Securing Chemical Facilities

The $720 billion American chemical industry is vital to the U.S. economy. Collectively, the industry employs more than 750,000 people and produces nearly one-fifth of the world’s chemicals, accounting for more than 10 percent of total U.S. merchandize exports.

Due to the potential threats to national security and the economic impact of an incident, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has identified the chemical industry as one of 17 critical infrastructure sectors vital to the security, economy, public health and safety of the United States. As a result, chemical facilities are required to proactively address vulnerabilities and security challenges — from protecting perimeters and employees to meeting prescribed regulations and safety mandates.


Chemical Facilities after 9/11

Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) require chemical production or usage facilities across the nation to develop plans to adequately secure their assets from the threat of terrorists. To sufficiently enforce its regulation, the federal government collected data on the type and amount of Chemicals of Interest (COIs) present at more than 3,700 facilities. Each facility was then assigned a tier level of 1-4 — with 1 representing the highest degree of concern. At the same time, the government also introduced Risk Based Performance Standards (RBPSs) based on the COIs at each facility. The 18 published RBPSs use proven data and research to outline law enforcement collaboration, theft, chemical transport, and incident response and reporting.

While there has been some concern regarding the implementation of the federal regulations by the chemical industry, many companies have realized the liability or exposure vulnerabilities identified in the required Site Vulnerability Assessments (SVAs) and have taken steps to adequately secure their facilities. The facilities develop and submit Site Security Plans (SSP) to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for review and comment. The SSPs incorporate the SVA and a detailed implementation plan for corrective action to be taken to address the vulnerabilities previously identified.

DHS regularly visits chemical facilities to ensure they are implementing robust security programs to protect the critical infrastructure of the facility, its employees and the general public. To protect the interest of national security, the agency has the authority to cite a company for CFATS non-compliance. As a result of such regulations, the industry faces unique challenges in altering long-standing business practices and investing in security technologies to meet the new requirements.


Securing a Critical Facility: A Look at Eastman Chemical Company

The Eastman Chemical Company is a Fortune 500 manufacturer of chemicals, fibers and plastics. Headquartered in Kingsport, Tenn., Eastman has approximately 10,000 employees in manufacturing locations and sales offices around the globe, and generated sales of $5.8 billion in 2010. Eastman’s products are key ingredients in automotive paints, cosmetics, printing inks, beverages, pharmaceuticals and other consumer products around the world.

Eastman previously depended on a legacy closed-circuit TV (CCTV) surveillance solution to capture video stored on digital video recorders (DVRs). Physical handling of video disks and DVR maintenance proved cumbersome and time-consuming. When the company needed to install additional cameras, it often required additional DVRs. In addition, the CCTV system did not support megapixel cameras that might help address CFATS compliance requirements.

To comply with CFATS standards and strengthen its own focus on safety and security, Eastman required a powerful, reliable and highly scalable physical security solution at its primary manufacturing site and corporate headquarters in Kingsport, Tenn., and manufacturing facilities in Jefferson, Pa., and Longview, Texas.

“Our previous CCTV system was maxed out and didn’t offer the latest in security technologies such as megapixel and IP cameras, motion alerting, analytics, alarms and mapping,” says Keith Bennett, Eastman’s Kingsport Site Security Manager. “We wanted to scale the system but up-front expenditures and maintenance costs were too high. It was clear we needed a more advanced, flexible surveillance solution.”


The Results of Insight

Keeping true with its corporate tag line, “The Results of Insight,” Eastman sought a physical security solution combining cutting-edge IP video technology with an advanced storage platform. Verint and EMC emerged as technology providers to meet these needs.

Verint’s Nextiva platform performs in conjunction with EMC CLARiiON storage to continuously record and archive video data for viewing incidents in real time from virtually anywhere. Together, the system improves management of video surveillance data from capture through monitoring, analyzing, protecting, securing, archiving, and evidence authentication with a jointly engineered IP-based software solution.

The scalable and open architecture of the Nextiva platform has helped smooth Eastman’s transition to the new surveillance system. “The architecture is open, so we have been able to use our existing analog cameras, transmitters, and controllers until they reach end of life,” Bennett says.

“We set up a compatibility lab onsite to test different equipment in a production environment,” Bennett continues. “The result was a stable and reliable solution that we have been very pleased with.”

The centralized management and virtualization capabilities of the surveillance system have enabled Eastman to derive significant value and efficiency from its physical security investments. Rather than expanding its security command center to support additional equipment, the organization placed the physical security solution in a data center managed by the IT organization. Leveraging CLARiiON, Eastman is able to minimize data center floor space and server hardware maintenance costs.

“We avoided significant capital expenditures by selecting a centralized, virtualized solution,” says Kirk Jones, Eastman’s Security Technologist. “There also were economies of scale by leveraging existing IT resources and facilities to support the surveillance system.”

The physical security solution provides more comprehensive and responsive security across Eastman’s corporate headquarters and manufacturing facilities. Leveraging the IP Video Management platform, security officers can customize live and recorded views for increased flexibility and thorough investigations. With digital storage and data management, the organization can review video more quickly and increase responsiveness in urgent security situations.

Working with law enforcement agencies is a component of CFATS, and Eastman already has successful relationships. On several occasions, captured video has been shared with government agencies and has helped lead to arrests and convictions. “Nextiva allows for the simple creation of a DVD to be provided to local law enforcement,” Jones says.

“The system is also very scalable,” Jones continues. “Adding a new camera is as simple as entering a new IP address. And when we need to expand the infrastructure, virtual servers and disks can be added on the fly. We also have flexibility to support the latest equipment and security standards.”

Adds Bennett: “Security camera systems and evolving CCTV technology will continue to play a vital role in Eastman’s overall site security plan, as we adjust to ever changing security requirements.”