Congresswoman Hahn Introduces Legislation to Increase Security from Terrorist Attack at US Ports

Congresswoman Hahn Introduces Legislation to Increase Security from Terrorist Attack at US Ports

Washington, DC—Today, on the anniversary of 9/11, Congresswoman Janice Hahn (CA-44) introduced legislation to increase security at our nation’s ports to prevent potential attacks.  The Scan Containers Absolutely Now (SCAN) Act, would allow select ports to receive federal funding for advanced inspection technology to implement 100% scanning of incoming shipping containers for radiological and nuclear material as well as other potentially dangerous material.

“Since September 11, 2001, our nation has taken great strides in ensuring our airports are secure, but living near the Port of Los Angeles, I know that our nation’s ports are not as secure as they should be,” said Congresswoman Hahn. “Top security experts recommend that shipping containers entering our ports be scanned, but 13 years later we only scan 3% of incoming cargo. This is unacceptable.”

After the attacks, the 9/11 Commission determined that U.S. ports were vulnerable targets for terrorism.  Congress has since passed two pieces of legislation, the SAFE Port Act of 2006 and the Implementing Regulations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, requiring 100% scanning of incoming cargo at U.S. ports.  Although the mandate for 100% screening was set to begin in 2012, the Department of Homeland Security has delayed its implementation.

“The technology exists today to implement efficient scanning that does not disrupt or slow the flow of commerce,” continued Congresswoman Hahn. “My bill would help demonstrate that scanning technology is effective and then we can move towards its widespread implementation so that 100% of shipping containers passing through all U.S. ports can be determined to be safe.”

The SCAN Act would create a pilot program to test the implementation of 100% scanning technology at two selected U.S. ports. These ports would apply for the program and, if selected, would be outfitted by the federal government with inspection technology. Findings of the pilot program would be shared with Congress and the Department of Homeland Security.

“An attack on one of our nation’s major ports would be catastrophic for our entire nation and the global economy,” continued Congresswoman Hahn. “This legislation is key to making port security a reality.”

Watch video of the Congresswoman's address on the House Floor here.


Congresswoman Hahn represents the Port of Los Angeles. She is also the co-founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional PORTS Caucus and serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. 

Contact: Michael Levin  (202) 225-8220