International Liquid Terminals Association (ILTA)

Oil and Natural Gas Subsector Coordinating Council Meet in Houston in November

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The Oil and Natural Gas Subsector Coordinating Council met on November 6-7 in Houston to discuss ongoing support of the critical infrastructure sector and coordination with government agencies. ILTA’s Peter Lidiak represented the terminal industry at the meeting. The SCC, which represents both trade associations and individual member companies, continues to work on issues around emergency management and response, pipeline security, cybersecurity, security regulations and legislation.

Developments that were addressed included:

  • DOE has traditionally held its Clear Path exercises in the spring. A national-level cyber exercise, Liberty Eclipse, is planned for May 2020 and, as a result, DOE’s next Clear Path response exercise will be held in the fall next year.
  • Sonya Proctor, Assistant Administrator for Surface Operations at TSA, sent a letter to the trade associations representing pipeline operators requesting that pipeline companies conduct cyber assessments of their operational technologies using recognized government (e.g., VADR or CSET) or private assessment tools and confirm the completion of those assessments to TSA. This information allows TSA to assure pipelines are paying appropriate attention to cyber threats.
  • This fall, both the TWIC extension rule delaying implementation of TWIC readers and draft Cyber Navigational and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) were approved by the White House Office of Management and Budget. While the Cyber NVIC is expected to be released soon, the USCG cannot publish the extension rule until 60 days after delivering the RAND report on the effectiveness of TWIC and biometric reader technologies to Congress.
  • During the meeting, TXOGA was readmitted to the SCC, while the ONG Information Sharing and Analysis Center, the Downstream Natural Gas ISAC and the Canadian Gas Association were admitted as active, nonvoting members. Current SCC Vice Chairwoman Jillian Sully with Devon will become chairwoman in 2020, while Jonathan Bransky of Dominion Energy was elected vice chairman.

The day ended with a classified briefing at the FBI Houston Field Office.

On November 7, the SCC members met with their government counterparts on the Energy Government Coordinating Council. Representatives from DOE, CISA, TSA, USCG, Public Safety Canada, and the National Governors Association presented on ongoing government security initiatives.

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