Vice Adm. Ray Riutta
, commander of the Coast Guard
’s Pacific Area, instructed Coast Guard Captains of the Port west of the Rocky Mountains
to apply the guidelines as an interim step while new regulations are being developed by Coast Guard Headquarters, a regulatory process that may take a year or more.
While Coast Guard Captains of the Port currently have authority to take actions based on security threats, the new guidelines provide consistency among the various ports and address the heightened threat conditions experienced after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Consistency in the guidelines is vital in creating a level playing field for the numerous commercial facilities and ports that compete economically for trade. The Coast Guard worked closely with the maritime industry to develop the new guidelines in its continuing effort to balance national security and commerce.