Report: FBI Falls Short On Port Threat Assessment
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is not taking appropriate steps to review and assess potential maritime terrorism risks facing U.S. sea ports, the Justice Department's internal watchdog has found.The audit, released on Thursday by Inspector General Michael Horowitz, found that while top FBI officials believe the country faces a low maritime terrorism threat, that view is actually based on "incomplete and potentially inaccurate information."Moreover, the audit found that the FBI had not conducted its own formal assessment of the matter.In a letter to Horowitz dated Aug.
TSA Boosts Maritime Security in a Big Way
Though most visible to the general public for its work at America’s airports, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) also helps to secure the country’s transportation network in a number of other ways, including assisting the U.S. Coast Guard in securing the nation’s critical maritime facilities, structures, systems, assets and services. America’s vast marine transportation system encompasses some 25,000 miles of navigable waterways, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway…
Interview: Dave Anderson, President, Passenger Vessel Association
Dave Anderson is the President of the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA). He also serves as General Manager/Director of Operations of Fire Island Ferries, Inc., Bay Shore, N.Y. on Long Island. The company has provided passenger service, freight service and water taxi service to Fire Island communities since 1948. The firm operates 23 subchapter T and K vessels ranging from six to 400 passengers. Anderson, an honors graduate from CW Post Long Island University where he earned his BA in Communication Arts in 1984, also holds a 100 ton Masters license which he earned in 1983.
Detroit Agencies Perform Maritime Security Exercise
Detroit Coast Guard members are participating in a Southeast Michigan Area Maritime Security Committee multi-agency table-top exercise Wednesday at the Detroit Fire Department Regional Training Center. The purpose of this exercise is to test plans and policies of federal, provincial, state and local area agencies in response to a transportation security incident. In accordance with the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program, a table-top exercise is a discussion based exercise. There will not be any resources deployed directly as a result of this exercise. More than 150 participants from 50 agencies are expected to participate in the exercise.
TSA, Coast Guard in AK Pot Discussion
Presiding over busy waterways and airspace that serve as unofficial highways of an inhospitable state twice the size of Texas, the federal government has a looming presence over Alaska and its famously live-and-let-live residents. And Uncle Sam considers marijuana illegal over every inch. This poses unique hurdles for entrepreneurs hoping to capitalize on an Alaska move to legalize recreational marijuana, and who seek to grow and process products to be marketed across the state, much of which is accessible only via transport links policed by U.S. agencies and governed by federal law. To get around such obstacles, some investors say they plan to launch location-specific seed-to-sale businesses…
US Ferries Are Safer, but Regulatory Burdens Grow
In recent years, ferries have been in the spotlight, in part because of growing mass transit needs and increased road congestion, but also because of concerns about the deadly South Korean ferry sinking last April. We asked Captain Terri Bernstein, the Passenger Vessel Association’s 2014 President, about the industry’s status in the United States. Based in Alexandria, VA, the PVA has over 500 member companies. Ferries are safer, especially since 9/11, but regulatory requirements have swelled and can be onerous, Bernstein said. She’s the owner of BB Riverboats, Inc.
Proposed Rulemaking on Cruise Ship Terminal Security
The Federal Register Wednesday published the U.S. Coast Guard’s notice of proposed rulemaking amending its regulations on cruise ship terminal security. This proposed rule would standardize screening activities for all persons, baggage and personal effects at cruise ship terminals while also allowing an appropriate degree of flexibility that accommodates and is consistent with different terminal sizes and operations. This flexible standardization ensures a consistent layer of security at terminals throughout the United States.
AWO Praises Simplification of TWIC Process
Last week, the Transportation Security Administration began nationwide implementation of a program that reforms the burdensome process by which mariners and other transportation workers receive required Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC). The TWIC OneVisit program eliminates the requirement that workers make two trips to a TWIC enrollment center to pick up and then activate their TWIC. Under the new, streamlined process, a mariner can apply for a TWIC at an enrollment center and opt to receive the credential by mail.
Insights - Paul Hankins, President American Salvage Association
This month’s editorial calendar has, in part, as its focus, oil pollution, prevention and response. Or, in other words, missions and matters that cut to the very heart of the American Salvage Association (ASA) and the goals of its considerable membership. This month, ASA President Paul Hankins weighs in on a host of issues that impact the rapidly evolving world of salvage, the players that make up that sector of the marine industry, and why all of that is important. Mr. Hankins…
Krepp Comments on GSA Storis Auction
Denise Rucker Krepp, former Maritime Administration Chief Counsel who currently advocates on behalf of the U.S. domestic ship recycling industry, issued a statement at the Coast Guard Shipping Coordinating Committee Meeting March 12, 2014, in Preparation for the April 2014 Maritime Environment Protection Committee Meeting. Below are her comments. Good morning. My name is Denise Krepp and I am representing EMR-Southern Recycling. As I mentioned last year, EMR-Southern Recycling is the premier metal recycling operation in the U.S.
AWO Congratulates Johnson on Confirmation as Homeland Security Secretary
The American Waterways Operators, a 350-member trade association representing the country’s tugboat, towboat and barge industry, offered its congratulations to Jeh Johnson on his successful confirmation as President Obama’s Department of Homeland Security Secretary. “AWO has been a longstanding supporter of the Department’s safety and security missions through our strong partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard and our collaboration with the Transportation Security Administration on a wide range of issues,” said Tom Allegretti, AWO’s President & CEO. “We share the common goal with the Secretary of continued excellence in assuring the safe and secure movement of the Nation’s commerce up and down our rivers and along our coasts,” Mr. Allegretti continued.
Insights: Dennis L. Bryant, Bryant’s Maritime Consulting
Dennis L. Bryant retired from the U.S. Coast Guard with the rank of Captain after 27 years active duty. His billets included serving on the icebreaker NORTHWIND for several years including in 1969 when it escorted the tanker MANHATTAN through the Northwest Passage (this was back in the old days, when there was real ice in the Arctic). He also spent various tours as a law specialist, including an assignment as the Coast Guard’s Law of the Sea officer. He also served a tour in the…
TWIC’s Last Hurdle is Scaled
Card reader technology is tested, proven and in use, nationwide. While the maritime industry awaits the Fed’s edict on MTSA, the solution already exists. The Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) requires that individuals needing unescorted access to MTSA-regulated Facilities and Vessels must first obtain a TWIC. To obtain a TWIC Card, an individual must meet certain eligibility requirements and pass a security threat assessment conducted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
ASA Names New 2013-2015 Officers
Paul Hankins, Vice President for Salvage Operations at Donjon Marine Co., Inc., was elected President, succeeding Tim Beaver, Global Diving & Salvage, Inc., who served as President from 2011-2013. Jim Elliott, T&T Marine Salvage, Inc., was named Secretary/Treasurer. Paul Hankins has over 30 years’ experience in the marine industry after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1981 with a Bachelors of Science in Naval Architecture and from George Washington University in 1991 with a Master’s degree in Environmental Management.
Atsec Fixed Reader Passes TWIC Trials
Atsec announced the successful test of Schneider Electric’s PC3-TBR reader against the specifications set forth by the TWIC Reader Evaluation Program. Before vendors can sell their products to be used in the TWIC program, they have to undergo independent testing. As an accredited laboratory under the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP), atsec is qualified to test TWIC readers for conformance with the program requirements. According to Schneider Electric’s executive VP Smart Infrastructure Division Ignacio Gonzalez, "As one of the first vendors to undergo testing for a TWIC reader, Schneider Electric is a pioneer of the new program. atsec has been an excellent partner in the process and their test engineers are highly competent.
Are our Ports Safe?
Two recent reports have raised alarms about the security of our ports and the cargo that enters them by containers every day. The top North American container ports handle more than 35 million containers per year bringing vital goods to U.S. homes and companies every day. Without this freight, our economy would be at a standstill. But one nuclear device placed into a shipping container could wreak havoc not just at the port it enters, but also with the surrounding population of our busiest ports such as New York/New Jersey, Los Angeles, and Long Beach.
GAO finds it is broken, and now the question is; can it be fixed? Recently, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a scathing report on the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) electronic reader pilot test and on the TWIC program in general. The GAO said that the test of the electronic readers that are intended to largely automate access of credentialed maritime workers into secure areas not only failed, but that test results were so badly gathered that it is impossible to determine exactly where the problems lie and what needs to be corrected.
Coast Guard Announces Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for TWIC Reader Requirements
The U.S. Coast Guard announced the Federal Register's publication of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking entitled "Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) - Reader Requirements." This NPRM proposes to establish electronic card reader requirements for certain Coast Guard-regulated vessels and facilities to use in controlling access to secure areas at those locations. The TWIC program, including the proposed electronic reader requirements in the NPRM, is an important component of the Coast Guard's multi-layered system of access control requirements and other measures designed to enhance maritime security. This NPRM seeks to…
Super Bowl XLVII & Lower Mississippi Maritime Security Ops
In support of Super Bowl XLVII, a team of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies begin maritime safety and security operations on the lower Mississippi River, Monday. Response boats, patrol vehicles and enforcement personnel from more than 16 law enforcement agencies will conduct maritime security operations in the downtown New Orleans area and at the Port of New Orleans. All agencies will work together within a unified command, lead by the Port of New Orleans Harbor Police Department and the U.S. Coast Guard, to provide a coordinated safe and secure environment for Super Bowl participants and the general public. This level of interagency coordination for the Super Bowl is the culmination of several months of planning involving all law enforcement agencies.
AWO Applauds Passage of Coast Guard Bill
Maritime Workers Applaud Congressional Passage, Presidential Signature of Coast Guard Bill. On behalf of the American Waterways Operators (AWO) and its 350 member companies, AWO President & CEO Tom Allegretti thanked bipartisan leaders in Congress for passing and President Obama for signing the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act into law late last month. The bill contained several AWO-supported provisions, including legislation that simplifies the process for mariners…
PVA Calls for TWIC Re-Evaluation
Passenger Vessel Association Marks 10th Anniversary of Maritime Security Law; Calls for Reevaluation of TWIC. On the tenth anniversary of the enactment of the landmark Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) (Public Law 107-295), the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) takes note of the far-reaching security enhancements adopted by the U.S. flagged passenger vessel industry but also calls on Congress to re-evaluate the expensive and unsuccessful Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program.
TSA: Extended Expiration Date (EED) TWICs
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a notice stating that, beginning in August, it will offer eligible holders of Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWICs) the opportunity to replace their expiring TWICs will three-year extended expiration date (EED) TWICs for a reduced fee of $60. The US Coast Guard considers the EED TWIC to be equivalent to the standard TWIC and will allow port facility and vessel operators to accept the EED TWICs as they accept TWICs issued through the standard enrollment process. This is further explained in a Policy Bulletin. (6/15/12). Source: Bryant's Maritime Consulting Newsletter (http://brymar-consulting.com)
Maritime Security & The Useless TWIC
Experience has clearly shown that the concept that the issuance of high-tech biometric transportation security cards, called the Transportation Worker Identification Credential or TWIC, could achieve these goals was fatally flawed from the beginning. With visions of al Qaeda terrorists lurking on US waterfronts and in the bowls of U.S.-flag vessels, Congress in 2002 included in the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) a requirement that unescorted access to secure areas in U.S.