NEW YORK PORTS - Congressman King visits Houston Ship Channel Security Partnership

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): Ports & Terminals  

Congressman Peter King (R-NY), Ranking Member of the US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, visited the Port of Houston and was briefed on the Port of Houston’s multi-layered security program by representatives of the Port of Houston Authority and its federal and local government partners. He also toured the PHA’s Mobile Command Center.
One of the largest ports in the world, the Port of Houston is made up of the Port of Houston Authority and more than 150 private industrial companies along the Houston Ship Channel, which is home to the second largest petrochemical complex in the world.
To improve security within the Houston Ship Channel area, PHA, industry leaders and local area government came together to propose the creation of a unique public-private partnership, the Houston Ship Channel Security District. The purpose of the district is to provide operation and maintenance funds to leverage and support an improved security infrastructure across the Houston Ship Channel. The district was authorized by the Texas State Legislature in 2007 through H.B. 3011, authored by Texas State Representative Wayne Smith and sponsored by Texas State Senator Mike Jackson.
“The Houston Ship Channel Security District is an innovative step forward,” said King, who created the first draft of port security legislation. “I was struck by the tremendous level of cooperation. We are in a new world since 9/11 and we must find ways to finance security needs and work together with law enforcement. You can never have enough levels of security but the Port of Houston is doing as much as it can do.”
Capt. William J. Diehl, US Coast Guard, Houston-Galveston Sector Commander, said, “The cooperation shown along the Houston Ship Channel to initiate a more regional approach to security is something we very much support at the US Coast Guard. We are looking forward to working with the district and see many benefits to this cooperative partnership.”
When fully implemented, the Houston Ship Channel Security District will provide an integrated security strategy that increases the level of security for both the waterside and landside facilities along the Houston Ship Channel, as well as the associated supply chain and support industry surrounding the ship channel. The projects and services of the district are designed to increase preparedness and response needed to address potential threats within the district boundary.
In addition to the Port of Houston Authority, security district members may include East Harris County Manufacturers Association; Maritime company facilities regulated by MTSA (Maritime Transportation Security Act); and Harris County and a representative appointed by the Harris County Mayors and Councils Association.
Ship channel security partners include Harris County Precinct 2; Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management; Harris County Sheriff’s Office; TranStar partners—TxDOT, METRO and City of Houston; Houston Ship Channel Security Council; University of Houston; and the US Coast Guard.

American Journal of Transportation