APGA Staff Participates in the July ONG SCC Meeting

By Stuart Saulters posted 07-22-2021 10:21 AM

On July 21 and 22, APGA staff participated in the summer meeting of the Oil and Natural Gas Subsector Coordinating Council (ONG SCC). On the first day, just a few representatives from oil and natural gas companies, as well as staff from the major trade associations in this sector met online; and then, on the second day, the ONG SCC participated in a virtual meeting with security personnel within President Biden’s Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The ONG SCC represents the industry interests of oil and natural gas companies in a government-industry partnership. It provides a forum to coordinate activities across the sector to support America’s homeland security mission.

This event was very timely, considering the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which is a division of DHS, issued new regulations through a Security Directive that will impact pipeline operators. TSA has classified these new rules as sensitive security information (SSI), so only limited details can be shared with all of APGA’s members. TSA did release a public statement that provided the following: This Security Directive requires owners and operators of TSA-designated critical pipelines to implement specific mitigation measures to protect against ransomware attacks and other known threats to information technology and operational technology systems, develop and implement a cybersecurity contingency and recovery plan, and conduct a cybersecurity architecture design review.

APGA staff joined in discussion with others during the ONG SCC meeting to describe all the challenges with the new Security Directive, and while TSA didn’t commit to any changes this week, hopefully, there will be some further clarification forthcoming, as a little more appropriateness to these regulations is needed.

While the conversation on the Security Directive took up most of the time, there were also valuable updates on some of the security efforts DOE is undertaking, and APGA staff will be working with the Security Task Group regarding these.

For questions on this article, please contact Stuart Saulters of APGA staff by phone at 202-544-1334 or by email at ssaulters@apga.org.