Report: Va. Shipbuilders Unhappy with New Port Security Rules

Tuesday, January 02, 2007
A federal plan to screen port workers could drive up the cost of building and repairing Navy ships while doing nothing to improve security, industry officials say. Under the new system, longshoremen, truckers and other transportation workers who need access to secure port areas will undergo FBI background checks and submit fingerprints that will be embedded on biometric cards. But the federal law mandating the system--officially known as the Transportation Worker Identification Credential--also extends to some shipyards, including Navy shipbuilder Northrop Grumman Newport News, the region's largest private employer with 19,000 workers. Ship repair yard officials are confused about the law: some say their companies fall under the law, others say they do not. Local shipyard workers should be exempt from the new requirements because they don't work on transporting cargo, industry officials say.

They say Northrop Grumman and the region's ship repair yards are already subject to Navy and Department of Defense security requirements that are more strict than the proposed credential system. And ultimately, additional costs would have to be picked up by taxpayers and the Navy, industry officials said. Northrop Grumman Newport News says putting the screening program in place will cost the company $12.8 million--including the installation of machines to read the biometric cards. Costs to administer the program could run close to $7 million a year. While the new security efforts are geared toward port workers, some shipyards, other marine facilities and vessels fall under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002--the law that outlined the need for the new credential card system, said Angela McArdle, a spokeswoman for the Coast Guard in Washington. The law applies to shipyards capable of transferring more than 250 barrels of fuel oil or other hazardous materials, McArdle said. The Coast Guard believes that having that ability makes the yards more vulnerable to terrorist attacks. But the Coast Guard will consider exemptions for shipyards that show they have security measures equal to the new identification system. The Coast Guard, the Defense Department and Northrop Grumman will meet later this month to review the yard's existing security plan. Source:: The Virginian-Pilot

Maritime Reporter September 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Coast Guard

USCG Search for Missing Crew of El Faro

Coast Guard search and rescue crews continue searching for possible survivors from the cargo ship El Faro Monday night, covering a total search area of more than 160,574 square nautical miles.

USCG: Missing Cargo Ship El Faro Believed to Have Sunk

The U.S. Coast Guard now believes that the missing cargo ship El Faro sank after sailing into the path of Hurricane Joaquin in the Bahamas, a spokesman said on Monday.

Man Medevacs from Boxship Off Santa Rosa Island

The Coast Guard medically evacuated a 46-year-old man from a 738-foot container ship approximately 6 miles south of Santa Rosa Island, Sunday. At 10:01 a.

Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1818 sec (6 req/sec)