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Congressman Rohrabacher Announces Comprehensive Congressional Action to Improve Port Security

Aug 27, 2004

Washington, Aug 27, 2004 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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27 August 2004

(Washington, D.C.) U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46) today hailed the enactment of new Congressional legislation to create a National Port Security Research Center in California with up to $35 million in funding in each of the next five years. A long time recognized leader and national fixture in port and homeland security, Rohrabacher said the provision was included in the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act (Public Law 108-293) and signed into law by President Bush over the Congressional recess. Rohrabacher called the measure “ a marked improvement over current port security grants” and the “first tangible long term strategic approach adopted by Congress to mitigate widely recognized vulnerabilities in the nation’s ports to terrorist threats especially that of radiological weapons”.

Rohrabacher said the legislation calls for the formation of “stakeholder consortia comprised of University, government laboratory, port authority, and high technology companies” to comprehensively address the issue of port security and apply U.S. technology to find ways to better target high risk containers, inspect a greater percentage of containers including empties returning to the ports, manage a large scale port disruption, mitigate economic impacts to the region and the nation and resume port operations without adversely affecting the flow of cargo through the ports!”.

Rohrabacher hailed the initiative of California State University Long Beach in the 46th Congressional District to take the lead in forming the nation’s first National Port Security Research Center along with the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as a natural extension of the ports’ role in handling 45% of the nation’s imports. Calling the current crisis “nothing compared to the potential economic impact on the region and nation of an extended closure caused by a terrorist incident or natural disaster”. He indicated he and his staff would be heavily involved in the formation and development of a strategic plan for the Center and obtaining necessary follow on Congressional funding with the anticipated support of his colleagues in the California Congressional delegation and the Schwarzenegger Administration in Sacramento.