TWIC Reader Rule Extension Legislation Passed and Regulatory Comments Sought
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Michael Stroud
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TWIC Reader Rule Extension Legislation Passed and Regulatory Comments Sought

The Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Reader Rule (TWIC Reader Rule) will have at least a three-year delay. In June 2022, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, acting through the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), issued a notice in the federal government’s Spring Unified Agenda, that the TWIC Reader Rule would likely be delayed for another three years until approximately May 2026. The USCG informed ILTA and its members at ILTA’s Fall EHS&S meeting that a forthcoming Federal Register Notice would be issued requesting comments as to whether the TWIC Reader Rule should be delayed.

At the Fall EHS&S meeting, USCG indicated that the reason for the anticipated delay in the TWIC Reader Rule was due to the final Risk Analysis Report being issued by the RAND Corporation (the Rand Study).  The USCG RAND Study, authorized and required by law, provided a detailed analysis of the TWIC Reader Rule. The RAND Study was also circulated to the public in November.

Shortly after the RAND Study was issued, on December 6, 2022, USCG issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2022-12-06/pdf/2022-26493.pdf to seek public comments on whether the TWIC Reader Rule should be extended (i.e., delayed) by three-years until May 8, 2026.  USCG also sought public comments on whether the TWIC Reader Rule should be extended by as long as six-years until May 8, 2029. To advocate for ILTA’s members’ positions, a TWIC Reader Rule Working Group was formed to help determine ILTA’s path forward.

The Working Group included: Jerry Jerdine, Andrea Simonin, Frank Recknagel, Brian Temples, Rick Bondy, Tim Krietemeyer, Rick Slaugh, and Jonathan Wisebaker. The Working Group met several times and helped draft the ILTA comments. Thank you for your willingness to volunteer and help us with this important project.

ILTA’s comments supported the three-year extension on the grounds that USCG could implement a more improved TWIC Reader Rule. ILTA’s comments also supported a possibly longer extension, but only if, the additional time allowed USCG the time needed to finalize and implement a final TWIC Reader Rule that addressed ILTA’s concerns about the current TWIC Reader Rule. Some of the topics addressed included the problems identified by the RAND Study such as the methodology used to calculate risk reduction at sites and the need for uniformly enforced and interpreted “redesignation” policies and guidance from the USCG. A copy of ILTA’s comments is attached below.

ILTA is continuing its efforts to save terminal operators from making costly capital investments without the assurance of improved security because of using the biometric enhanced TWIC Readers. In addition to drafting and submitting comments to the USCG, ILTA worked with industry partners at the American Chemistry Council and the American Fuel Petrochemical Manufacturers to support legislative language making technical corrections to the underly law pertaining to the TWIC Reader Rule. Thereby, allowing for a TWIC Reader Rule extension until May 8, 2026. The legislative language was enacted in the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act of 2022 (NDAA).

ILTA continues working to improve the TWIC Reader Rule with USCG and other industry partners to ensure that ILTA’s members’ interests are conveyed and addressed.

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