Absence of TSA regulations puts US passenger rail security at risk

Delays by the TSA in implementing rail security requirements in accordance with a law passed nearly 10 years ago may be putting the US rail system at risk of terrorism says a report from the Office of the Inspector General the Department of Homeland Security reports Amanda Vicinanzo in Homeland Security Today.

In response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Congress passed the Public Law 110–53, Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 requiring the DHS to create a regulatory framework to address terrorist threats facing passenger rail systems. Among other things, the Act requires Amtrak to appoint a rail security coordinator, report significant security concerns to TSA, and to allow TSA to conduct inspections, among other things. Eight years later, three of the requirements have not been acted upon. TSA has not issued regulations assigning rail carriers to high-risk tiers, nor has a rail training program been established, and security background checks of front rail employees have not been made.

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