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Security Levels


  National Threat Level: Elevated

Certain Dangerous Cargoes

Bottle Barge


Certain Dangerous Cargoes (CDCs) have chemical properties (toxicity, flammability, and reactivity) that, if released, have the capability to produce grave consequences.  These cargoes are moved through domestic high density population areas on a daily basis, while concurrently transiting near critical infrastructure and other key resources in U.S. ports.  Following September 2001, a narrow view regarding the risks associated with CDCs developed among federal, state, and local government officials.  As a result, increased scrutiny on the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industry began to root.  However, risks posed by the broader spectrum of CDCs, many posing a higher risk than LNG, were largely left unaddressed until September 2009.  During this time, the Coast Guard and National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC) sponsored a Cargo Security Symposium to promote dialogue between stakeholders having equities in the nation’s cargo security process.

Section 812; CG Authorization Act of 2010:
In concert with greater attention being focused on CDC security in this post 9/11 environment, Section 812 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 mandated that the Coast Guard initiate a national study of especially hazardous cargoes (CDCs) and deliver a report of that study to congress in October 2011.  No later than six months following delivery of the study to congress, the Coast Guard shall also develop a holistic strategy associated with the transfer, transit, and storage of waterborne CDCs.

Study.  “The Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall initiate a national study to identify measures to improve the security of maritime transportation of especially hazardous cargo; and coordinate with other Federal agencies, the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee, and appropriate State and local government officials through the Area Maritime Security Committees and other existing coordinating committees, to evaluate the waterside security of vessels carrying, and waterfront facilities handling, especially hazardous cargo.”

Not later than 6 months after submission of the report required by subsection (a)—[National Study], the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall develop, in conjunction with appropriate Federal agencies, a national strategy for the waterside security of vessels carrying, and waterfront facilities handling, especially hazardous cargo.  The strategy shall utilize the results of the study required by subsection (a).”


Upcoming Deliverables:
The National Study has been drafted and is currently being routed through internal Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security clearance processes in anticipation of being delivered to congress by the Secretary of Homeland Security on or before October 15, 2011.

The development of the National Strategy is currently in initial draft form and will be further informed by the report on the National Study and two public listening sessions.

Listening Sessions:
Two public listening sessions were hosted in St. Louis, MO and Houston, TX to present the goals of the draft CDC Security National Strategy and to seek comments.  The following are the dates and locations they were held (video links of sessions are also provided below):

August 2, 2011 - St. Louis, MO
Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark
One South Broadway
St. Louis, MO 63102

St. Louis Listening Session Video

August 18, 2011 - Houston, TX
Hilton Houston Hobby Airport
8181 Airport Blvd
Houston, TX 77061

Federal Register Notice

Coast Guard Authorization Act 2010

Listening Session Agenda

Listening Session Comment Form


Cargo Security Symposium Report

CDC Security PowerPoint Brief

Cargo Security Risk Reduction Workgroup Charter

For more information regarding on-going CG-FAC initiatives relating to CDC policy development please email us at and we will make every effort to reply in a timely manner.


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Last Modified 10/3/2012