Murray Applauds New Maritime Security Plan, Urges Administration Funding

Oct 23 2003

One-size-fits-all plan abandoned thanks to Senator’s work, local input

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Following a 30-day review period during which they sought feedback from stakeholders, the Coast Guard today released their Final Rule governing passenger vessel security across the country, including ferries. Senator Murray worked with the Coast Guard to abandon its one-size-fits-all approach in favor of a plan that will work for the thousands of passengers in Washington state who depend on ferries on a daily basis.

Sen. Murray released the following statement:

“The Coast Guard deserves a tremendous amount of credit for working with stakeholders to address maritime security rules in the wake of 9/11. Today’s rules reveal a good faith effort to implement a more flexible plan that will ensure security while keeping our passengers moving.

I worked closely with the Coast Guard to ensure that any new security plan includes local input. Passengers need to be protected, but they don’t need long lines that keep them from their families and jobs.

There is no question we live in a new era, where the security of our transportation systems is paramount, but an exhaustive new inspection and security regimen won’t work in Washington state. With 26 million riders in Washington each year, ferries are not a luxury, they are an essential mode of transportation.

I am pleased that the Coast Guard has abandoned its one-size-fits-all approach to ferry security. The new, more flexible plan will improve safety without compromising service for our communities.

I urge the Administration to step up and provide the federal funding needed to keep our passengers moving and our waterways secure.”

Links to the new rule are available at:

Area Maritime Security - 68 Fed. Reg. 60472

Vessel Security - 68 Fed. Reg. 60483

Facility Security - 68 Fed. Reg. 60515

Outer Continental Shelf Facility Security - 68 Fed. Reg.60545

AIS Carriage Requirements - 68 Fed. Reg. 60559