Senators launch bipartisan push for security plan for port cargo

| 11/29/2005

Two senators are squarely behind a plan to create a comprehensive security program for cargo moving in and out of the nation’s ports.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME, introduced the GreenLane Maritime Cargo Security Act earlier this month. The bill is also co-sponsored by Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-CT, and Sen. Norm Coleman, R-MN.

Murray said in a news release that the plan is designed to close off opportunities for terrorists to tamper with cargo as it enters U.S. ports.

“Right now, there is a gaping hole in America’s security when it comes to the cargo entering our ports each day,” she said in a news release.

The bill proposes to create what it calls “The GreenLane” for cargo from supply chain participants who voluntarily meet the highest levels of security outlined by the plan.

The bill would require the establishment of minimum security standards for all cargo entering the U.S. It also calls for the establishment of an Office of Cargo Security Policy that would ensure the accountability and coordination of cargo security policies, procedures and regulations at the Department of Homeland Security.

In addition, the bill would establish a port security grant program to help fund security measures. It also would authorize the establishment of a Container Security Initiative that would identify and examine maritime containers that pose a risk for terrorism at foreign ports.