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Trucking and rail industries to advise regulators on national security

Photo Credit: Jim Allen/Freightwaves

Security officials in Washington, D.C., will be seeking the advice from trucking and rail groups on formulating regulatory policy that protects surface transportation infrastructure.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has selected 35 representatives, including two from the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and one from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, to become voting members of its newly created Surface Transportation Security Advisory Committee.

Members selected from the freight rail industry included representatives from the Association of American Railroads, the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association and Kansas City Southern Railway [NYSE: KSU].

Voting members will serve two-year terms, and will report to TSA Administrator David Pekoske on surface transportation security issues to help develop policies, programs, initiatives, rulemakings and security directives.

“The knowledge and expertise these leaders bring to the table will play a vital role in TSA’s continued efforts to safeguard the nation’s surface transportation systems,” said Pekoske in announcing the committee on April 8.

“Having two key staff experts on security issues named as voting members of this advisory committee shows just how respected ATA is for our expertise and leadership on transportation issues – including on security issues,” commented ATA President and CEO Chris Spear, referring to appointees Jacob Pierce, deputy executive director of ATA’s Safety Management Council, and Alexandra Rosen, manager of the association’s Customs, Immigration & Cross-Border Operations.

“We’re confident they will represent the best interests of our industry and our nation well during these increasingly perilous times.”

The advisory committee also includes members from the National Association of Chemical Distributors and The Chlorine Institute, both significant users of rail and truck.

In addition to 35 voting members there are 14 non-voting members that will serve on the committee from the federal departments of Defense, Energy, Homeland Security and Transportation, and from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Transportation Safety Board.

The committee was created through the TSA Modernization Act, part of the FAA Reauthorization signed by President Trump in October 2018. The act was the first reauthorization of TSA since it was created in 2001, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11. It authorizes TSA appropriations through fiscal year 2021.

The act “modernizes TSA’s structure and operations, and expands the agency’s ability to innovate, engage domestic and international stakeholders,” according to TSA. The act also required the establishment of an air cargo division, which was recently created by TSA to carry out new air cargo security programs.


John Gallagher

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.