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Publication date: May 19, 2004


The Transportation Security Administration has issued a rule extending new secrecy to some kinds of port and maritime information. The rule, published May 18, 2004, extends to maritime transportation facilities the cloak of heavy TSA secrecy heretofore applied only to air transport. Still unclear at this point is whether the new rule may restrict access to information used by environmental reporters.

While the non-classified "Sensitive Security Information" category administered by TSA seems intended to apply mainly to security plans which shipping companies and terminals are required to file under certain federal laws, the scope of information covered by the new "interim" rule remains unclear. For example, TSA can restrict access to information not merely because of security concerns, but also to protect privacy or confidential business information.

Environmental reporters may need access to all kinds of port and maritime information - on anything from the environmental and safety impacts of petrochemical terminals, to channel dredging and spoil disposal, to the impacts of oil spills.

Last revised January 22, 2013

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