The Transportation Research Board hosted the 15th Biennial Harbor Safety Committee and Area Maritime Security Committee Conference, in Philadelphia, Pa. August 26-27th, 2014. The conference explored best practices, innovations and technology that address critical harbor and maritime safety and security issues.
Ryan Owens, with the Coast Guard’s Office of Port and Facility Compliance, was a keynote speaker in a plenary session titled, ‘Desperately Seeking Resiliency.’
Owens spoke on how the Coast Guard promotes resiliency within the maritime community.
Owens listed three committees, that the Coast Guar leads and supports, dedicated to preparing for response and recovery operations:
• Harbor Safety Committee for general navigation safety
• Area Committee for pollution response
• Area Maritime Security Committee for security incidents
Owens covered the responsibilities of each committee and the Coast Guard’s commitment to resiliency through support of these areas of responsibilities.
“While the Coast Guard has regulatory authority in place to enforce maritime security, it is a partnership, we really can’t do it alone,” said Owens.
Some of the responsibilities of the AMSC that were highlighted include:
• Prepare for recovery operations
• Salvage response plans
• Marine Transportation System Recovery Units
• Partner with other government agencies
Owens spoke on the overall goal following an event, accident or failure as, “expeditious resumption of trade … and that includes interfacing with … members of the trade. So if there’s a major catastrophic occurrence in a port area, we’re able to understand that industry has contingencies in place,” said Owens, “A question we ask ourselves is, are we, as the Federal Government, going to be able to respond to (industry’s) contingency plans so that we can help facilitate trade with minimum disruptions.”
Included in Owens’ presentation was long-term contingency planning.
“The Coast Guard works very closely with the Committee of Maritime Transportation System and our partners at the Department of Transportation. Internationally, the Coast Guard works with International Maritime Organization to take Coast Guard and Customs Border Patrol protocols and turn those into a set of guidelines so that other nations can take a look at what we do as far as communicating with industry and developing information that can be used to understand what’s happening within a port area or waterway,” said Owens.
This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.