Two House Republicans yesterday introduced a bill to tighten port security and create a risk-based funded Port Security Grant Program, legislation that largely mirrors a bill introduced in the Senate last year.
The Security and Accountability for Every (SAFE) Port Act would require the Department of Homeland Security to complete a timeline for deploying radiation portal monitors at remaining seaports and to establish standard operating procedures for examining cargo containers. The bill would also require DHS to establish joint operations centers at seaports bringing together federal, state, local and private sector partners to coordinate security measures at the ports and unify response efforts.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Dan Lundgren (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Cybersecurity, and Rep. Jane Harman (R-Calif.).
The bill would also authorize DHS to loan detection equipment and provide training to host nations to effectively examine containers bound for the U.S. It would also revive the Operation Safe Commerce program at DHS to utilize private sector initiatives for port and container security.
The legislation introduced in the Senate last year similar to the SAFE Port Act is the GreenLane Maritime Cargo Security Act. It was introduced by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Me.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).
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