Hearing on Maritime Security

Thursday, August 26, 2004
The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure conducted a hearing on the 9/11 Commission Report and Maritime Transportation Security. John Lehman and Jamie Gorelick represented the 9/11 Commission. They conceded that the Commission devoted little of its time to maritime security, but suggested that it is the job of Congress to ensure that allocation of resources must be proportionate to the risk. Terrorists have been monitoring and have occasionally attacked the maritime sector. They pointed out that there is as yet no strategic plan or threat analysis for the major U.S. ports. Rear Admiral Larry Hereth, U.S. Coast Guard, testified that the agency plans to soon amend the ship reporting threshold to require notifications from ships of less than 300 gross tons. He declined to say how low the threshold might be lowered. He said improvements in container security will be forthcoming and that the national maritime transportation security plan should be issued by the end of the year. Dr. Stephen Flynn pointed out that, while Congress directed the Coast Guard to examine security in foreign ports, it has not appropriated any monies to accomplish this task. The Committee issued a Press Release following the hearing. HK Law

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