The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey issued a press release today summarizing the recommendations of a port security taskforce that they’ve convened over the past year. The key recommendations:
- The adoption of federal legislation sanctioning minimum mandatory cargo security standards that use innovative technology and business practices to monitor every cargo shipment.
- The presidential appointment of a National Port and Cargo Security Director, reporting to the Director of Homeland Security, who has ultimate responsibility and accountability for coordinating port and cargo security activities throughout the various federal agencies as well as the international community.
- Establishment of a nationwide â€œPort Security User Fee,â€ not later than January 1, 2008, dedicated exclusively to U.S. ports based on size, cargo volume and risk. This fee would be used to offset capital and operating costs incurred by port facility owners/operators associated with security installations and operations.
- Establish response and recovery plans that are unique to the regional environment of each U.S. port, allowing individual ports to return to â€œnormal businessâ€ as efficiently as possible after a disaster. Mandate and conduct annual exercises that test the quality of each portâ€™s response and recovery plans.
- Adopt federal legislation that requires every regulated maritime facility and Coast Guard Captain of the Port to implement a comprehensive risk-management plan that will form the basis for resource allocation decision making, similar to the protocols for other state, urban area and mass transit funding.
It’s unclear whether these recommendations are part of a larger task force report; if so, I don’t see it yet on the PANYNJ website. But I’ll post an updated link if one appears.
Update (1/4/07): Here’s the full task force report.