program,” the roundtable brought the new Assistant Director for DHS’s Infrastructure Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to the same table with industry and union representatives.  O’Brien focused his testimony on the burdens of duplicative regulatory requirements, specifically the clear overlay of CFATS on ATF-regulated explosive materials. 
O’Brien, in his call for relief from duplicative regulation, stated, “Since Detotec opened its doors 30-years ago, we have been compliant with ATF’s comprehensive security regulations. Despite ATF’s effective regulation of explosives security for nearly half a century, DHS CFATS blatantly duplicates those regulatory mandates.”  O’Brien submitted in his testimony that despite full compliance with ATF security regulations, DHS required additional measures at an estimated cost which would have closed down the small 20-person company. 

IME maintains that DHS lacks empirical data to justify the inclusion of ATF-regulated explosive materials in the CFATS program.  ATF regulations and industry best practices have proven effective in preventing the use of commercial explosives for illicit purposes, and the heavy costs associated with CFATS compliance are not commensurate with any security increases. 

In his closing O’Brien noted, “I do not appear before you to ask for deregulation of commercial explosives but to make the case for removing ATF-regulated materials from CFATS which will cut costs for taxpayers and reduce duplicative regulation without having a negative effect on national security.”    

O’Brien and the industry with him appreciate the bi-partisan efforts of Chairman Ron Johnson, Ranking Member Gary Peters and the Committee to bring common-sense reform to the CFATS program. 

IME is the safety and security institute of the commercial explosives industry since 1913. More information on IME can be found at

Printer-Friendly Version