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River industry opposes federal ID proposal

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Barge operators and entertainment boats are opposing a federal proposal to create a standardized ID card for port workers.

The Transportation Security Administration and the Coast Guard held a public meeting on the proposal Tuesday in St. Louis.

The credentialing system is designed to stop terrorists from accessing
U.S. ports.

But inland operators feel the proposal creates an undue burden for them. American Waterways Operators vice president Lynn Muench says the industry does a good job of watching its own people:

"These are not the enemy. These are the ears and eyes of the waterways," Muench said. "And what we need to do is make sure that that industry is effective without having a regulation that's burdensome with absolutely no increase in security."

St. Louis hosted the third of four national public meetings on the subject. The Department of Homeland Security will take public comments until July 6.