CFATS & the Brewing Industry: Don’t Let Your Chemicals Be a Terrorist’s Next Weapon

By Andrea Fellows, Department of Homeland Security

Did you know that the chemicals you use every day might be regulated under a Department of Homeland Security anti-terrorism program?  While their benign uses may be as cleaners, disinfectants, or refrigerants, in the hands of a terrorist they could be cause an explosion, create a cloud of toxic gas, or be stolen and used to cause mass casualties offsite.     

The Department of Homeland Security has a list of 322 chemicals, known as Appendix A, that trigger reporting requirements. Anyone who has these chemicals at DHS’s screening threshold quantity (STQ) must complete a Top-Screen assessment, which DHS uses to determine whether a facility is at high-risk of terrorist attack.  High-risk facilities develop security plan tailored to their chemicals and business processes.

Currently regulated facilities within the brewing industry have mainly reported chemicals related to refrigeration, pasteurization, cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.




Ammonia (anhydrous)

Release- Toxic


Bromine Chloride

Theft-Weapon of Mass Effect (WME)

Sanitizer/ Disinfectant


Release-Toxic; Theft-WME


Chlorine Dioxide

Release-Toxic; Sabotage/ Contamination

Sanitizer/ Disinfectant

Ethylene Diamine



Hydrogen Chloride (anhydrous)

Release-Toxic; Theft-WME

Sanitizer/ Disinfectant

What if a facility does not report?

While the Department’s strong inclination is to work with facilities to assist with compliance, DHS has the authority to fine a facility that is not complying with the regulation up to $33,333 a day per violation. 

Interested in learning more?

Email, or visit for more information about the CFATS program and chemical security. The list of chemicals of interest is available at: