Coast Guard findings suggest safe port, good agency cooperation

BOSTON – Following an inspection of scores of shipping containers, the Coast Guard today reports findings consistent with a compliant and safe shipping industry in the port of Boston.

The Coast Guard and nearly two dozen other federal, state and local agencies joined Thursday at four high-traffic shipping points in Boston in search of dangerous cargo inside inter-modal containers. Two teams situated at weigh stations north and south of the city on Interstate 95 inspected containers on trucks. Another team was located at the Brighton Rail Yard, and a fourth at the Conley Marine Terminal. The teams inspected a total of 105 containers and found no safety or security violations.

The one-day, multi-agency strike force operation (MASFO) focused on ensuring safe shipment of hazardous materials, with minimum disruption to commerce. Inspectors opened the containers to ensure the contents, ranging from washing machines to treated cow hides, were packaged, loaded and documented as regulated by the International Convention of Safe Containers.

Further, since the operation included numerous agencies spanning multiple jurisdictions, it gave them the chance to focus on integrated operations.

“The overall goal of the MASFO is to facilitate inter-agency cooperation in the regulation of inter-modal containers, and to promote a safe and secure port,” said Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Heidi Miller, assistant waterways management chief at Sector Boston.

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