Saturday, November 13, 2010

Congressional Hearings Week of 11-15-10

With Congress starting back up from their long election recess there looks to be a lot of work that will need to be completed before the end of the year. Part of this work is to conduct some investigative hearings for recent security incidents. There are two such hearings scheduled for this week that might have implications for the chemical security community. And of course there is the Stuxnet hearing I’ve already mentioned.

Air Cargo Security

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will be holding a hearing on November 16th at 2:30 pm EST on “Closing the Gaps in Air Cargo Security”. Two witnesses are currently scheduled; TSA Administrator John S. Pistole and US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan D. Bersin. The focus will inevitably be on the recent ‘Toner Bombs’ incident, but it will certainly be expanded to address the general issue of air cargo screening, particularly inbound aircraft from overseas locations.

TSA Oversight

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will be conducting an oversight hearing looking at TSA on November 17th at 10:00 am EST. No witness list is currently available, but will almost certainly include Administrator Pistole. I suspect that this will also focus on the ‘Toner Bombs’ but could include a variety of TSA issues. I would hope that someone would ask about rail freight security implementation, and pipeline security rule development.

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