HOUSTON Ã¯Â¿Â½ Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 3011 on Aug. 14, allowing the creation of a ship channel security district for the Port of Houston and empowering local authorities to partner with private sector companies to take an integrated, system-wide approach to enhancing port security.
Perry was joined by legislators, federal and local officials, and members of the energy industry.
"The Ship Channel Security bill I am signing today is an essential step in our efforts to protect the vital resources of our state," Perry said. "It formalizes an unprecedented partnership between government and industry to coordinate security efforts across the Houston Ship Channel, home to more than 40 percent of our nation's petrochemical capacity."
The Port Strategic Security Council (PSSC), a public-private group comprised of companies and local governing bodies along the Houston Ship Channel, devised a sensible, workable approach to the security concerns in the area, including those addressed in House Bill 3011.
As a result of the coordinated efforts of the PSSC and the support of the legislature and governor, Texas will now set the standard for port security across the country.
House Bill 3011 authorizes the Harris County Commissioners Court to create a ship channel security district, which will be made up of voluntary local entities and private sector partners joining together to provide security for facilities along the Houston Ship Channel.The district will have the powers of assessment to fund the costs to operate and maintain security infrastructure, services and projects.
"This legislation provides for better coordination between first-responders and their private sector partners," Perry said. "It encourages all involved to work together to create a safer port, maintaining the flow of vital materials and products, strengthening our economy and making for a safer Texas."
House Bill 3011 took effect June 15, 2007.