Friday, December 11, 2009

SSI fallout from TSA security breach

The House Committee of Homeland Security is requiring information from TSA Acting Administrator Gale Rossides. In a letter dated Dec. 08, 2009, the Committee asked for answers to questions that contained the following:
--What is TSA's standard operating procedure when screening TSA documents and issuing SSI classification? Please describe steps taken by each component at the Department involved in making such a determination.
--What is your practice when issuing a classification for a document that may contain information within multiple classification levels and what may be considered SSI?

The Committee is examining not only the specific security breach but also the SSI designation process. It seems reasonable to expect an increase in oversight of this information classification.

HR 2868 substitute

Posted on the House Homeland Security Committee website, in the document Key Points on the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to HR2868, Chemical Security Legislation," dated October 29, 2009: "Title I helps close these vulnerabilities by directing the U. S. Coast Guard, which current (sic) regulates port facilities under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 to oversee the administration of CFATS for port facilities." This is a welcome solution for the unwieldy scenario of TSA CFATS inspectors in USCG MTSA facilities. I trust the legislation will also give more money and personnel to the U. S. Coast Guard to compensate for the additional responsibilities.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Piracy PSA and TWIC PAC

Two items of interest –
Concerning piracy: Port Security Advisory (11-09) Supplementary Guidance on Anti-Piracy Defensive Measures, was issued on 12/01/09, to provide “additional clarification to specific Directive requirements based upon lessons learned to date. These clarifications and other changes will be incorporated into the next revision of MARSEC Directive 104-6.” The PSA addresses Heavy Wheel Movements, Communication in the Event of an Attack, AIS, Energizing Fire Pumps and Fire Hoses, Engine Room Manning, and Other Equivalent Measures.

More on TWIC: On Oct. 13, 2009, PAC 03-09 ch. 3 was extended until further notice. This PAC addresses the problem of persons experiencing a longer than 7-day turn around when trying to replace lost and stolen TWIC’s. An additional 30 calendar days of unescorted access can be granted “provided that all requirements under 33 CFR 104.265(c)(2)(i),(ii), and (iii), 105.255(c)(2)(i),(ii), and (iii), or 106.260(c)(2)(i)(ii), and (iii) are met and the following:

1) The individual provides proof that a replacement TWIC has been ordered ( a payment receipt (for $60.00) is acceptable as proof); and

2) Provide the VSO, FSO, or other designated employee with security duties, the individual’s first name and last name and application I.D. (if known). This information can then be used by the facility to confirm that the individual has previously held a valid TWIC and has ordered a replacement by using the card status check feature on TSA’s website located at: “

Friday, September 11, 2009

Review of most current TWIC PAC's

While we are on the topic of PAC documents, here is a recent TWIC PAC that is likely to affect many MTSA facilities:

PAC 06-09, issued June 9, 2009, "Escorting Requirements for Passengers Traveling With Commercial Truck Drivers." The issue at hand was, Are passengers riding with commercial truck drivers required to obtain a TWIC if they stay within the cab of the vehicle while in secure areas of a 105 facility? The answer is, Yes, if it's acceptable to the owner/operator, and if the following conditions are met:

• the passenger does not require a TWIC in their own right, per 33 CFR 101.514;
• the passenger remains within the cab of the vehicle for the duration of the time that the vehicle remains within a secure area;
• the facility owner/operator agrees to permit the trucker to escort his/her passenger;
• the passenger can present personal identification that meets the requirements of 33 CFR 101.515, unless age prevents issuance of a qualifying ID;
• there is no suspicious behavior or actions on the part of the passenger or truck driver requesting to perform escorting duties;
• the passenger’s age or presence within the secure area will not interfere with facility safety policies/procedures;
• the commercial truck driver possesses a valid TWIC and meets the minimum training requirements listed in 33 CFR 105.215 (Security training for all other vessel/facility/OCS facility personnel) and any additional training requirements established by the facility; and
• the commercial truck driver must have knowledge of the owner/operator’s escorting procedures, and the procedures and contingency plans determined by the owner/operator if an escorted individual is engaged in activities other than those for which escorted access was granted. (The owner/operator is responsible for providing this information to the truck driver by classroom-style, one-to-one briefings, or via fliers/handouts outlining the various information that the escort needs to know. For further guidance, refer to Policy Advisory Council (PAC) Decision 02-09 dated 22 JAN 09.)

This PAC reinforces the importance of facility security personnel familiarity with the ID standards of 33 CFR 101.515. It is based on the decision of the owner/operator. If the owner/operator declines to allow a TWIC-less passenger back into the secure area, this is his/her decision to make. Eventually the 104.225 and 105.215 standard for basic knowledge for TWIC escort (PAC 02-09) will be enforced on a system-wide basis.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

HSAS teleconference - register by 1700 9/10

DTE Energy compliance and training specialist Thomas Kopera, Esq., alerted me to the Federal Register notice about the the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) meeting to review the findings and recommendations of the HSAC’s Homeland Security Advisory System Task Force.

The HSAC conference call will take place from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. EST on Tuesday, September 15, 2009. The meeting is scheduled for one hour and all participating members of the public should promptly call-in at the beginning of the teleconference.

To register for the teleconference, each individual must provide his or her full legal name, e-mail address and phone number no later than 5 p.m. EST on September 10, 2009, to a staff member
of the HSAC via e-mail at or via phone at (202) 447–3135. HSAC conference call details will be provided at this time.

This notice is at Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 172 / Tuesday, September 8, 2009 / Notices.

PAC 09-09 Certain asphalt facilities opting out of MTSA

Asphalt facilities seeking to waive the requirements of MTSA need to direct the letter to the COTP, not the Commandant (CG-54), as the document seems to indicate. In speaking with Coast Guard personnel across Districts, there is a possibility that there may be some variety of interpretation of the qualifying conditions, which are:

1. The facility stores less than 42,000 aggregate gallons of any other 33 CFR 154
2. The facility receives no vessels subject to SOLAS.
3. The facility receives no foreign flagged vessels.
4. The facility receives no passenger vessels.
5. The facility is not regulated under another applicability factor.

One approach in writing the request for waiver is to ensure that each of these five qualifying conditions is listed and underneath each, briefly describe how the facility meets the condition. Even if all the qualifying conditions are not met at the facility (example, receives foreign-flagged vessels; has a storage of more than 42,000 gallons of another substance regulated under 154), the facility may still request a waiver.

The Policy Advisory Council document describes the reasoning behind allowing the facilities to opt out of MTSA, based largely on the properties of the cargo. The risk introduced into the situation by the presence of the vessel is not similarly addressed.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Blog

For those of you who have been looking for a blog, or another blog, on MTSA matters, here it is. The main purpose of this blog will be to serve as another information source on policy, regulations, news, and industry announcements concerning facilities regulated under 33 CFR 105 and/or vessels regulated under 33 CFR 104. The recent release of the MTSA PAC 09-09 without notification to many critical parties and the varying interpretations of this document illustrate that information exchange is still a work in progress.

It also illustrates the importance of Homeport. There's been considerable criticism about the site since its launch and I encounter USCG personnel who state that they do not use it. As far as I can tell from the outside, the only notification concerning PAC 09-09 was its posting on Homeport. Like it or not, it's vital to use the Homeport site.