Bipartisan legislation that establishes a comprehensive national system to increase anti-terrorism security at U.S. ports and waterways was approved by the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today.
“The Maritime Transportation Antiterrorism Act of 2002” (H.R. 3983) was approved by the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation and then approved by the full Transportation Committee by a voice vote.
"Protecting our ports and maritime transportation system is of critical importance to our nation as the maritime industry contributes $742 billion to the gross domestic product each year and the ripple effects from an attack on one or more of our ports would be felt throughout the economy of the nation,” said Subcommittee Chairman LoBiondo. "Specifically, this bill requires the Coast Guard to conduct vulnerability assessments of U.S. ports. The results of the assessments will be used to implement a national maritime transportation planning system, consisting of a comprehensive national plan, specific area plans, as well as local vessel and marine facility
plans, all tailored for the sole purpose of deterring a catastrophic event to the greatest extent possible.
"H.R. 3983 also establishes a requirement for the Coast Guard to assess the effectiveness of security systems in certain foreign ports, and to deny entry to vessels from ports that do not maintain effective security,” LoBiondo said.