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Hstoday Coast Guard Launches Safety Board to Evaluate Port Infrastructure Risks – HS Today

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The U.S. Coast Guard convened a Ports and Waterways Safety Board of Inquiry on Wednesday to evaluate the risks to critical port infrastructure posed by larger commercial vessels and increased traffic density.

The Board, authorized under Title 46 of the U.S. Code and chaired by Rear Adm. Wayne R. Arguin, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, is composed of senior Coast Guard officers and experts. They will collaborate with federal, state, local agencies, and port stakeholders to conduct a thorough assessment of critical port infrastructure. This assessment will focus on the implications of larger, more complex vessels and evolving maritime traffic patterns on infrastructure such as bridges, cargo terminals, pipelines, railways, and power plants. The Board will also recommend risk mitigation strategies and best practices to ensure navigational safety and review the historical use and effectiveness of the Coast Guard’s existing waterways risk assessment tools.

“The safety of our ports and waterways is paramount, and this Board will ensure that we have the necessary measures in place to address the challenges posed by increased maritime traffic and larger vessels,” said Arguin.

The Board is tasked with identifying ten domestic ports or port complexes to examine within 30 days of the convening order and producing a comprehensive final report by May 31, 2025. The Board will work closely with stakeholders, including the U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Highway Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to develop and implement effective risk assessment tools and procedures.

“Working closely with key government and industry stakeholders is the top priority for this Board, and that close coordination will be critical to expeditiously completing this unprecedented assessment of our vital ports,” added Arguin.

A Ports and Waterways Safety Board of Inquiry is the highest-level assessment conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard to address risks to port and waterway infrastructure following concerns from maritime incidents. This Board is a necessary step to bolster economic prosperity through the safe, secure, and efficient flow of commerce on U.S. waterways.

Matt Seldon, BSc., is an Editorial Associate with HSToday. He has over 20 years of experience in writing, social media, and analytics. Matt has a degree in Computer Studies from the University of South Wales in the UK. His diverse work experience includes positions at the Department for Work and Pensions and various responsibilities for a wide variety of companies in the private sector. He has been writing and editing various blogs and online content for promotional and educational purposes in his job roles since first entering the workplace. Matt has run various social media campaigns over his career on platforms including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and LinkedIn on topics surrounding promotion and education. His educational campaigns have been on topics including charity volunteering in the public sector and personal finance goals.

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