Workers in the transportation sector, including commercial drivers, pilots, airline and other aviation sector personnel, vessel officers and crew members, rail workers, and others face multiple security credentialing requirements. These workers may also have to undergo government mandated pre-employment security threat assessments and credentialing for the Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME); Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC); air cargo and private facility access (such as to chemical manufacturing plants); the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program for border crossings; access to Department of Defense facilities; and a myriad of locally and state-administered security and threat assessments (such as the Florida Unified Port Access Card). For example, currently a truck driver that carries placarded loads must have a HME; if the driver accesses an airport, a Secure Identification Display Area (SIDA) credential is required; if the driver accesses a port, a TWIC is required; if the driver transports freight for the U.S. Postal Service, a USPS credential is required; if the driver transports freight across the U.S. border, a FAST credential is required. Each credential requires a separate background check, imposing costs and delays for obtaining and retaining such credentials. Research is needed to identify options to reduce duplicative elements and associated costs to the individual, the hiring entity, and the program managers.
The objective of this research is to identify options for achieving the objective of a single, universally recognized credential that establishes (a) identity; (b) eligibility to access secure areas; and (c) eligibility to obtain or hold transportation-related licenses, credentials and other government certifications required of persons who transport hazardous materials by all modes in the U.S.
(1). Identify and compare the relevant local, state, and federal security credentials requirements for persons who transport hazardous materials by all modes in the United States, including cross-border requirements and credentials necessary to access secure areas. Identify the functions of each credential and overlapping requirements (e.g., background check, identification, access control, knowledge test). (2). Determine the time and costs associated with applying for, obtaining, and renewing each credential identified in Task 1. Provide illustrative examples of cases where multiple credentials will be required of an individual. (3). Identify the legal authorities, programs, policies, and exemptions pertaining to the issuance of security credentials for U.S. hazardous materials transportation workers including those who may access secure areas. Describe the reasons for the separate requirements including the stated regulatory, legal, and jurisdictional rationales and associated program costs. (4). Review the benefits and weaknesses of consolidated credentialing processes versus separate credentialing processes from a security, safety, and cost-effectiveness perspective. Analyze the feasibility to consolidate elements of the current programs identified in previous tasks to create a single security credential that can replace the security threat assessments and credentials identified in Task 1 (e.g., Secure Identification Display Area (SIDA); U.S. Postal Service; Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME); Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC); Free and Secure Trade (FAST); or other government mandated pre-employment background checks). (5). Submit an interim report summarizing the results of Tasks 1 through 4 for review by the HMCRP. (6). Identify options (including TWIC) for achieving the objective of a single, universally recognized credential that establishes (a) identity; (b) eligibility to access secure areas; and (c) eligibility to obtain or hold transportation-related licenses, credentials and other government certifications required of persons who transport hazardous materials by all modes in the United States. Identify the costs, benefits, and regulatory or legislative obstacles for each of the options identified in this task. (7). Submit a final report that documents the entire research effort. Include a PowerPoint presentation suitable for use by panel members and others in describing the research and for posting on the HMCRP project website. In addition, provide a companion executive summary that outlines the research results.