The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released a new set of voluntary security recommendations yesterday for moving certain amounts of hazardous materials across American highways and roads, according to MarketWatch.com.
The agency wants to secure certain hazardous materials, not identified by either MarketWatch.com or the TSA's Web site, to take away terrorists' ability to use the nation's public highways to attack culturally, economically, and historically significant structures located just off the road.
On its Web site, TSA notes that trucks carrying hazardous materials have been used to commit two acts of terrorism on U.S. soil: the first World Trade Center bombing of 1993 and the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City in 1995. Trucking remains a economically vital industry to the nation as 75 percent of all U.S. communities depend on it to move goods around the country, according to TSA.
The voluntary guidelines were developed over a three-year period by TSA's Highway and Motor Carrier Division, in close collaboration with government and private sector partners. The resulting recommendations are structured to allow motor carriers and shippers to adopt measures best suited to their particular circumstances or operation.
The nation's public highway system presents the government with a security nightmare, compromising a tangle of interstate highways, national highways, and other roads, as well as bridges, tunnels, and traffic operation centers owned and operated by any number of stakeholders ranging from the public to the private. To complicate matters more, hundreds of millions of privately owned vehicles operate throughout this infrastructure each year.
Because of this, "TSA utilized a threat-based approach to develop security measures that are reasonable and effective for the industry as a whole," MarketWatch.com quoted William Arrington, general manager of the agency's Highway and Motor Carrier Division, as saying.