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DHS introduces new Security Program at the southern border.
Expansion of FAST Lanes
The Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program is designed to enhance the security and safety of the commercial flow of goods along the Southern border, while facilitating the economic prosperity of both countries. Companies using FAST lanes agree to rigorous inspections of their plants, warehouses and employees as well as to safety procedures, including special container seals that ensure the integrity of the cargo and eliminate vulnerabilities. In exchange, participating companies receive fast electronic processing and reduced inspections. DHS plan to establish FAST lanes at five dditional land ports of entry this year including Calexico, CA Otay Mesa , CA
California is at it again
LOWENTHAL INTODUCES BARRAGE OF PORT-RELATED BILLS
California State Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal, as promised, has introduced a bill that would assess a surcharge on trucker gate moves during the day at Los Angeles-Long Beach marine terminals. The bill, AB 2041, would establish a Port Congestion Management District with a seven-member board. The Port Congestion board would "establish a charge for the privilege of transporting cargo by commercial motor vehicle" into or out of the terminals during the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. , Monday through Friday. The charge would be paid by "the person who orders the shipment." The revenues would be put in a fund and used to pay for certain projects to alleviate congestion caused by moving cargo during the day.
Other bills introduced by Lowenthal include:
AB 2042 would require that any growth at the Los Angeles-Long Beach ports result in zero net increase of pollution. Each port would be required to establish a baseline of pollution as it exists, then not exceed it.
AB 2043 would establish a state Maritime Port Strategic Master Plan Task Force that would compile data on issues relating to congestion and pollution from ports and submit a report to the legislature by Jan 1, 2006 with recommendations on how the state should manage port growth. The task force would be funded by a fee imposed on California ports.
AB1991 would create a "state-managed licensing authority" for the permitting of petroleum infrastructure projects. The new authority would be similar to what the State Energy Resources and Conversation Commission does with electric power plant and transmission lines projects. It would "consolidate and streamline existing permitting decisions into one process."
AB 1971 would tweak the language in Lowenthal's earlier AB 2650, which took effect last year. AB 2650 provides a $250 fine on container terminals at the Los Angeles, Long Beach or Oakland ports if they have trucks idling in line for more than 30 minutes before they get in the gate. AB 1971 tweaks with the language in the earlier legislation in an effort to make it clearer.
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