News Releases

Senator Murray Announces $6 Million More for Port of Tacoma Radiation Detection Center Operations

Jun 13 2007

Test center part of Murray's SAFE Ports Act; Funding secured in Department of Homeland Security annual spending bill will fund operating costs

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that $6 million in federal funding is included in the annual homeland security spending bill for the Intermodal Test Center at the Port of Tacoma. The center will pioneer new technology in cargo radiation screening that will allow trains to be screened for radiological materials. The funding was unveiled today as part of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations bill.  

"If we want the Tacoma test center to pioneer the screening methods of the future, we have to fully fund their critical work," said Senator Murray. "This funding will go toward developing radiation screening technology that will be used on rail cars that deliver goods throughout our state and country. It will help the test center lead the way for ports across the nation, safeguard our communities, and ensure that our state's trade-based economy is protected."

On May 11th, 2007, Senator Murray joined with officials from the Department of Homeland Security and members of the Tacoma community to celebrate the placement of the test center at the Port of Tacoma. Senator Murray secured the initial $5 million in funding for the test center in the 2007 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill.  

The center was established as part of Senator Murray's landmark SAFE Ports Act which was signed into law last October. The SAFE Ports Act also raises security standards for all cargo entering the U.S., creates a streamlined system to track and monitor cargo, creates a system to resume trade after an incident, and authorizes port security grants.  

Murray has been a leader on port security in the Senate. The Appropriations bill announced today also included full funding for port security grants under Murray's SAFE Ports Act. The port security grants total $400 million which is an increase of $190 million above President’s request. Port security grants fund chemical detectors, cameras, and security gates at our nation's ports. They also support the training and exercises that ports need to practice their response to an incident.