Port Bureau News November 2012
Harris County Public Safety Broadband LTE Public Safety Organizations
2012 Election Results—A Look at What’s to Come Spotlight on John Walker Port Security Specialist, USCG Sector Houston-Galveston
The M/V Veracruz Express outbound from Barbour’s Cut Terminal
Port Bureau Staff Bill Diehl Jeannie Angeli David Cooley Al Cusick Cristina Gomez Janette Molina Christine Schlenker Patrick Seeba Josh Whitehead
Board of Directors *Dennis Hansell—Chairman *Steve Stewart—1st Vice Chair *Capt. Bill Hennessey—2nd Vice Chair *John Taylor—Sec./Treas. *Tom Marian—Immediate Past Chair *David Ellis *Charles H. Flournoy *Capt. John G. Peterlin III *Vinny Pilegge *Nolan Richardson *Capt. Richard Russell *Captain Robert Thompson *Len Waterworth *Nathan Wesely April Bailey Jim Black Robert Blades Ken Burnett Mike Drieu Robert Garcia Celeste Harris Jason Hayley Mehdi Hejazi Kevin Hickey Guy W. Hitt Charlie Jenkins Mike Mangan Brad Maxcey Jerry Nagel Bernt Netland Colin Scott Capt. Christos Sotirelis Tim Studdert *Denotes Executive Committee Members
“Fear the Beard”. Reading season previews and trying to get a handle on the Houston Rockets’ competitiveness, I kept seeing the same sort of reviews: “positioning themselves for the future…”, “need to figure out who they’re building around…”, “actively searching for a franchise player…”. It sounded to me the Rockets are looking ahead to the future and trying to decide what type of team they can become. When I heard about the Rockets signing James Harden from Oklahoma City, I realized that the Rockets had taken the first step towards building their future. Thinking about it, putting together a winning basketball team is just like any other endeavor in that it takes time, careful planning and a focus on the future. This is exactlywhat the Houston Ship Channel Security District has been doing in 2012. In early 2012, the Board of Directors realized that an important step in ensuring that they were both responsible stewards of member funds and providing the best return on investment for security projects was an independent review process by subject-matter experts. When the Chertoff Group began looking at District operations and practices so they could put together a strategic plan, I was glad to see RADM Tim Sullivan, USCG (Ret.) take charge of the project on the ground. I remember when Admiral Sullivan served as the primary coordinator between the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security during hurricanes Katrina and Rita and knew that his unmatched experience would be invaluable as the Chertoff Group looked at ways that the District could improve interoperability and interdisciplinary communications among first responders in the Port Region. In addition to the Chertoff review, the District took advantage of the 2013 Port Security Grant opportunity offered by the Department of Homeland Security to secure funds for the update of the Houston-Galveston Port-Wide Risk Mitigation and Business Continuity Plan. This plan, required by DHS regulations, has not been updated in over five years, and the District was in a great place to say “We’re going to step up for the community and make sure this plan gets done.” With a grant awarded in September, the work is currently laid out in a RFP and should be completed next year. In addition to planning for the future, projects supported by District funds also took a step forward this year. Though the first projects supported by the District were based on matching funds for Port Security Grant projects, the Houston Ship Channel Security District (HSCSD) was not established to supplant the responsibility of DHS. Rather, industry wanted to work with our first-responding partners to gain the maximum security practical for our port. Houston is the busiest port in the nation and the centers of the petrochemical and break bulk industries for the United States. What we like—more than that, what we need as industry is a stable, predictable business environment. This can sometimes be a challenge along a ship channel: ship collisions, allusions, and groundings, hurricanes, oil spills and now security incidents can threaten our ability to conduct business. Like any liability to a business, we put plans and procedures into place to reduce risk and to mitigate the effects of incidents when they occur. You'll read later in our special HSCSD insert about the specific projects that have taken steps ahead in 2012, but I wanted to stress that the Security District concept of industry assessing themselves and then deciding how to allocate the funding works because it is run by industry. With a board member representing local municipalities, one representing Harris County, one representing the Port of Houston Authority, and eight others who work as plant managers and facility managers of industry facilities, everyone is vested in stimulating cargo movement and protecting commerce. If government were to assess a significant security tariff on industry and then allocate that funding without industry prioritization, I doubt that it would be as well supported as it is. When board members are obligated to interact with their fellow plant managers and justify their decisions you get better industry participation and support of the security initiatives. As a result of this work, we now have a unique public-private partnership that improves security for facilities, employees, and communities by providing increased preparedness and response capability. We’ve seen two dividends emerge from the Security District: resiliency and coordination. Bolstering resiliency, District equipment and security infrastructure mitigates disruption of business during events such as hurricanes, evacuations or plant upsets, and helps district members recover and restore normal operations quicker. For coordination, we know that during a security incident, everyone in the area will be called upon to contribute. What we’re doing now is ramping up so that during an incident, our response is brought to bear seamlessly and coherently. I will close by saying that we see the Security District as a learn-as-you-go process, no different than what all of us are experiencing as we grow into this post 9/11 security world, and no different than the Rockets’ attempt to rebuild . Our Security District decisions must compliment our effective, productive businesses and keep traffic moving and when that happens, we are getting better security and reducing our risk.
Public Safety Broadband Network
DHSâ€™s Port Security Grant Program
Overview In an emergency, fast, reliable, and secure communications between first responders and public safety personnel is essential. Traditional public safety communication systems can be limited by reception, coverage, available bandwidth, and interoperability issues. To deal with this problem and to increase broadband penetration in the US, Congress authorized a national broadband plan that includes provisions for public safety broadband, aiming for increased broadband service in underserved areas and reliable, interoperable service for first responders. What is Public Safety Broadband LTE? The FCC requires public safety broadband systems to be LTE (Long Term Evolution), the mobile phone standard adopted by the international coalition of telecommunications associations 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). While similar to commercial LTE available from various carriers across the US, the public system is implemented to meet the higher demands of public service use, including enhanced reliability, safety, and interoperability. When public safety personnel use current commercially available LTE, they are subject to the same outages during emergencies that the general public may experience from high cell traffic or extreme weather. Also, if personnel are using specialized public safety mobile devices, most of these devices cannot roam to other networks, which limits operation outside of the radius of the network and decreases the interoperability of the equipment of visiting public safety teams. The FCC designated 20 MHz (megahertz) of bandwidth within the 700 MHz spectrum as public service broadband. This spectrum was formerly used for analog television as the radio waves are particularly suited for penetrating walls. With the transition to digital television, a 10 MHz section was initially assigned to public safety and the FCC attempted to auction the other 10 MHz, though the auction was unsuccessful. Government initiatives and FirstNet Government involvement in the national public safety broadband network (PSBN) is currently in a state of transition. During the past few years various organizations such as Emergency Response Interoperability Center (ERIC) have focused on proThe Public Safety Broadband Spectrum moting interoperable networks and in 2010 when the Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST) granted waivers to 21 jurisdictions for use of the 700 MHz spectrum, an Act of Congress changed the bureaucratic approach to PSBN. In February 2012, with the Public Safety Spectrum Act, part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Congress created First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) within NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration). This Act provided funding for the development of a national broadband network. FirstNet is designated as the governing framework for deployment and operations, and the FCC transferred all of the spectrum licensing rights to FirstNet. Though FirstNet has engaged in some administrative functions, there is still much work to do for PSBNs. In mid-2012, the FCC denied renewal of all of the existing waivers under PSST and existing waivers expired in September. Until FirstNet is prepared to issue spectrum waivers or licenses, the FCC will allow jurisdictions to apply for Special Temporary Authorizations (STAs) to operate a PSBN for a period of 180 days per STA. However, the FCC order states that STAs would be granted only "in very few instances, and only where deployment clearly serves the public interest and will not be detrimental to the Public Safety Spectrum Act's goals or jeopardize the mandate to deploy a nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network."
4 Public Safety LTE in Harris County and the State of Texas Harris County has the first and only public safety LTE network in the country, directly along the Houston Ship Channel. On August 31, just days before Texas’ spectrum waiver expired, the FCC granted the State of Texas an STA to continue operating the Harris County LTE network, with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai stating, “This authority will allow the continued deployment of an interoperable public-safety broadband network in Harris County, which will enhance the ability of first responders to address hurricanes and other public-safety emergencies.” The initial deployment waivers from the PSST only permitted use of the original 10 MHz of public safety broadband; however, based on NTIA recommendations, this STA permits use of all 20 MHz.
The Harris County Information Technology Center (HC ITC) deployed six broadband sites along the Ship Channel and in the City of Baytown earlier this year. Robert Cavazos, Director of Broadband Services for HC ITC, anticipates three more sites will be deployed by the end of 2012, providing full coverage for Baytown, partial coverage for Pasadena, and almost complete coverage for the Houston Ship Channel Security District. Most of the infrastructure was paid for with Port Security Grants, a small portion of which was matched by HSCSD funds. Public safety Harris County Public Safety LTE Under Development devices used by City of Baytown responders demonstrate the value of interoperability – when the devices leave the range of the public safety network, they seamlessly roam to a commercial 3G network, so the responder has no loss of reception. Further communication and surveillance technologies have deployed in the Houston metro area with help from Port Security Grants and other funding, including fiber optic cable across the metro area and 120 security cameras and sensors in HSCSD. These tools increase the robustness of public safety communications across the entire Houston area. Soon, first responders will soon be able to monitor cameras live from their LTE devices.
In a phone interview with Mike Barney from the Texas Department of Public Safety, he expressed that â€œthe State of Texas is in great shapeâ€? with regards to rolling out and maintaining public broadband. In addition to the Harris County network, there is a test network near College Station. Maintaining a financially viable network with a public/private partnership While Harris County has received the bulk of funding for the broadband build-out from grants, most of which did not require matching funds from the Houston Ship Channel Security District, a future concern is how to viably operate and maintain an LTE network against commercial competition. Other areas that are less populated or less economically advantaged than the immediate Ship Channel area may find it difficult to receive sufficient carrier subscriptions from local public safety organizations to make the service viable when only about 1% of national subscribers fall under the public safety category. Although the national network may take many more years to develop, and hence the issue of financially viability will not be addressed in the near future, one solution to this problem is a public/private partnership (PPP). Mr. Barney highlighted a few of the potential options that may be considered if and when the State of Texas decides to proceed with a PPP. First off, some jurisdictions with low public safety usage may decide to auction bandwidth to commercial vendors. For example, a commercial network in a very rural area may not be profitable to build from the ground up, but private individuals may still desire the service. If there is available bandwidth on the public safety broadband network, private individuals can use a portion of that bandwidth with their service blocked from the public safety network access. Public safety users would likely be assigned a higher priority level than the private users, so that in the event of an emergency, public safety users will have the top priority for bandwidth use to prevent communication disruptions. Additionally, public utility companies like electric companies may wish to purchase bandwidth which will allow them to operate in distressed situations, such as during the restoration of power in the aftermath of a storm. In another potential revenue source, public utility companies may wish to use the network to automatically collect data from smart meters, such as certain electric meters that can broadcast usage instead of being read manually.â€”C. Schlenker, GHPB
Port Watch Tom Marian—Buffalo Marine Service
Steady Until the Election
As the peak of the hurricane season quietly passed in September, things were relatively steady on the trade front. Overall, Texas ports saw a less-than-one-percent drop in arrivals as fall weather descended upon the Lone Star State. Interestingly, the bulk of the ports saw a decrease in vessel arrivals but Houston’s rather strong monthly gains conveniently offset the lower numbers of its neighboring ports. The only other ports with a monthly increase were Brownsville and Galveston – a welcome sign as maritime trade enters the final quarter of the year. Two of the three of this month’s gainers remain positive on a year-to-date basis as compared to 2011. Thus, the Port of Brownsville continues to outperform last year by nearly 23% with its 10% monthly jump and the Port of Houston kept abreast of its annualized 2.5% increase as it handled nearly 3% more vessels in September than August. While the Port of Galveston had a nearly identical monthly gain as Houston at 2.6%, it remains off by 7.4% over last year. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ledger, Texas City lead the pack with a 11.6% drop in vessel arrivals. Fortunately, this was not enough to reduce its year-to-date numbers since it is still up by 0.5%. The Port of Sabine – another port with a large number of tank vessels – was also down 5% for the month resulting in a year-to-date drop of nearly 1%. Conversely, Corpus Christi’s annual numbers are up by over 5% but the number of vessel calls were 6% lower than the previous month. Finally, while the Port of Freeport was down 3% from last month’s best showing of 2012, the port continues to remain in positive territory for the year by over 5%. With respect to the types of vessels plying the regional ports, the Port of Houston’s vessel type breakdown is somewhat instructive since it comprises over 53% of the total Texas arrival numbers. As reflected in Sabine and Texas City’s monthly numbers, not unexpectedly tank vessel movements are down. In fact, for the year, there have been over 19% fewer tankers that have called upon the Port of Houston. Given August’s nadir in this category it was not difficult for this vessel category to post a 7% increase. Houston’s LPG vessel movements remain solidly above last year by nearly 13% despite being flat for the month. General Cargo movements took a significant hit over the last month – more than 18% - yet remain over 7% last year’s running total. Bulk carrier arrivals were also down for the year by 2.5% but saw a modest monthly improvement of 1.5%. Container ships are now down by nearly 1% for the year in the wake of September’s 6.5% slide. Last but not least, the category that continues to dazzle posted yet another monthly best with 156 arrivals – representing a white hot increase of 20% and over 86% for the year. How does any of this set things up for the annual Christmas rush which typically peaks in October? Containers are relatively solid, thereby indicating positive trends on the consumption front. Exports on the energy side of the equation remain positive with the large price disparity between North Sea crude and West Texas crude that favors the U.S; a significant reason why chemical movements continue to wildly outperform all other commodities. Yet, the steady-as-she-goes trade environment appears to be in a state of flux contingent upon the outcome of the Presidential election. Anecdotally, if the status quo remains in the White House, commerce will soften and capital investment money will seek other havens; however, if real change ensues, 2013 will most likely be a banner year for those that rely upon maritime trade in the Gulf Coast region.—Tom Marian, Buffalo Marine Service
Spotlight on John Walker Port Security Specialistâ€”USCG Sector Houston-Galveston Originally from Austin, John Walker's a native Texan, and though he's no longer in the Navy, you may not realize the lengths to which he goes to keep in fighting spirit. Not one to shirk from a challenge, John runs triathlons (he's a 2-time Ironman finisher) and other endurance events - "I've actually done some strange distances; one included a 4k swim, 80k bike and 30k run... at the end of the day, whenever you're sweating for 8 or 9 hours straight, you can come home pretty exhausted, but it's still a lot of fun." Growing up in Austin, John went 100 miles east to school when he joined the Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets in 1979, and after four years, he graduated, commissioning as an ensign in the United States Navy. Selected as a Naval Flight Officer, he trained and served as a navigator on A-6 Intruders - twin-engine, mid-winged attack aircraft first used in Vietnam. "After about a year there were several incidents where the wings fell off of some of the planes I made the decision to transition to surface warfare duties." The A-6 was finally retired in 1997 but her airframe lives on in the EA-6B prowlers - an electronic surveillance aircraft used by the Navy and Marine Corps. Moving to the surface warfare community in 1987 as an O-3, John's first posting was to the USS Kirk (FF-1087), a frigate engaged in anti-submarine warfare, "I got to Yokohama, to the base there, then we kicked off on deployment and were chasing Soviet subs around the South China Sea... of course, that was a long time ago. After the Kirk, the rest of my sea time was spent on various amphibious ships." With more than seven years at sea over the rest of his career, John served with distinction aboard the USS Newport (LST-1179), USS Gunston Hall (LSD-44), USS Wasp (LHD-1 - the first of the new Wasp-class amphibious assault ships), and USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20). "Between amphibs, I also had several staff tours - I did a tour on the 5th fleet staff in Bahrain as the country desk officer for Kuwait, Oman, Jordan and Saudi Arabia." John also took time to get his MBA from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey, CA and served on the staff of the US 2nd Fleet whose Area of Responsibility includes the entire US East and Gulf coasts. John's final post was at the Naval Station at Rota, Spain where he served as the director of port operations before retiring in 2004 after 20 years in the Navy. Moving almost immediately back to start work, John took a position at the USCG 5th District Headquarters in Portsmouth, VA where he worked as a port security specialist from 2004-2007. "Then I finally got the chance to come back to Texas in August of 2007, doing much of the same work that I did for the District here at Sector HoustonGalveston" In Houston, John is a highly-visible point person for the Coast Guard because of his work with the Area Maritime Security Committee - a group that meets quarterly and supports port security initiatives by administering port security grants, addressing security issues in balance with facility security plans, and providing training across all aspects of maritime security. John is also instrumental in processing and acting as a liaison to industry for the Port Security Grant Program, and for the annual Maritime Security Exercise Program - drills that test the readiness of first responders and industry up and down the channel. John and his wife live in Houston and he has two grown children - his son Kyle lives in Portland, Oregon and daughter Tracie makes her home in Florida. In his free time, John sees as many Texans games as he can and holds season tickets to the Houston Dynamo - games he can enjoy between afternoons spent on the running and biking trails around town.
(upper left): Speakers at the GHCA Annual Meeting (uppermiddle): Steve Meesey, ABS Americas (upper-right): Ricardo Arias, PHA, and Bill Banta, Centerpoint Energy (midright): Bill Diehl, GHPB and John Walker, USCG (bottom-right): Bill Diehl, GHPB, John Burkland and Tim Trahan, TASC (midbottom): Art Flanagan, Hub International Rigg (bottomthree): Maria Echeverry, Cadeco; Mike Malik, Farmer Brothers; Ricardo Arias, PHA (mid-left, midmid): Attendees socialize at the GHCA Annual Meeting
A Look at the Election—And What’s to Come Lindsay, Hart, Neil & Weigler, LLP/FBB Federal Relations’ View from the Beltway The Monday morning quarterbacking has already begun. With, according to some polls, a majority of Americans believing America is still heading in the wrong direction, with unemployment still about 8%, and gas prices so high, the environment was certainly ripe for the always difficult task of unseating an incumbent President. Why didn’t it happen?
Demographics or Tactics? There are two ways to look at this. First, the demographics: Hispanics and AfricanAmericans voted overwhelmingly for Obama in 2008 and even more so this year; women voted for Obama; Romney got an overwhelming number of white males. For some analysts, this is the entire story. In any case, as the nation’s demographics continue to change, this formula will have implications for both parties, far beyond yesterday’s elections. The other way to look at this is to focus on the specific tactics of this particular campaign (although those subscribing to the demographics analysis believe that while tactics had significant impact, they were not the deciding factor.) Here is a look at specifics: “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” That's the headline that the New York Times editors placed atop Mitt Romney’s Op-Ed shortly after the 2008 election (when submitting an op-ed to any paper, you take your chances on how the editors will title it). While the self-described “car guy” from Motor City was trying to argue for a managed bankruptcy instead of a bail-out (which would have allowed the companies to renegotiate their union contracts), that headline is what stuck in
people’s minds. Unfortunately for Romney, many of the people who remember that headline live in Ohio, a state where 10 thousands of people work for the auto industry, a state whose citizens support federal assistance to the auto industry 59 percent to 36 percent, and the state that Romney absolutely needed to win in order to get the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House. There are many ingredients to any win or loss, some very specific. Some Republicans are saying those four words in the NY Times cost Romney the White House. Other Republicans are fuming about the Obama Administration telling defense contractors it was unnecessary to send layoff notices to employees that may be impacted by the automatic budget cuts (aka sequestration) scheduled to take effect in 2013 (it had been widely expected that tens of thousands of people would be alerted – only days before the election – that they may be in danger of losing their jobs because of a budget deal the President negotiated). Still others are saying that the President won by deceiving the American public about its regulatory agenda, that while the number of regulations issued by the Obama Administration slowed to a trickle over the past two years, the slower pace was only a reaction to Republican attacks on the President’s “job-killing” agenda, and Obama intends for there to be a tsunami of new regulations in the coming weeks and months (more on that below). Either way, the impact of superstorm Sandy cannot be overstated. While the days after the storm certainly offered Obama an opportunity to look Presidential, and while New Jersey Governor Christ Christie’s choice to focus on the duties of his office rather than his allegiance to the Republican party enhanced Obama’s bi-partisan image, the storm’s real impact was on Romney’s momentum going into the final days of the campaign. Romney’s strong debate performances had people looking his way (making up for the fact that the Republican National Convention did not provide the GOP the sort of bounce the Democratic National Convention provided to Democrats – both for Obama and in key Senate races in Wisconsin and Massachusetts). Nearly every poll prior to Sandy hitting land was trending up for Romney and down for the President, but the national media’s incessant coverage of the storm blunted that momentum, and Romney never got his mo’ back.
The Legislative Branch Speaking of the Senate, this was supposed to be the year that Republicans took back the majority. With Senate Democrats defending 23 seats this year, compared to the ten seats the GOP was defending, it was a foregone conclusion back in late 2010 that Senator Mitch McConnell would be the new Senate Majority leader when the 113th Congress came into session. What a difference two years – and a few in-artful comments by clueless Senate candidates – can make. Senate Democrats will end up with a net gain. The House of Representatives and the political make-up of the states is a different story. Despite House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s insistence that Democrats would regain the Majority in “the people’s House”, it was never in contention. In addition, 30 states have Republican governors, with only 17 Democratic governors (two states – Montana and Washington are still undecided); and 26 states have Republican-majority legislatures, with 19 for Democrats (three are split, one is undecided as of last night, and Nebraska’s legislature is non-partisan). Republicans point out that while Obama won the Electoral College votes by a huge margin, the popular vote was in fact close; with 98% of the votes counted, Obama is at 50% and Romney is at 48%. Taken together – with continuing control of the House, the majority of Governor’s mansions, and majority of the State legislatures – Republicans have a sense that they are very much in line with and
speak for the majority of Americans, despite the Presidential results. We can expect this to be reflected in their resolve to challenge the President’s agenda.
What Happens in Washington Now? The lack of any true shifts in the Washington, D.C. power structure also means we could be facing another two years of legislative stalemate. There remain questions – Will the House Republican leadership, emboldened by their own strong results on Election night, continue attacking the President’s agenda? Does the President believe that “compromise” means House Republicans have to accept his agenda? Can the parties agree on both tax increases and entitlement cuts? Can the Senate and House start working together, across party lines? Meanwhile, it appears that sixty votes will still be required to get anything done in the Senate, and neither party has that many. This is not to say that all is lost – Congress gets the job done when its back is up against the wall. National Journal said it best this morning: “Congress is neurotic, but it’s not suicidal. The fiscal cliff will be bridged with Kleenex and duct tape and chicken wire, at least past the inaugural. There may be 48 hours where tax rates go up and are quickly rescinded. But the basic ebb and flow of Congress is where we left it when the members took their last vacation.”
An Incredibly Full Agenda, this year and for the next two years It’s a good thing that Members of Congress have the capacity to dig in and get the job done, because there is a lot for Congress to do. We expect the lame duck session of Congress to be very busy. Not only must Congress address the so-called “fiscal cliff”, tackling bigticket items like the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and sequestration, there is a long list of lower profile items that could come up, including a sweeping cybersecurity bill, a package of tax extenders
(that could include an extension of the renewable energy production tax credit for wind), legislation granting Russia Perma-12 nent Normalized Trade Relations (PNTR), a package of temporary duty suspensions, the Farm Bill, a Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a Carcieri Fix that would end the de-facto moratorium on putting new Indian land into trust, and countless other items that Congress left unfinished when they adjourned back in September. With regards to the fiscal cliff, we don’t expect Congress to produce a “grand bargain” during the lame duck. Instead, we expect Congressional leaders to agree to a “framework” for deficit reduction, giving direction to the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, and other relevant Congressional Committees to replace the sequester with a new combination of spending cuts, entitlement reforms and a tax reform package. Presumably, this this will lead Congress to seek comprehensive tax reform in 2013, and it would mean the House and Senate Appropriations Committees would determine the level of defense cuts that would actually go into effect over the next ten years and this would mean fewer (although not zero) cuts to the military. Looking ahead to next year, President Obama will be focused on his legacy, and the next election is not until 2014, giving Members of Congress a year or more to build a record on which to run for election. This means the first six to twelve months of the 113th Congress will not only be busy, but productive as well. Not only will Congress take up those items that did not make the cut during the lame duck, the House and Senate will also focus on infrastructure investment, including drafting a new highway and transit bill (and figuring out how to pay for it) and funding water
transport infrastructure, trademark protection, energy production, immigration reform, tribal issues and trade. We also expect a lot of activity from the Executive Branch. Negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a comprehensive trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Darussalem, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Mexico and Canada, will kick into high gear. Executive branch agencies will be doling out millions of dollars in grant money. The Obama Administration will also be making up for a lack of regulatory activity over the past two years. Informal estimates say that EPA is currently sitting on about a dozen new major regulations (impacting the coal and oil industry), which are completed and ready to roll out the door. There are also outstanding labor rules and looming legislative deadlines for the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill, all of which were delayed until after the election. In fact, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) estimates that there are more than 4,100 regulations in the pipeline.
Follow-up Questions? If you have any questions about the election, prospects for the lame duck, or the outlook for the 113th Congress, you can email Peter Friedmann at OurManInDC@FederalRelations.com and Ray Bucheger at Ray@FederalRelations.com and reach us at (202) 783-3333. Peter Friedmann has represented a diverse array of public and private sector clients seeking federal funding and policy for over 20 years. His career in Washington, DC began as Counsel for the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation and with the Senate Committee on Finance, where he drafted transportation policy and finance legislation, including the Harbor Maintenance Fee and Trust Fund (which has since 1986 funded dredging of navigable waterways), energy tax credits and tax increment financing. Upon leaving the Hill, Peter became Managing Partner of the Washington DC office of the Portland, OR based law firm Lindsay Hart Neil & Weigler, LLP, and subsequently Of Counsel to the firm. Peterâ€™s practice expanded beyond federal representation of Pacific Northwest regional interests, to a national practice.
Local Public Safety Entities and Organizations
The Houston-Galveston and Houston Ship Channel areas are home to numerous industry and public safety organizations aimed at increasing safety and public awareness of the chemical and refining industries and our waterways. The following list highlights a few of the acronym organizations promoting safety in our region. CIMA: Channel Industries Mutual Aid The size and complexity of the Houston Ship Channel and the refining and petrochemical industries along it provide an added challenge for first responders requiring both the breadth of specialized training and expensive equipment to handle certain emergencies. Since it is not economically feasible for each facility or municipality in the region to maintain the entire broad range of personnel and equipment to face any emergency situation, CIMA was formed to pool the resources of member organizations. Since 1955, the non-profit organization has worked toward combining the first-responder, specialized equipment, and industryfocused training of the refining and petrochemical industry in the Houston Ship Channel area. In natural or man-made emergency situations, industry and municipal CIMA members provide mutual assistance through fire-fighting, rescue, hazardous material handling, and emergency medical personnel and equipment.
If you know your CIMA Zone, you know your Houston Ship Channel Security District Zone. While the full boundaries are not identical, HSCSD chose its 4 districts to align with the well-known CIMA districts that have been in place since 1982. Look for the special Security District insert in this newsletter to find out the board members representing your district.
Member facilities are geographically placed into one of four zones to improve response efficiency according to practiced emergency response plans. In the event of a response situation, a centralized dispatch system for the radio network covering 500 square miles is utilized to coordinated joint operations from mobile command vehicles. In addition, CIMA provides an alarm list database for members, event-specific incident plans, and groups to provide technical advice. CIMA boasts over 100 members from Harris, Chambers, and Brazoria counties including industries such as refineries and petrochemical facilities, and government and municipal agencies including law enforcement, fire-fighters, and emergency medical responders. These members contribute over 200 pieces of specialized response equipment, from ambulances to high-volume foam pumpers. Response personnel are highly trained and go through frequent refresher courses and simulated events to maintain their important skills. EHCMA: East Harris County Manufactures Association EHCMA represents over 125 members from the petrochemical, refining, and distribution facilities in the East Harris county area, including Deer Park, La Porte, Baytown, and the Ship Channel area. The main focus of the organization is to raise awareness of the economic benefits of industry to the region, while protecting the community from health, safety, and environmental harm.
One of the key community services provided by EHCMA is the Community Awareness and Emergency Response 16 Line, or CAER Line. This phone line serves as a community information source for both emergency and general information for member facilities, including emergencies in off-site locations such as pipelines. Facilities are encouraged to place emergency information on the line within 15 minutes of the incident to give the community as early a warning as possible. In the case of an incident, nearby residents can call the CAER line to find out if response is already underway or if protective action such as evacuation or shelter in place is required. Another feature, the Odor Network, allows residents to report suspicious or unknown odors to a dispatch center whose representatives will attempt to track down the source of the odor. To reach the CAER Line, call 281-476-2237 (CAER) or 281-476-2273 (CARE). AMSC: Area Maritime Security Committee (Houston-Galveston) The Area Maritime Security Committee of Houston-Galveston is established under Coast Guard maritime security regulations and has various subcommittees, work groups, and task forces to support port security initiatives by administering port security grants, addressing security issues in balance with facility security plans, and providing training across all aspects of maritime security. AMSC encompasses the ports of Houston, Galveston, Texas City, and Freeport â€“ the main maritime points of entry into Houston. Per regulation 33 CFR, part 103, subpart C, some of the functions of AMSC include: 1) Identifying critical port infrastructure and operations. 2) Identifying risks (i.e., threats, vulnerabilities, and consequences). 3) Determining strategies and implementation methods for mitigation. 4) Developing and describing the process for continuously evaluating overall port security by considering consequences and vulnerabilities, how they may change over time, and what additional mitigation strategies can be applied. 5) Advising and assisting the Captain of the Port in developing, reviewing, and updating the Area Maritime Security Plan under 33 CFR part 103, subpart E. The Houston-Galveston AMSC will soon be getting a big boost from the Houston Ship Channel Security District. HSCSD recently received a $1 million Port Security Grant from FEMA to update the Houston-Galveston port-wide risk mitigation and business continuity plan, of which 25% will be matched by HSCSD. By updating the risk strategies for the ports leading up to the upper Houston Ship Channel area, HSCSD hopes to decrease the likelihood of a threat reaching Houston via the Channel. Wally the Shelter-in-Place Turtle
LEPCs: Local Emergency Planning Committees LEPCs are voluntary organizations established to meet the emergency response planning requirements set forth by the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, also known as the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act. While most Texas counties have one LEPC, Harris County has eighteen, most of which are concentrated around the petrochemical and refining complexes near the Ship Channel and East Harris County areas. Members include representatives from government, industry, and affiliate organizations. Affiliate members can be media, healthcare, citizens organizations, or other organizations with an interest in the safety of the community.
LEPCs act as an information clearinghouse for Tier II chemical facility information â€“ LEPCs are required to receive Tier II reports and to make the information contained in these reports available to the public upon request. In addition, many LEPCs use this information to make hazardous chemical assessments for their communities, and may request additional information as necessary to make sufficient assessments. Most LEPCs hold monthly meetings, always open to the public. One of the primary responsibilities of LEPCs is to promote community awareness about industry and safety measures. For example, several of the Harris LEPCs sponsor chemical
safety awareness days at local schools featuring Wally Wise Guy, the Shelter in Place Turtle to teach children the proper way to shelter in place during an emergency situation. The following Harris County LEPCs have website where you can find out more about their organizations and how to participate:
South East Regional:
HSC: Lone Star Harbor Safety Committee Lone Star HCS was chartered on February 17, 2012 by industry members within the region to facilitate public and private cooperation and communication regarding Marine Transportation System (MTS) issues. Replacing the Houston-Galveston Safety Advisory Committee (HOGANSAC) which had become bogged down in federal advisory committee act difficulties, some of the issues Lone Star has or will address include vessel traffic management, anchorage management, communications, security, weather preparations, maritime traffic disruption and restoration, and process improvements. Lone Star HSC operates the following subcommittees: Waterways Utilization, Navigation Operations, Dredging & Marine Construction, and Training and Outreach. These subcommittees focus on increasing the safety of port and waterway users, improving communication between interoperating groups and industries, promoting proper and continuing training, and supporting an efficient port through maintenance and dredging.
2012 Houston Ship Channel Security District Annual Meeting On November 8, 2012, the Houston Ship Channel Security District held a series of annual events. During the initial two hour meeting, participants heard from the Houston Police Department, Harris County Public Infrastructure Division, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and the Harris County Information Technology Department about the District’s involvement in infrastructure development and security projects across the Houston Port Region. Following the meeting, the District presented a luncheon featuring former Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff, former CBP director Jason Ahern, Congressman Gene Green, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Harris County Commissioner Jack Morman, and Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia.
2012 Houston Region Election Result Summary President/Vice President: Barack Obama/Joe Biden (D) U.S. Senate: Ted Cruz (R) US House: District 2: Ted Poe (R) District 7: John Culberson (R) District 8: Kevin Brady (R) District 9: Al Green (D) District 10: Michael McCaul (R) District 14: Randy Weber (R) District 18: Sheila Jackson Lee (D) District 22: Pete Olson (R) District 29: Gene Green (D) District 36: Steve Stockman (R) Harris County: Commissioner Precinct 1: El Franco Lee (D) Commissioner Precinct 3: Steve Radack (R) Commissioner Precinct 4: R. Jack Cagle (R) Sheriff: Adrian Garcia (D) District Attorney: Mike Anderson (R) County Attorney: Vince Ryan (D) *Tax Assessor: Mike Sullivan (R) â€“ Election result not finalized City of Houston: Council Member, District E: David Martin
Texas State Senate: 4: Tommy Williams (R) 6: Mario Gallegos (D) - deceased 7: Dan Patrick (R) 11: Larry Taylor (R) 15: John Whitmire (D) 17: Joan Huffman (R) Texas State House: 127: Dan Huberty (R) 130: Allen Fletcher (R) 131: Alma Allen (D) 133: Jim Murphy (R) 134: Sarah Davis (R) 135: Gary Elkins (R) 137: Gene Wu (D) 138: Dwayne Bohac (R) 139: Sylvester Turner (D) 141: Senfronia Thompson (D) 143: Ana Hernandez Luna (D) 144: Mary Ann Perez (D) 148: Jessica Farrar (D) 149: Hubert Vo (D) 150: Debbie Riddle (R) Texas Railroad Commissioner: Christi Craddick (R) Barry Smitherman (R)
Advertise in the Port Bureau News and Reach 5,500+ Maritime Professionals 1 Month 6 Months Full Year th 1/6 Page $500 $1,500 $2,000 Half Page $1,000 $2,000 $3,000 Full Page $1,500 $3,250 $5,000 Membership (Calendar Year) $ 600 Port Bureau Membership required for advertising in the Port Bureau News.
GREATER HOUSTON PORT BUREAU 111 East Loop North Houston, TX 77029 713.678.4300 ph 713.678.4839 fax www.txgulf.org