Monday, October 20, 2008
Escort Procedures for Rail Crews
Last week (see: “Railroads and TWIC”) we looked at how the MTSA regulations and implementing Coast Guard instructions provided for identifying rail crew members entering secured and restricted maritime facilities. I noted that the CFATS regulations do not require the same procedures, but high-risk chemical facility security managers could learn from those requirements. The MTSA regulations (33 CFR Subchapter H) require that only personnel with a Transportation Workers Identification Card (TWIC) issued by TSA can be granted unaccompanied access to secure areas of maritime facilities. Inevitably this will mean that there will occasionally be one or more members of a train crew that will not be TWIC holders. The facility will then face some problems meeting the escort requirements of the MTSA regulations that a non-TWIC holder “is continuously accompanied while within a secure area in a manner sufficient to observe whether the escorted individual is engaged in activities other than those for which escorted access was granted” (33 CFR §101.105). Once again, CFATS does not have the same requirements found in the MTSA regulations. Congress prohibited DHS from applying specific security requirements for high-risk chemical companies. The MTSA regulations can provide guidance to CFATS facilities with railroad access to the facility. Secure and Restricted Areas A Coast Guard document, NVIC 03-07, provides guidance for maritime facility security planners on how to implement the TWIC requirements. To understand that guidance we first have to look at how the Coast Guard characterizes security areas within maritime facilities. Essentially everything within the fenced area of the facility, except for clearly public areas, is considered to be ‘a secure area’. Within that area facility security assessment identifies areas where additional security is required or access needs to be limited. These areas are called restricted areas. Restricted areas require the closest monitoring of non-TWIC holders. The standard required is side-by-side accompaniment. A TWIC holder may monitor up to five non-TWIC holders in a restricted area using this technique. In this technique the TWIC holder must maintain “continuous physical proximity to and visual contact with the escorted individual in order to enable the TWIC holder to witness the escorted individual’s actions” (Enclosure 3, NVIC 03-07). This allows the TWIC holder to ensure that the non-TWIC holders remain in the area in which they have been authorized to work doing only that which they were authorized. The same side-by-side accompaniment technique can be used in the more extensive ‘secure areas’ of the facility. Due to the lessened security concerns in these areas a single TWIC-holder may accompany as many as 10 non-TWIC holders using the same standards. The MTSA regulations allow (CFR 33 §105.275) allow additional, less intrusive methods of monitoring non-TWIC holders in these areas. Those means include security guards, closed circuit television, automatic intrusion detection devices, and other surveillance devices. Now let’s look at two scenarios at separate theoretical high-risk chemical facilities. In both cases the railroad has agreed in principal that crews servicing the facility will have TWIC. The railroad agrees to notify the facility in advance of the crew TWIC status and require non-TWIC holders to wear a red safety helmet. Low Security-Risk Scenario The first high-risk chemical facility neither receives nor ships DHS Chemicals of Interest (Appendix A, 6 CFR part 27) by rail. There are no sensitive areas of the facility directly adjacent to the rail line. The railroad advises the facility of a 10:00 am delivery with one non-TWIC holder on the crew. At 9:30 am the normally unmanned rail-gate is manned by a security guard. When the train arrives at 10:30 the guard opens the gate and waves the train through. The security supervisor is notified. The security supervisor will check the TWIC credentials of the train crew during randomly selected deliveries. The railroad-gate guard closes the gate and monitors the train crew through a CCTV monitor in the guard shack. The same cameras are monitored in the security control room. A variety of cameras on both sides of the track allow continuous coverage of the progress of the train. People working in sensitive areas are notified that the train crew is on the facility grounds and security procedures are increased slightly. At noon the railroad-gate guard closes and locks the railroad-gate behind the departing train. Local alarms are turned on and verified with the security control room. The guard closes and locks the guard shack and departs to the main gate. High Security-Risk Scenario The second high-risk chemical facility receives a COI by rail and typically has two railcars of that material on site at any time. The railroad typically removes an empty tank car and drops off a full tank car in a single trip. The portion of the siding where the two rail cars are parked is enclosed by security fencing. The railroad advises the facility of a 10:00 am delivery with one non-TWIC holder on the crew. At 9:30 am the normally unmanned rail-gate is manned by a security guard who is a retired train crew member. When the train arrives at 10:30 the guard opens the gate and along with a member of the train crew conducts a walk-around inspection of the train. They are verifying car numbers on the train cars being delivered to the facility. They also check for unauthorized train riders, damage to the train cars and the presence of improvised explosive devices. Once the walk-around inspection is done, the guard notifies the security supervisor that the train is entering the facility. Receiving an acknowledgment, the guard allows the train to enter the facility. The railroad-gate guard closes the gate and monitors the train crew through a CCTV monitor in the guard shack. The same cameras are monitored in the security control room. A variety of cameras on both sides of the track allow continuous coverage of the progress of the train. People working in other sensitive areas are notified that the train crew is on the facility grounds and security procedures are increased slightly. The train is met at the entrance to the storage area by the security supervisor who opens the gate. A security guard is on hand to escort the non-TWIC holder if that crew member needs to get off the train. The supervisor and a member of the train crew complete a walk-around inspection of the empty train car that the train will be removing from the facility. Once the train crew finishes with operations in the sensitive area, the Security Supervisor closes the train-gate to that area. When the train exits the facility the railroad-gate guard closes and locks the railroad-gate behind the departing train. Local alarms are turned on and verified with the security control room. The guard closes and locks the guard shack and departs to the main gate. Remember the Purpose of Monitoring The purpose of monitoring people that are not granted unaccompanied access to security areas is the same for maritime and CFATS facilities. It is expressed very clearly in NVIC 03-07; monitoring must “provide a reasonable assurance that an individual under escort is not engaging in activities other than those for which access was granted”.