Refinery to complete final integration of TWIC readers by August
PASADENA, Texas—It’s been more than a three-year process, but Pasadena Refining Systems, a refiner and marketer of petroleum products on the Houston Ship Channel, will soon have a fully operational Transportation Worker Identification Card reader system in place.
The facility will complete the final integration and testing of TWIC reading capability with its AMAG access control system by the end of August, said Jeff Brown, managing partner of consulting firm Transportation Security Associates, LLC.
Brown, who has spent the last nine years consulting for ports and 12 years before that in the maritime industry, said the implementation of TWIC has been a frustrating process for ports and port facilities throughout the country because the government has taken so long to release its list of approved technologies.
Brown said he has seen two different approaches by ports when it comes to the implementation of TWIC readers. “There’s one side that says we know it’s coming so let’s get ahead of the curve and another side that says let’s wait and see,” he said. Brown said there is danger for those who wait because there may not be ample government funding left by the time they decide to move forward, which may cause them to be noncompliant with U.S. Coast Guard regulations.
For those facilities afraid of deploying technology because the final specs have yet to be released by the U.S Coast Guard, Geri Castaldo, CEO of Codebench, the provider of TWIC authentication and physical access control middleware used by Pasadena, said end users can rest assured that any updates to the software will be made in order to assure compliance. “It’s already happened a few times and we’ve had to change a couple of things and modify the software,” Castaldo said. She emphasized that facility operators enter a software support agreement with its provider to ensure all future modifications will be made.
The company currently integrates with 23 different access control systems, including the AMAG readers, which are deployed at Pasadena. In addition to using stationary TWIC readers, Pasadena is also deploying six handheld, mobile biometric terminals so security officers can check TWIC holders throughout port property.