Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Transport Industry BeatsThe Chip


Jim Babka from Downsize DC will be on the show to discuss his work to stop the Transportation Worker Identification Credential. Jim will be discussing these ideas with with longshoreman and activist Lowell Rogers, who has confronted consequences to his line of work for refusing to comply with TWIC standards.

Jim Babka is the co-founder and President of the Downsize DC Foundation and DownsizeDC.org, Inc. He is also the host of The Downsize DC Conference Call on the Genesis Communication Network. He has guest-hosted other shows including the Harry Browne Show
Lowell Rogers has been an engineer on a brown-water tugboat for 23 years. He loves his work, and his employer likes the way Lowell does his job. But starting April 2009, thanks to the Maritime Safety Act, Lowell's employer will have to assume he's a potential terrorist, unless he has a Transportation Worker Identification Credential -- a TWIC card.

Waking Up Orwell airs live in Austin, TX from 2:30 - 3:00 PM CST Thursdays on KOOP.org .


Facing TWIC criticism, TSA temporarily allows alternate ID at ports

LANDLINEMAG.com - 12/15

Truck drivers and other workers who have wrangled with aggressive enforcement at many ports for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential may get extra time to fully comply – at least for a few weeks.

The Transportation Security Administration announced Friday that certain ports are allowing port access if workers present acceptable identification and proof that their TWIC card has been printed and is ready for activation.

The new temporary system will revert back to mandatory TWIC card possession for unescorted access through port-defined “secure areas,” with different deadlines for each of three groups of ports.

The first group will be allowed to use the temporary ID system until Dec. 22, including ports located in “Captain of the Port Zones: Boston, Northern New England, Southeastern New England, Cape Fear River, Corpus Christi, TX, North Carolina, Buffalo, NY; Detroit; Duluth, MN; Lake Michigan; Sault Ste. Marie, MI; Charleston, SC; Long Island Sound; Jacksonville, FL; and Savannah, GA.

The second group can use the temporary ID system until Feb. 1, 2009, including ports in Captain of the Port Zones of: Baltimore, Delaware Bay, DE; Mobile, AL; Lower Mississippi River, MS; Ohio Valley, Pittsburgh; and San Diego.

The last group may use the temporary ID system until Feb. 13, 2009. It includes ports in Captain of the Port Zones of Hampton Roads, VA; Morgan City, LA; New Orleans; Upper Mississippi River, MS; Miami; Key West, FL; and St. Petersburg, FL.

Acceptable proof of activation-ready TWIC cards includes:

  • Printing the e-mail sent by TSA during notification process that the TWIC is ready for pick-up.
  • Providing the facility security officer with the applicant’s TWIC application ID number, which can be checked on www.twicinformation.com.
  • Providing the facility security officer with the worker’s first and last name. That information can be checked by the officer, using the password-protected portion of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Web site.

“Captain of the Port’s should work closely with facility owners and operators to ensure that the above policy is implemented to provide equivalent security at Maritime Transportation Security Act-regulated facilities while minimizing impacts on maritime operations and commerce,” read a statement from TWIC’s policy advisory council.

For more information, visit
The TWIC program eventually will require more than 1.5 million port employees, longshoremen, mariners, truckers and others who require unescorted access to secure areas of ports to have background checks before being issued cards with their biometric data and residency documentation.

Nationally, TWIC cards will be required for truckers and other port workers who need unescorted access into secure areas by April 15, 2009, although most ports are implementing earlier mandatory TWIC enforcement.

OOIDA has been critical of several TSA processes during the TWIC rollout including the price of enrollment and the ability of foreign nationals to access ports without background checks required by TWIC applicants from the United States. One filing of the Association’s comments on TWIC can be found here.

Standard TWIC enrollment costs $132.50, although workers with “current, comparable” threat assessment background checks such as hazmat endorsements, Merchant Mariner Documents or Free and Secure Trade (FAST) cards may obtain a TWIC card for $105.25. The card is designed to last five years.

Replacement cards for those who lose or damage their TWIC card cost $60, according to the TWIC Web site at www.tsa.gov/twic.

According to TSA, as of Thursday, Dec. 11, 725,742 workers nationally had enrolled in TWIC. Of those, 637,262 cards have been printed and 488,713 had been activated. About 120,000 truck drivers have enrolled.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer

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