the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 and the Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002.
(b) “Select Agent Regulations” (SAR) means the Federal regulations found in Part 73 of Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 331 of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and Part 121 of Title 9 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(c) “Biological Select Agents and Toxins” means biological agents and toxins with the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety, animal and plant health, or animal and plant products and whose possession, use, and transfer are regulated by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture under the SAR.
Section 3. Findings. (a) The use of BSAT presents the risk that BSAT might be lost, stolen, or diverted for malicious purpose. The SAP exists to provide effective regulatory oversight of the possession, use, and transfer of BSAT that reduces the risk of their misuse or mishandling. The absence of clearly defined, risk-based security measures in the SAR/SAP has raised concern about the need for optimized security and for risk management.
(b) In addition, variations in, and limited coordination of, individual executive departments’ and agencies’ oversight, security practices, and inspections have raised concerns that the cost and complexity of compliance for those who are registered to work with BSAT could discourage research or other legitimate activities.
(c) Understanding that research and laboratory work on BSAT is essential to both public health and national security, it is in the interest of the United States to address these issues.
Section 4. Risk-based Tiering of the Select Agent List. To help ensure that BSAT are secured according to level of risk, the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Agriculture shall, through their ongoing review of the biological Select Agents and Toxins List (“Select Agent List”) contained in regulations, and no later than 18 months from the date of this order:
designate a subset of the Select Agent List (Tier 1) that presents the greatest risk of deliberate misuse with most significant potential for mass casualties or devastating effects to the economy, critical infrastructure, or public confidence;
explore options for graded protection of Tier 1 agents and toxins as