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News response and communications. The Council will pursue policies to prevent the occurrence of such a catastrophe and implement processes to mitigate the consequences of a terrorist attack or natural disaster at a port. The CMSC will be comprised of top officials from OHS, U.S. Coast Guard, BT&H, National Guard, U.S. Navy and other agencies as well as Directors of California's major ports and representatives from the labor and business communities. It is anticipated that there would be no additional cost to the state for the Council. The specific duties of the CMSC would include: identifying potential threats, improving security measures, procedures, and communications; coordinating contingency planning; coordinating information sharing; conducting training exercises; developing a statewide maritime security strategy; and preparing to quickly recover from a catastrophic event at a California port. The Governor also thanked Representatives Dan Lungren and Jane Harman in spearheading the effort to pass a port security bill that uses an accurate assessment of risk and needs to award Homeland Security grants to our nation's ports. ACL Dedicates New Facility American Commercial Lines Inc. (ACL) dedicated a new enclosed manufacturing facility at its shipyard in Jeffersonville, Ind. The new building covers the assembly line that is currently producing dry cargo barges. Jerry Linzey, Senior Vice President and COO, said, "The new facility is a significant part of a $10 million capital investment we are making to improve the working environment for our people. The facility represents our commitment to creating a safer and more efficient work place. This capital investment substantially reduces the negative impact weather has on our manufacturing operations. The new assembly line incorporates numerous process enhancements developed through our continuous improvement program with our associates that reduces waste, enhances productivity and improves quality. We expect the balance of our $10 million capital investment to be completed on schedule which will enable us to meet our performance goals for 2007." $113M in Port Security Deals The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) announced $113 million in competitive awards to enhance the detection of radiological materials at the nation's ports of entry. Human Portable Radiation Detection Systems (HPRDS) program contracts will be awarded to Ametec AMT of Oak Ridge, Tenn., Science Application International Corporation of San Diego Calif., Sanmina-SCI of Huntsville, Ala., Target Instruments, Inc. of Oak Ridge, Tenn., and Smiths Detection Inc. of Pine Brook, N.J. DNDO anticipates purchasing and deploying roughly 1,000 next generation handheld systems and 200 backpack systems through the HPRDS program. The portable technology will be used primarily by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers for secondary screening of cargo to identify and localize radiological material after a primary alarm has been triggered. It is also anticipated that the devices could be used by U.S. Coast Guard officers aboard vessels prior to an arrival at port. OMSA Applauds SAFE Port Act The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) applauded Congress for its passage of the Security and Accountability for Every (SAFE) Port Act. The legislation contains a key provision that will help reduce the risk of terrorist activity in America's offshore oil and gas sector. Offshore drilling and production facilities have been vulnerable because there was not requirement for foreign vessels to report security information to the Coast guard when they go to work in offshore areas, according to OMSA. Currently, foreign vessels that call on U.S. ports are required to report information on crewmembers, vessel owners, cargo and the extent of their security plans. However, until now vessels that go directly to work on offshore lease sites were not required to submit any of that information, exposing offshore oil and gas sites to unacceptable security risks. Under the specific measure passed by Congress as a part of the Port Bill, the Coast Guard must develop regulations within 180 days requiring foreign vessels that come to work in offshore oil and gas areas located in U.S. waters to file the same sort of information they file when they come to a U.S. port. "This effectively closes a loophole that could have allowed a boat controlled by terrorists to slip into America's offshore energy facilities without anyone knowing it was there. Our offshore energy resources may represent half of our future domestic oil and gas supplies. That is too important to the nation to be put at risk," said OMSA President Ken Wells. 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