ALGOMARINE at Menominee, 2012

ALGOMARINE at Menominee, 2012
ALGOMARINE at Menominee, 2012. Courtesy Dick Lund

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Coast Guard Publishes Request for Comments on How to Identify Vulnerabilities to Cyber-Dependent Systems

In today's Federal Register, the Coast Guard published a notice, requesting public input from the maritime industry and other interested parties on how to identify and mitigate potential vulnerabilities to cyber-dependent systems. Information on how to comment is included in the notice.  The text of the notice can be found at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-12-18/pdf/2014-29658.pdf. The text of the notice is reprinted below.Two things should be abundantly clear to all maritime security stakeholders. #1, the Coast Guard is very serious about listening to our voice on this issue. #2, the Coast Guard takes the issue of cyber security vulnerability very seriously and has moved it up the queue of security worries. If we don't participate in this process (help drive the train) we may find ourselves being the subject of a regulatory process that could have been managed another way (grit beneath the wheels).
________________________________________________________

Coast Guard

[Docket No. USCG–2014–1020]

Guidance on Maritime Cybersecurity Standards

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notice with request for comments.

SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is developing policy to help vessel and facility operators identify and address cyber-related vulnerabilities that could contribute to a Transportation Security Incident. Coast Guard regulations require certain vessel and facility operators to conduct security assessments, and to develop security plans that address vulnerabilities identified by the security assessment. The Coast Guard is seeking public input from the maritime industry and other interested parties on how to identify and mitigate potential vulnerabilities to cyber-dependent systems. The Coast Guard will consider these public comments in developing relevant guidance, which may include standards, guidelines, and best practices to protect maritime critical infrastructure.
DATES: Comments must be submitted to the online docket via http://www.regulations.gov, or reach the Docket Management Facility, on or before February 17, 2015.
ADDRESSES: Submit comments using one of the listed methods, and see SUPPLEMENTARY  INFORMATION for more information on public comments.
• Online—http://www.regulations.gov following Web site instructions.
• Fax—202–493–2251.
• Mail or hand deliver—Docket Management Facility (M–30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590–0001. Hours for hand delivery are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays (telephone 202–366–9329).
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about this document call or email LT Josephine Long, Coast Guard; telephone 202–372–1109, email Josephine.A.Long@uscg.mil or LCDR Joshua Rose, Coast Guard; 202–372–1106, email Joshua.D.Rose@uscg.mil.
For information about viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202–366–9826, toll free 1–800–647–5527.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
Public Participation and Comments
We encourage you to submit comments (or related material) on the questions listed below. We will consider all submissions and may adjust our final policy actions based on your comments.
Comments should be marked with docket number USCG–2014–1020, and should provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You should provide personal contact information so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your comments; but please note that all comments will be posted to the online docket without change and that any personal information you include can be searchable online (see the Federal Register Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets, 73 FR 3316, Jan. 17, 2008).
Mailed or hand-delivered comments should be in an unbound 81⁄2 x 11 inch format suitable for reproduction. The Docket Management Facility will acknowledge receipt of mailed comments if you enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope with your submission.
Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://
www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following the Web site’s instructions.
You can also view the docket at the Docket Management Facility (see the mailing address under ADDRESSES) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
Discussion
The Coast Guard is developing policy to help vessel and facility operators identify and address cyber-related vulnerabilities that could contribute to a Transportation Security Incident (TSI).1 Coast Guard regulations require certain vessel and facility operators to conduct security assessments, and to develop security plans that address vulnerabilities identified by the security assessment.2 Vessel and facility security plans must also address specific security functions, including the following:
• Communications
• Security Training Requirements
• Procedures for vessel/facility interfacing
• Declaration of Security
• Security Systems and Equipment Maintenance
• Security Measures for Access Control
• Security Measures for Handling Cargo
• Security Measures for Monitoring
• Security Incident Procedures
The Coast Guard is seeking public input on the following questions:
(1) What cyber-dependent systems, commonly used in the maritime industry, could lead or contribute to a TSI if they failed, or were exploited by an adversary?
(2) What procedures or standards do vessel and facility operators now employ to identify potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities to their operations?
(3) Are there existing cybersecurity assurance programs in use by industry that the Coast Guard could recognize? If so, to what extent do these programs address vessel or facility systems that could lead to a TSI?
(4) To what extent do current security training programs for vessel and facility personnel address cybersecurity risks and best practices?
(5) What factors should determine when manual backups or other nontechnical approaches are sufficient toaddress cybersecurity vulnerabilities?
(6) How can the Coast Guard leverage Alternative Security Programs 3 to help vessel and facility operators address cybersecurity risks?
(7) How can vessel and facility operators reliably demonstrate to the Coast Guard that critical cyber-systems meet appropriate technical or procedural standards?
(8) Do classification societies, protection and indemnity clubs, or insurers recognize cybersecurity best practices that could help the maritime industry and the Coast Guard address cybersecurity risks? (See also http://www.dhs.gov/publication/cybersecurityinsurance.)
Authority
This notice is issued under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a).
Dated: December 12, 2014.
Captain Andrew Tucci,
Chief, Office of Port & Facility Compliance, U.S. Coast Guard.
[FR Doc. 2014–29658 Filed 12–17–14; 8:45 am]
1 A Transportation Security Incident is defined in 33 CFR 101.105 to mean ‘‘a security incident resulting in a significant loss of life, environmental damage, transportation system disruption, or economic disruption in a particular area.’’
2 33 CFR parts 104 and 105, subparts C and D.
3 An Alternative Security Program is defined in 33 CFR 101.105 to mean ‘‘a third-party or industry organization developed standard that the Commandant [of the Coast Guard] has determined provides an equivalent level of security to that established by [33 CFR Chapter I, Subchapter H].’’


Monday, December 15, 2014

Jan. 15 2015 USCG Public Meeting In Washington DC to Receive Comments on the Development of Cybersecurity Assessment Methods for Vessels and Facilities Regulated by the Coast Guard

On Friday, December 12, 2014, the United Stated Coast Guard posted a notice of a January 15 2015 public meeting in Washington DC to receive comments on the development of cybersecurity assessment methods for vessels and facilities regulated by the Coast Guard. The docket number for submitting comments prior to this meeting is USCG-2014-1020.  Comments may be submitted both before and after the meeting.  There are several deadlines for persons interested in participating.  For attendance in person, the Coast Guard advises that seating is limited and should be reserved by the method specified in the notice NLT January 05, 2014. There will be a live video feed of the meeting.  To access the video feed, the request must be made by the means specified in the notice NLT January 13, 2015. Persons who wish to attend the meeting in person are advised of transportation and identification requirements.

My memory may be failing me but it seems to me like the last time I tried to access this building (Department of Transportation Headquarters building) two government-issued photo IDs were required, not one, as the notice specifies.  Below is the text of the notice from regulations.gov.  The supplemental documents referenced in the notice have not been posted as of noon 12/15/14.

Action

Notice of public meeting and request for comments.

Summary

The U.S. Coast Guard announces a public meeting to be held in Washington, DC, to receive comments on the development of cybersecurity assessment methods for vessels and facilities regulated by the Coast Guard. This meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to comment on development of security assessment methods that assist vessel and facility owners and operators identify and address cybersecurity vulnerabilities that could cause or contribute to a Transportation Security Incident. The Coast Guard will consider these public comments in developing relevant guidance, which may include standards, guidelines, and best practices to protect maritime critical infrastructure.

Dates

The meeting will be held on Thursday, January 15, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The deadline to reserve a seat is Monday, January 5, 2015. All written comments and related material must either be submitted to the online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or before January 29, 2015 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.

Addresses

The public meeting will be held at the Department of Transportation Headquarters, Oklahoma Room, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; the building telephone number is 202-366-1035. The building is accessible by taxi, public transit, and privately-owned conveyance. However, public parking in the vicinity of the building is extremely limited. Meeting participants are encouraged to use mass transit.
Seating is limited, so please reserve a seat as soon as possible, but no later than January 5, 2015. To reserve a seat, please email Josephine.A.Long@uscg.mil with the participant's first and last name for all U.S. Citizens, and additionally, official title, date of birth, country of citizenship, and passport number with expiration date for non-U.S. Citizens. To gain entrance to the Department of Transportation Headquarters building, all meeting participants must present government-issued photo identification (e.g., state-issued driver's license). If a visitor does not have a photo ID, that person will not be permitted to enter the facility. All visitors and any items brought into the facility will be required to go through security screening each time they enter the building.

The Coast Guard will provide a live video feed of the meeting. To access the video feed, email a request to LT Josephine Long at Josephine.A.Long@uscg.mil no later than January 13, 2015.

The docket for this notice is available for inspection or copying at the Docket Management Facility (M-30, U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. You may also find this docket on the Internet by going to http://www.regulations.gov, entering USCG-2014-1020 in the search box and following the instructions.

Written comments may also be submitted in response to this notice. All written comments and related material submitted before or after the meeting must either be submitted to the online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or before January 29, 2015 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date. You may submit written comments identified by docket number USCG-2014-1020 before or after the meeting using any one of the following methods:
(1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
(2) Fax: 202-372-1990.
(3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
(4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329.
To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods.

The Coast Guard will post a video recording and written summary of the meeting to the docket.

For Further Information Contact

If there are questions concerning this meeting, please call or email LT Josephine Long, Coast Guard at 202-372-1109 or via email at Josephine.A.Long@uscg.mil or LCDR Joshua Rose, Coast Guard; at 202-372-1106 or via email at Joshua.D.Rose@uscg.mil. If there are questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Ms. Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

Supplementary Information

Background and Purpose

On February 12, 2013, the President signed Executive Order (E.O.) 13636 “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity.” The E.O. provided the national approach to protecting critical infrastructure cybersecurity and directed federal agencies to assess cyber risk to critical infrastructure. Pursuant to E.O. 13636, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developed a voluntary Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework, (1) followed by the February 12, 2014 publication of a Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (2) (Cybersecurity Framework). The Cybersecurity Framework serves to help industry stakeholders reduce their cyber risk and vulnerabilities. The Coast Guard encourages vessel and facility owners and operators to adopt the Cybersecurity Framework voluntarily to achieve a minimum standard of cybersecurity protection.
Section 7(d) of E.O. 13636 states that in developing the Cybersecurity Framework, the Director of NIST “shall engage in an open public review and comment process” and consult with stakeholders including owners and operators of critical infrastructure. Similarly, the Coast Guard will host this public meeting to engage the public and obtain comments to assist in the drafting of procedures to enable operators of vessels and facilities regulated pursuant to the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) to identify and address cybersecurity risks that could result in a Transportation Security Incident (TSI). (3) This may include standards, guidelines, and best practices to protect maritime critical infrastructure. 

The meeting will include the following topics:

(1) Identify: What cyber dependent systems perform vital functions that are addressed in MTSA requirements, such as access control, cargo control, and communications?
(2) Protect: What standards are suitable to ensure the integrity of these systems?
(3) Detect: What procedures are available to owners and operators to detect cyber intrusions that could compromise the integrity of vital systems or contribute to a TSI?
(4) Respond: What response and notification procedures can minimize the consequences of cyber events?
(5) Recover: What procedures can owners and operators take to promote rapid maritime transportation system recovery after a cyber incident?

In addition to the topics outlined above, the Coast Guard is posting several supplemental documents to the online docket for this notice. The supplemental documents provide additional background information that may be useful for the public to consider in formulating comments. We encourage individuals interested in participating in the public meeting and/or submitting comments to the docket to review the supplemental documents. To view the supplemental documents and other documents mentioned in this notice as available in the docket, please follow the instructions described above in the ADDRESSES section. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Coast Guard has an agreement with the Department of Transportation to use the Docket Management Facility.

The Coast Guard encourages the public to participate by submitting comments either in person at the meeting or in writing. The public may submit written comments to Coast Guard personnel at the meeting. The Coast Guard will post these comments to the online public docket. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided.

Privacy Act

Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any of the dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). There is a Privacy Act notice regarding the public dockets for review in the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register(73 FR 3316).

Information on Services for Individuals With Disabilities

For information on facilities or services for individuals with disabilities or to request special assistance at the public meeting, contact LT Josephine Long at the telephone number or email address indicated under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.

Authority
This notice is issued under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a).
Dated: December 3, 2014.
Andrew Tucci,
Chief, Office of Port & Facility Compliance, U.S. Coast Guard.
[FR Doc. 2014-29205 Filed 12-11-14; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 9110-04-P

Friday, November 21, 2014

End of TWIC Extended Expiration Date (EED) Program


TSA TWIC administrators have been publicly stating that the EED program is at an end. Today the official announcement was posted on the TSA website. It should be noted that the deadline to take advantage of this program - which I do not support because it does not include any updated background review - is December 23.
"End of Extended Expiration Date (EED) TWICs: The opportunity to obtain an Extended Expiration Date (EED) TWIC ends this year.  After December 31, 2014 current TWIC holders will no longer be able to obtain a replacement card extending the expiration date of their current TWIC by three years.  Since August 2012, U.S. citizens and U.S. Nationals holding a TWIC expiring on or before December 31, 2014 could obtain an EED TWIC by placing their order before their current card expires and paying the $60 card replacement fee.  The EED TWIC option will end as scheduled at the end of this year and will not be extended or renewed.
Eligible TWIC holders who wish to obtain an EED TWIC should place their order as soon as possible.  There is no benefit in delaying an EED card order since the EED expiration date is based on the expiration date of the currently held TWIC; not when the order is placed.  Orders should be placed prior to December 23rd to ensure processing prior to the end of the program.
EED TWICs can be ordered on line here; by calling the TWIC Call Center at (855) 347-8371 between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Eastern Time; or by visiting a Universal Enrollment Service Center (to find a location click here or call the TWIC Call Center)."   

Monday, October 20, 2014

U. S, Coast Guard has Issued Marine Safety Information Bulletin 17- 14 dated October 17, 2014 Ebola Virus Precautions

The U. S, Coast Guard has issued Marine Safety Information Bulletin 17- 14 dated October 17, 2014 Ebola Virus Precautions – Update at  https://www.uscg.mil/msib/

“The purpose of this Bulletin is to provide an update to the maritime industry with respect to assessing Ebola risks and the responsibility of vessel/facility agents, owners, masters, operators, Area Maritime Security Committee members, and persons to immediately report potential communicable disease hazards to the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

The MSIB includes key points to remember concerning Ebola.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Truncated Last Name on TWIC Card: Names Limited to 19 Characters

Recently, TSA posted the following information of concern to persons with lengthy last names, at http://www.tsa.gov/stakeholders/transportation-worker-identification-credential-twic. (TSA does not date the bulletins on its website so I am unable to state the exact date of this posting.)

Truncated Last Name on TWIC Card: Since TSA began issuing the new version 2.03 TWIC® cards in May 2014, only the first 14 characters (including spaces, hyphens, and apostrophes) of the applicant’s last name are printed on the card.  The last name is always followed by a comma.  If a person’s last name exceeds 14 characters, all after the 14th character are not printed, and a comma follows immediately after the 14th character.  This has caused some Transportation Workers to have their credentials questioned at facilities because the name on the card does not match the person’s full name.


On October 17, 2014, a system change will be made to extend the last name as printed on the TWIC® to a maximum of nineteen (19) characters, followed immediately by a comma.  Last names containing fewer than 19 characters will continue to be followed immediately by a comma.  TSA is looking into ways to include full last names, regardless of the number of characters, given the limited space available on the card for printing.  Until a satisfactory solution is developed and implemented, the last name printed on TWICs® beginning October 17, 2014 will be limited to the first 19 characters of the last name.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Information on the new policy for the MTSA training course submission and review process posted on Coast Guard’s Homeport site

Information on the new policy for the  MTSA training course submission and review process can be found on the U. S. Coast Guard Homeport site, on the public side, at Missions > Maritime Security > Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) > General Information > Maritime Transportation Security Act Training Courses.

Maritime Transportation Security Act Training Courses

Our nation is more secure today because of the hard work and patriotism of vessel and
facility operators across the country, and the many associated industries and
organizations that have developed to support the goals of the Maritime Transportation
Security Act (MTSA). Training is a key element of the MTSA, and in 2004, the
Maritime Administration (MARAD) established a MTSA Training Course Certification
process. This process required course providers to submit a course to MARAD, who then
contracted with a Coast Guard accepted Quality Standard System (QSS) organization for
review.

As of October 1, 2014, that contract is expired, and course providers should now submit associated with the training course submission and review process. The National Maritime Center will complete the course review for vessel courses. For questions regarding Vessel Security Officer (VSO), Maritime Security for Vessel Personnel with Specific Security Duties (VPSSD) and Maritime Security Awareness
(MSA) should contact:
Robert L Smith
United States Coast Guard
National Maritime Center
100 Forbes DR
Martinsburg, West Virginia 25404-0001
Robert.L.Smith3@uscg.mil

The following courses may be submitted directly to a Coast Guard accepted QSS:
Facility Security Officer (FSO), Company Security Officer (CSO), Maritime Security for
Military, First Responder, and Law Enforcement Personnel (MSLEP), and Maritime
Security for Facility Personnel with Specific Security Duties (FPSSD). Below are the
current Coast Guard accepted QSSs:

Gordon Halsey
Det Norske Veritas Germanischer Lloyd (DNVGL)
North America Advisory Services Maritime
1600 Sawgrass Corporate Parkway, Suite 110
Sunrise, FL 33323

Pavan Lall
American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
Learning Center Manager
16855 Northchase Drive
Houston, Texas 77060
60
plall@eagle.org

Effective security training for maritime industry professionals is critical to the success of
the nation’s security efforts. The Coast Guard may continue to use successful completion
of a valid course certified under this process or previously certified under the MARAD
contract as meeting certain training requirements under Title 33 Code of Federal
Regulations (CFR) Parts 104 and 105. As the Coast Guard continues to develop
regulations to establish comprehensive FSO training requirements I strongly encourage
them to take approved courses. 

USCG and MARAD Guidance re Ebola Virus Precautions

Both the Maritime Administration and the United States Coast Guard have recently issued bulletins regarding the Ebola guidance.  Each guidance is reproduced below.

From the Coast Guard: https://www.uscg.mil/msib/docs/012_14_8-7-2014.pdf.  This is an August 07, 2014 Marine Safety Information Bulletin, Ebola Virus Precautions.

“To date, there have been 1603 confirmed cases of individuals infected with the Ebola virus worldwide with 887 deaths. The epidemic is slowing in Guinea but continues unabated in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Also, four cases have been reported in Nigeria. There have been two reported cases of Americans serving in health care or missionary work in West Africa but, no reported cases in Department of Defense, Coast Guard, or with U.S. mariners. The Center of Disease Control (CDC) has issued travel warnings. We strongly recommend that personnel traveling to those affected countries review travel alerts issued by the CDC prior to their arrival. Travel alert information can be found at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices
Some key points to remember concerning Ebola:

• Symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. In addition, skin rash, red eyes, and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients.
• Travelers could be infected if they come into contact with blood or body fluids from someone who is sick or has died from Ebola, sick wildlife, or meat from an infected animal. Health care providers caring for Ebola patients and family and friends in close contact with an ill person are at highest risk because they may come into contact with blood or body fluids.
• Monitor your health for 21 days if you were in an area with an Ebola outbreak, especially if you were in contact with blood or body fluids, items that have come in contact with blood or body fluids, animals or raw meat, or hospitals where Ebola patients are being treated.
Vessel owners/operators and local stakeholders should be aware of the following:
• Vessel representatives are required to report sick or deceased crew or passengers within the last 15 days to the CDC under 42 CFR 71.21. Regional CDC quarantine station points of contact can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/QuarantineStationContactListFull.html
• The Coast Guard will review all Notice of Arrivals to determine if a vessel has visited a country impacted by Ebola virus outbreak within its last five ports of call.
• Vessel masters should inform any Coast Guard boarding teams of any ill crewmembers on board.
• Local industry stakeholders, in partnership with their Coast Guard Captain of the Port, should review and be familiar with section 5310 Procedures for Vessel Quarantine and Isolation, and Section 5320 Procedures for security segregation of Vessels in their Area Maritime Security Plan.
• Local industry stakeholders, in partnership with their Coast Guard Captain of the Port, should review and be familiar with their Marine Transportation System Recovery Plan.

Questions regarding this should be forwarded to the Coast Guard Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance, Foreign and Offshore Vessel Division (CG-CVC-2) at 202-372-1218 or by email at CGCVC@uscg.mil.
Captain Kyle McAvoy, U.S. Coast Guard, Chief Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance (CG-CVC), sends.”


Advisory #:         2014-02
Date Issued:       Sep 02 2014

To:          All Operators of U.S.-Flag, Effective U.S. Control Vessels, U.S. Merchant Mariners and Other Maritime Interests

Subject:               Ebola Virus

THIS IS THE FULL TEXT VERSION OF MARAD ADVISORY 2014-02.  THE NATIONAL GEOSPATIAL-INTELLIGENCE AGENCY HAS TRANSMITTED A SHORTENED VERSION.
1. U.S.-FLAG OPERATORS ARE REQUESTED TO FORWARD THIS ADVISORY TO THEIR SHIPS BY THE MOST EXPEDITIOUS MEANS.

2. EBOLA, ALSO KNOWN AS EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE (EVD) AND EBOLA HEMORRHAGIC FEVER, IS A RARE AND DEADLY DISEASE CAUSED BY A VIRAL INFECTION. FIRST DISCOVERED IN 1976 NEAR THE EBOLA RIVER IN WHAT IS NOW THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO, THE VIRUS AFFECTS HUMANS AND SOME ANIMALS. SINCE THEN, OUTBREAKS HAVE APPEARED SPORADICALLY IN SEVERAL AFRICAN COUNTRIES. AS OF AUGUST 28, 2014, EBOLA HAS INFECTED 3,069 AND KILLED MORE THAN 1,552 PEOPLE IN FOUR COUNTRIES (GUINEA, LIBERIA, SIERRA LEONE AND NIGERIA) SINCE THE CURRENT OUTBREAK WAS FIRST DETECTED IN MARCH OF THIS YEAR.

3. SYMPTOMS OF EBOLA INCLUDE FEVER AND ADDITIONAL SYMPTOMS SUCH AS SEVERE HEADACHE, MUSCLE PAIN, VOMITING, DIARRHEA, STOMACH PAIN, OR UNEXPLAINED BLEEDING OR BRUISING. SYMPTOMS MAY APPEAR ANYWHERE FROM 2 TO 21 DAYS AFTER EXPOSURE TO EBOLA VIRUS, ALTHOUGH 8-10 DAYS IS THE MOST COMMON.

4. EBOLA IS SPREAD THROUGH DIRECT CONTACT WITH BLOOD OR BODY FLUIDS (URINE, SALIVA, FECES, VOMIT AND SEMEN) FROM A PERSON WHO IS INFECTED AND CURRENTLY HAS SYMPTOMS OF EBOLA. EBOLA MAY ALSO BE TRANSMITTED THROUGH CONTACT WITH OBJECTS (E.G., NEEDLES) CONTAMINATED WITH BLOOD OR BODY FLUIDS FROM A SYMPTOMATIC PERSON OR THROUGH CONTACT WITH, OR CONSUMPTION OF AN ANIMAL INFECTED WITH EBOLA. THE VIRUS ENTERS THE HUMAN BODY THROUGH MUCOUS MEMBRANES (E.G., EYES, NOSE OR MOUTH) OR THROUGH BREAKS IN THE SKIN. PEOPLE ARE INFECTIOUS AS LONG AS THEIR BLOOD AND SECRETIONS CONTAIN THE VIRUS. EBOLA IS NOT AIRBORNE AND IT CANNOT BE TRANSMITTED FROM A PERSON WHO IS NOT SYMPTOMATIC.

5. THE LIKELIHOOD OF CONTRACTING EBOLA IS VERY LOW UNLESS THERE HAS BEEN DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE BLOOD OR BODY FLUIDS FROM A SYMPTOMATIC PERSON OR AN ANIMAL INFECTED WITH EBOLA, OR WITH A CONTAMINATED OBJECT.  SIMPLY TRAVELING TO AN AREA WHERE EBOLA IS PRESENT DOES NOT MEAN A PERSON WILL BE EXPOSED TO THE VIRUS.  GIVEN THE UNPRECEDENTED NUMBERS OF CASES ASSOCIATED WITH THIS OUTBREAK, THE U.S. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC) ISSUED A LEVEL 3 WARNING TO  AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL TO SIERRA LEONE, GUINEA AND LIBERIA, AND A LEVEL 2  ALERT TO PRACTICE ENHANCED PRECAUTIONS IF TRAVELING TO  NIGERIA OR THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO.  PRECAUTIONS INCLUDE PRACTICING CAREFUL HYGIENE, AVOIDING CONTACT WITH BLOOD AND BODY FLUIDS OF PERSONS SICK WITH EBOLA OR WITH ITEMS THAT MAY HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH SUCH FLUIDS, AVOIDING CONTACT WITH WILD ANIMALS AND AVOIDING RAW OR UNDERCOOKED MEAT.  OTHER PRECAUTIONS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE CDC WEBSITE.

6.  THE CDC MAINTAINS UP-TO-DATE WEB RESOURCES WHICH PROVIDE INFORMATION ON THE CURRENT STATUS OF THE OUTBREAK, PREVENTATIVE STEPS THAT CAN BE TAKEN TO REMAIN HEALTHY BEFORE AND DURING TRAVEL, AS WELL AS ACTIONS THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN IF A TRAVELER BECOMES ILL AT ANY POINT.  THESE WEB RESOURCES, ALONG WITH CDC TRAVEL NOTICES, CAN BE FOUND AT THE FOLLOWING WEBSITES: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices  and http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/. FURTHERMORE, U.S. MERCHANT MARINERS WITH ACCESS TO UNCLASSIFIED HTTPS://WWW.INTELINK.GOV CAN ALSO ACCESS FORCE HEALTH PROTECTION ADVISORIES FROM THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR MEDICAL INTELLIGENCE (NCMI) FOR MORE SPECIFIC COUNTRY RELATED INFORMATION AT  HTTPS://WWW.INTELINK.GOV/NCMI/."

7. THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) RECOMMENDS THAT TRAVELERS TO AFFECTED AREAS AVOID ALL CONTACT WITH BLOOD, SECRETIONS, ORGANS OR OTHER BODY FLUIDS OF INFECTED LIVING OR DEAD PERSONS OR ANIMALS, AND ADVISES THAT PERSONS WHO HAVE HAD SUCH CONTACT, OR WHO HAVE AN ILLNESS CONSISTENT WITH EBOLA, SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO TRAVEL EXCEPT AS PART OF AN APPROPRIATE MEDICAL EVACUATION. WHO DOES NOT OTHERWISE RECOMMEND ANY BAN ON INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL OR TRADE.

8. THE US COAST GUARD HAS ISSUED A MARITIME SAFETY INFORMATION BULLETIN ON EBOLA VIRUS PRECAUTIONS, WHICH INCLUDES A REMINDER TO VESSEL MASTERS TO REPORT SICK OR DECEASED CREW MEMBERS OR PASSENGERS TO THE CDC IN ACCORDANCE WITH 42 CFR 71.21.  ADDITIONALY THE COAST GUARD REMINDS OWNERS, OPERATORS, AGENTS, MASTERS OR PERSONS IN CHARGE OF THE REQUIREMENT TO IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY THE NEAREST COAST GUARD SECTOR OFFICE OR GROUP OFFICE OF THE EXISTENCE OF HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS ON THEIR VESSELS AS REQUIRED BY 33 CFR 160.215. THE COAST GUARD CONSIDERS CREWMEMBERS INFECTED WITH EBOLA OR DECEASED FROM ILLNESS RELATED TO EBOLA A HAZARDOUS CONDITION AS DEFINED BY 33 CFR 160.204 DEFINITION OF "HAZARDOUS CONDITION”. THE COAST GUARD WILL CHECK ALL ADVANCE NOTICES OF ARRIVAL TO DETERMINE WHETHER A VESSEL HAS VISITED A COUNTRY IMPACTED BY THE EBOLA VIRUS OUTBREAK WITHIN THE PREVIOUS FIVE PORT CALLS.  THE BULLETIN IS AVAILABLE AT HTTPS://WWW.USCG.MIL/MSIB/DOCS/012_14_8-7-2014.PDF.

9. MARAD ADVISORIES ARE PUBLISHED ON THE MARAD WEB SITE AT HTTP://WWW.MARAD.DOT.GOV/NEWS_ROOM_LANDING_PAGE/MARITIME_ADVISORIES AND THE MARITIME SAFETY INFORMATION WEB SITE:  HTTP://MSI.NGA.MIL/NGAPORTAL/MSI.PORTAL. UNDER "BROADCAST WARNINGS", SELECT MARAD ADVISORIES TO DETERMINE MARITIME ADVISORIES THAT REMAIN IN FORCE.  CONSULT THE MARITIME ADMINISTRATION WEB SITE AT HTTP://WWW.MARAD.DOT.GOV OR THE MOST RECENT U.S. NOTICE TO MARINERS.

10.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT CAPTAIN ROBERT FORD, MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE OF SECURITY, CODE: MAR-420, ROOM W25-308, 1200 NEW JERSEY AVE, S.E., WASHINGTON, DC 20590, TELEPHONE 202-366-0223, TLX II 710.822.9426 (MARAD DOT WSH) OR EMAIL:  MARADSECURITY@DOT.GOV.




Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Transfer of MTSA Training Certification from MARAD to USCG

From the United States Maritime Administration Office of Security website:

IMPORTANT NOTICE:  TRANSFER OF MARITIME TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ACT (MTSA) TRAINING CERTIFICATION TO UNITED STATES COAST GUARD—

Effective 30 September 2014 the Maritime Administration will transfer to the United States Coast Guard the certification of Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) maritime security training.

The MTSA courses affected by this change are as follows:
Facility Security Officer (FSO)
Company Security Officer (CSO)
Maritime Security Awareness (MSA)
Maritime Security for Vessel Personnel with Specific Security Duties (VPSSD)
Maritime Security for Military, First Responder, and Law Enforcement Personnel (MSLEP)
Maritime Security for Facility Personnel with Specific Security Duties (FPSSD)

Private and public organizations seeking certification for the above training courses should consult the United States Coast Guard's website for information on how to submit courses for certification.  The Coast Guard point of contact is:
LCDR Jennifer Osburn
US Coast Guard Headquarters
Office of Port Facility & Compliance (CG-FAC)
2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE
Washington, DC 20593-7118
Mail Stop 7501
Tel (202) 372-1132
Fax (202) 372-8428

Jennifer.M.Osburn@uscg.mil

Friday, August 1, 2014

New Information on TSA TWIC Website

New information has been posted on the TSA TWIC website. The issues addressed are TWIC “OneVisit”; new name for TWIC enrollment centers; a reminder that no appointments are necessary for TWIC services – for services, the person can just walk in to an enrollment center, and an update on the card production delay reported on the site in June. The homepage also continues to contain information about the new card topography features, which is very important for port security stakeholders and especially facility personnel with specific security duties who will be checking the cards.

Concerning the “OneVisit”, there’s no getting around visiting an enrollment center to get your TWIC. If you choose to receive your card by mail you will still be required to make one visit to an enrollment center to complete the enrollment process. 

Below is the text from the site:

1) TWIC “OneVisit”—Now Available Everywhere:  TWIC cards can now be mailed directly to your home, or other location, instead of returning to an enrollment center to pick up your card.  This applies to new or renewed enrollment cards, Extended Expiration Date (EED) TWICs (see item 8 below), or replacements for lost, stolen, or damaged cards.  If you choose to receive your card by mail you will only be required to make one visit to an enrollment center to complete the enrollment process.  When you receive your card it will be activated and ready to use.  A mailer with the card’s preset Personal Identification Number (PIN) will be sent to you separately.  You may also choose to pick up your card at an enrollment center.  If you pick up your card at an enrollment center you can select your PIN.  If you receive your card by mail and want to change your preset PIN you can visit any enrollment center to have it set to your selected PIN at no cost.

2) New Name for TWIC Enrollment Centers:  Enrollment centers now provide services for TWIC as well as TSA’s TSA Pre✓™ and Hazardous Material Endorsement (HME) programs.  Instead of looking for a “TWIC Enrollment Center” sign look for a “Universal Enrollment Services” or “UES” sign.  When you need to apply for or renew your TWIC be sure to check the UES Locator web site to find the nearest UES center.

3) Reminder—Appointments are Not Necessary:  All TWIC services are available at UES enrollment centers to walk-ins as well as those with appointments.  Those with appointments receive priority service at their appointment time, but walk-ins are served in the order they arrive.  The appointment schedules at each enrollment center allow for time to serve walk-ins.  If you need to apply for a TWIC, or pick up a card, and can’t find a convenient appointment go to the enrollment center as a walk-in.  The average wait time at enrollment centers is 15 minutes or less, although at peak times longer waits may be experienced.


4) Card Production Delay Update: The temporary delays in delivering some TWIC cards announced here in June are significantly reduced.  The delays were caused by the transition to a new data and card production system.  The change was required to more effectively support TSA’s mission.  All TWIC enrollments and card requests are now being processed through the new system.  Delays experienced in June and July have diminished, however some residual delays are still occurring.  Applicants should expect to receive their new TWIC in three weeks or less.  Those whose applications require review by a TSA adjudicator will experience an additional three to four week delay.  TSA continues to work diligently to further minimize delays and will continue to do so until program goals for processing all applications are achieved.  You may check your application status online here or via the UES Call Center at 1-855-DHS-UES1 (855-347-8371).

Friday, June 27, 2014

TSA Publishes Notice Concerning TWIC Cards Issued Without Fingerprint Template Files

On June 18, 2014, the Transportation Security Administration posted information on the TSA TWIC website concerning TWIC cards that were issued without fingerprint template files.  The bulletin is available at http://www.tsa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/pdf/twic/Statement_About_Missing_Fingerprints_on_TWICs.pdf.  From the bulletin:

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has identified that there were some
Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWICs) recently produced without the
fingerprint template files. Workers holding these cards who need to prove their identity by biometric match will not be able to do so until their card is replaced. TSA will replace
improperly produced cards at no cost to the card holder. Only TWICs produced with expiration dates of “2019MAY22” through, and including, “2019MAY30” are among the impacted cards and may potentially lack the fingerprint file.  Cards with expiration dates before May 22, 2019 or after May 30, 2019 are not affected by this problem. TSA has provided a list of Agency Serial Numbers; cardholders can locate this unique number identifier on the back of their card and determine if their card is affected. TSA reminds the stakeholder community that TWICs issued with missing fingerprint files are authentic, valid cards and should be accepted as such until replaced at the request of the card holder. Affected cards function with TWIC readers except for the capability to biometrically confirm identity.

Obtaining a Replacement Card:
Card holders who were issued a card without the fingerprint file should contact the UES CallCenter at 1-855-DHS-UES1 (855-347-8371) Monday through Friday, 8AM to 10PM Eastern to arrange for a free replacement card. Tell the Customer Service Representative that your card is missing the fingerprint file and provide the card’s ASN. The Representative will assist you in obtaining a replacement card.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

New Information on TWIC Program from TSA TWIC Website

On May 31, 2014 the Transportation Security Administration posted new information on the TSA TWIC website.  The information is reproduced in its entirety below.  MTSA stakeholders should visit the TSA TWIC site and examine the two technical bulletins that are referenced.  The new information includes the card production delay and several other important issues, including new card features (that makes theses new TWICs slightly different from older versions);  the upcoming “One-visit” initiative; important changes to accessing the Certificate Revocation List (CRL);  and new information that may be given during pre-enrollment (biographical). 

PLEASE NOTE: PERSONS WHO ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE A VALID TWIC BEFORE ASSUMING THEIR DUTIES (FSOs, FACILITY PERSONNEL WITH SPECFIC SECURITY DUTIES) WHO ARE ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY THE CARD PRODUCTION DELAYS SHOULD CONTACT THEIR LOCAL COTP TO DISCUSS THIS ADVERSE IMPACT AND TO SUGGEST EQUIVALENT SECURITY MEASURES.

The “One-visit” initiative is required by Congress.  The TWIC Program Office has completed the pilot test phase of mailing TWIC cards to applicants in Alaska and parts of Michigan.
Will offer the choice to receive cards by mail as this capability is added to enrollment centers throughout the summer. 
  • Applicants choosing to receive their card by mail will only be required to make one visit to an enrollment center to complete the enrollment process. 
  • The card will be mailed to the applicant’s home, or other address of their choice. 
  • The card will be activated and ready to be used.
  • A mailer with the card’s PIN will be sent separately.



1)   Card Production Delays:  TSA is upgrading its technology to more effectively support TSA’s mission.  However, TSA has experienced a temporary delay in the production and delivery of some TWIC cards.  This delay is impacting some new enrollments, card replacements and Extended Expiration Date (EED) cards.  TSA is working diligently to ensure the delays are minimized and efficient processing of applications and card production is achieved.  If you are experiencing a longer than usual processing time, you may continue to check your application status online here or via the UES Call Center at 1-855-DHS-UES1 (855-347-8371).

2)  New Card Topography Features:  TWIC enrollment centers are beginning to receive and issue cards produced by the Government Printing Office (GPO) through the Technology Infastructure Modernization (TIM) system.  The general appearance and security features of the new cards are similar to previous versions, but contain several changes:

Card Front:

•             Expiration date format is now YEAR MONTH DAY (YYYYMMMDD) example:  2016APR22
•             Card front:  A period “.” follows the middle initial, example:  W.
Card Back:
              Version moved to above the magnetic stripe (“TWIC v2.3 MM.YY”).
•             The smaller 1D bar code above the magnetic stripe has been replaced by a card stock identifier sequence.
•             The label “ID One PIV (1107253)” has been added above the magnetic stripe.
•             The printing below the larger 1D barcode now includes the System Code (7099), example:  70991234

The Technical Advisory with details on card topography changes is available here.

3)  New Card Technical Features:  As a result of the transition to the TIM system, the TWIC Certificate Authority (CA) changed.  TWIC readers programed to check the TWIC Certificate Revocation List (CRL) must be redirected to the new CA.  The technical advisory for this change was also previously posted to the TWIC website.  The direct link to the advisory is here.

4)  TWIC “OneVisit”:  The TWIC Program Office has completed the pilot test phase of mailing TWIC cards to applicants in Alaska and parts of Michigan and will offer the choice to receive cards by mail as this capability is added to enrollment centers throughout the summer.  Applicants choosing to receive their card by mail will only be required to make one visit to an enrollment center to complete the enrollment process.  The card will be mailed to the applicant’s home, or other address of their choice.  The card will be activated and ready to be used.  A mailer with the card’s PIN will be sent separately.

5)  Pre-Enrollment:  TWIC applicants may now begin the enrollment/application process by entering biographic information online before visiting an enrollment center. To pre-enroll, please visit the Universal Enrollment Services website here, click on the TWIC program icon, and select the “Pre-Enroll” link from the list of available services.

6)  Extended Expiration Date TWICs:  If you are a worker holding a TWIC that expires on or before December 31, 2014 and you are a U.S. citizen or U.S. national you will be able to replace your expiring TWIC with a 3-year Extended Expiration Date (EED) TWIC. To order an EED TWIC or a card replacement, you may contact the UES Call Center at 1-855-DHS-UES1 (1-855-347-8371) Monday through Friday from 8 AM - 10 PM Eastern. Alternatively, click here to order your EED TWIC or card replacement online.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Notice of Specific TWIC Card Services Unavailable - 04/22 through 05/04

Dear TWIC Stakeholder,

TSA is upgrading its technology to improve reliability, expand capabilities, and more effectively support TSA’s mission.  During the system upgrade, specific TWIC card services will be TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE.

TSA recommends that TWIC applicants take note of these important dates and plan accordingly:

  • Services for Card Transfers, Card Replacements and Extended Expiration Date (EED) TWIC will be unavailable from Tuesday, April 22nd through Sunday, May 4th, 2014:
If you need to utilize these services and require your TWIC prior to or during this time period, please place your order on or before Monday, April 14th.

  • Card Pick- Up, Activation and Personal Identification Number (PIN) Resets will be unavailable from Saturday, April 26th through Sunday, May 4th, 2014:
If you have a card that is ready for pick up and activation or need to have a PIN reset, please consider visiting the designated Universal Enrollment Services (UES) enrollment center for activation by Friday, April 25th or after May 4th.

ENROLLMENT SITES WILL BE OPEN AND AVAILABLE
Please note that all enrollment sites for TWIC, HME and TSA PreP™Application Program WILL BE OPEN and AVAILABLE for enrollment services and NOT impacted by the system upgrade.  All TWIC card services will become available beginning Monday, May 5th.

It is likely that enrollment sites may be busier than usual immediately before and after the upgrade, so stakeholders may choose to obtain card services a few weeks before or after the system upgrade if flexibility allows.


If you have any questions about the availability of card services, please contact the Universal Enrollment Services (UES) Call Center at 1-855-DHS-UES1 (855-347-8371) between 8am – 10pm Eastern, Monday through Friday.  For additional information on TWIC, HME or TSA PreP™ application program enrollment services, please visit https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/

Friday, April 4, 2014

From News from Bryant's Maritime Consulting: New Coast Guard Blog

CAPT Dennis Bryant has once more given the maritime community a great heads up in the April 04 2014 issue of News from Bryant’s Maritime Consulting, by letting us know that the Coast Guard has instituted a blog for maritime professionals, Maritime Commons, at http://mariners.coastguard.dodlive.mil/.  

This blog will assist us with the task we have of reducing the firehose delivery of information that comes at us every day to a drinkable amount. Keeping up is difficult for everyone and here we see the Coast Guard once more spotting the problem and assisting the profession with a solution. 

One item I saw that needs immediate attention is news concerning an ALCOAST about cybersecurity from the Office of Port and Facility Compliance, at http://www.uscg.mil/announcements/alcoast/122-14_ALCOAST.txt.


This blog looks to be mandatory reading for all MTSA security professionals.

Monday, February 24, 2014

From Chemical Facility Security News, February 2014 CFATS Fact Sheet

My colleague Patrick Coyle, in today's Chemical Facility Security News (http://chemical-facility-security-news.blogspot.com/2014/02/cfats-fact-sheet-february-2014.html) has given us a link to the February 2014 CFATS Fact Sheet. This link is not yet available via the DHS CFATS website.

As of February 1, 2014:
More than 46,000 preliminary assessments were reviewed by DHS from facilities with chemicals of interest. 4,266 facilities are currently covered by CFATS. More than 3,000 facilities voluntarily removed, reduced, or modified their holdings of chemicals of interest. 1,389 visits to assist facilities with compliance. 1,053 Security Plans authorized. 744 Authorization Inspections conducted. 506 Security Plans approved following an on-site inspection.


Once again, thank you, Patrick. There is no better site to follow for CFATS information than Chemical Facility Security News.

Friday, February 7, 2014

HR 4007, Act to Recodify and Reauthorize the CFATS program

On Thursday, February 06, 2014, House Resolution 4007 was introduced by Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-PA), to recodify and reauthorize the CFATS program.  The following classes of facilities would retain their exemptions from CFATS provisions under the definition of “covered chemical facility”:
  • Facilities subject to MTSA;
  • Public water systems, as defined by the Safe Drinking Water Act;
  • Water treatment works, as defined by the Federal Water Pollution Control Act;
  •  Any facility owned or operated by DoD or DoE;
  • Any facility regulated by the NRC.
If enacted, the resolution would extend the CFATS program for two years from the date of the enactment of the act. Funding does not appear to be addressed. The full text of the resolution is available at http://homeland.house.gov/sites/homeland.house.gov/files/documents/020614-HR4007.pdf.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thoughts on the Coast Guard Homeport site

I don’t typically use this blog to editorialize but I am going to do so now.  It has become fashionable to malign the Coast Guard’s Homeport site. Unfortunately, it’s fairly common to hear Coast Guard personnel trashing the site.  I especially hear this kind of talk among people who are not frequent users of the site or who have other issues with the organization.

There is no website ever created that is without flaws. I have a list of items I would like to see changed on the site. But there is a longer list of things I like about the site.  One of those things is the responsiveness of the help desk. I have contacted the help desk several times in the past and it has been my experience that within hours of submitting an email I am talking to a real person who is interested in either helping me with my problem, getting me information, or in the case of my locating some information that probably shouldn't have been posted, thanking me for the email. This is in comparison with the HSIN site. I am a member of my local Area Maritime Security Committee, I am a member of the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee, and I have been asking for years without success to be admitted onto a restricted transportation sector page.  My queries are never answered.


Homeport is our site, designed by our people, who know our jobs. Those who are calling for its closure and a transition to HSIN should be careful, they just might get what they are asking for.