Rockefeller targets container security

Published 13 November 2009

The U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) said this week he is working in partnership with DHS inspector general to update current port security procedures better to protect against biological and chemical threats

Rockfeller issued a press release calling attention to a 2 November report from the inspector general regarding U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) ability to detect biological and chemical threats in maritime cargo containers. The report is in response to a requirement in the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2004 that calls for an annual evaluation of the current cargo targeting and inspection systems for containerized cargo.

Tireless assessment of inspection procedures at our ports, and the adaptation of those procedures to face 21st century threats head on, is critically important to strengthening America’s national security,” said Rockefeller. “I intend to work in unison with the Department of Homeland Security on the issue of port security and offer my leadership, as Commerce Committee chairman, to maintain up-to-date and efficient security initiatives.”

Logistics management reports that the key findings of the inspector general’s report are as follows:The West Virginia lawmaker added that it is “crucial we determine which pathways into America pose the highest risk of biological and chemical weapons release and use the most cutting-edge, proven technologies for interdiction.”

CBP has taken preliminary steps to collaborate with the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) to develop biological and chemical testing technology

  • Formal risk assessment of pathways prone to biological and chemical weapons entering American soil is necessary for effective deterrence
  • A plan to determine how detection technology resources should be allocated to pathways that pose the greatest risk will require highly collaborative and updated procedural methods