Senate committee passes GreenLane bill
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Tuesday approved a comprehensive package of cargo and port security measures known as the GreenLane Maritime Cargo Security Act. A House committee passed similar legislation last week.
The bill includes new language to fund a one-year pilot program to test integrated X-ray and radiation detection scanning of all U.S.-bound containers arriving at three foreign ports before they are loaded on a vessel. The system has been tested by the private sector on its own at the Port of Hong Kong and has proved successful in capturing images and radiation signatures of hundreds of trucks per hour without slowing throughput. But nobody has yet tested how to use or share the data for security purposes.
After the test, the Department of Homeland Security would report to Congress on how to expand the scanning system to all international ports.
The GreenLane bill establishes minimum security requirements for all cargo containers entering the United States and an Office of Cargo Security Policy, authorizes $400 million in port security grants, calls for improvements to the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and the Container Security Initiative, creates a GreenLane program for rapid clearance of cargo for shippers that adopt approved security measures, and provides $835 million dollars from customs revenues in each of the next five years to help fund these and other initiatives.