Department of Homeland Security - Chemicals of Interest (DHS COI)

The Department of Homeland Security identifies and regulates high-risk chemical facilities through the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program. The CFATS program prevents the misuse of certain Chemicals of Interest (COI) that could be used directly or indirectly for terroistic purposes. DHS requires Colleges and Universities in the possession of COI to:

  • Monitor 
  • Report possessions above regulated threshold amounts 
  • Implement appropriate security measures
    • access controlled room with locked cabinet
    • locked cabinet within a locked room

DHS has the authority to inspect facilities with CFATS, impose penalties up to $25,000 per day, and cease operations that fail to comply to regulations. COI are organized by specific security and vulnerability concerrn and can be found in Appendix A (PDF:2.1 MB). These COI are categoized 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

Inventory Management

The RLS chemical inventory system is an essential component with the CFATS regulations. All chemicals inventories must be updated at least annually. Users of COI must check their inventories frequently to ensure no theft or diversion has occurred.