Senator Murray Celebrates Port of Tacoma Intermodal Radiation Test Center

May 11 2007

Test center part of Murray's SAFE Ports Act; Funding for project secured by Murray in Emergency Supplemental bill

(Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) joined with representatives of the Port of Tacoma, Coast Guard, Customs, DNDO, port workers, and members of the Tacoma business community to celebrate the placement of the Intermodal Radiation Test Center at the Port of Tacoma. The Intermodal Test Center will pioneer new technology in cargo radiation screening that will allow trains to be screened for radiological materials. The center was established as part of Senator Murray's landmark SAFE Ports Act which was signed into law last October. Murray also secured $5 million to fund the center in the 2007 Emergency Supplemental bill which is being debated in Congress.

"If we want to secure our ports we have to work to develop and test new technologies and processes," said Senator Murray. "We know that current technologies that are effective for trucks do not necessarily work for trains. That is why I fought for the Intermodal Radiation Test Center in the SAFE Ports Act. If we want to ensure that our communities and economy are safe we need to look at cutting-edge technology and take a comprehensive approach."

"With this center we have the opportunity to continue our state's long history as the birthplace of innovation and technological breakthrough. It is only fitting that the radiation detection equipment that could protect all of our nation's ports will have its roots right here in Tacoma, Washington."

Senator Murray has established herself as a nationwide leader on port security. Last year, after five years of work, Murray's SAFE Ports Act was signed into law.

The SAFE Ports Act 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 also included substantial funding in the Senate Budget Resolution for port security for Fiscal Year 2008 and secured $295 million for port security initiatives in the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill. And just this week, Murray announced that she helped to secure over $18 million in port security grants for Washington state ports, including over $11 million for critical security improvements at the Port of Tacoma.