January 16, 2008 10:00 ET

Huntington Port Workers Begin Enrollment for Federal Port Security Credential

HUNTINGTON, WV--(Marketwire - January 16, 2008) - Today, port workers, longshore workers, truckers and others at the Port of Huntington/Tri-State will begin to enroll in the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. The program's goal is to ensure that any individual who has unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities and vessels has received a thorough background check and is not a security threat.

Nationwide, more than 1 million workers with unescorted access to secure areas will apply for TWIC between 2007 and 2008.

"The start of enrollment is one more step in our effort to prevent persons who are a threat from gaining access to secure areas of port facilities," said Maurine Fanguy, TWIC program director for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). "We appreciate the support of our partners at the Port of Huntington/Tri-State for helping to make one of the world's most advanced interoperable biometric systems a reality."

By the end of the week, Huntington will be one of 48 ports to begin enrollment since the program began Oct. 16 and is the 11th inland port. Ultimately, established fixed enrollment centers will be in place at 147 ports along with mobile enrollment centers at dozens of other locations as needed.

"TWIC is essential for gaining secure, reliable and quick access to waterfront facilities and vessels at the Port of Huntington/Tri-State," said Coast Guard Commander Kevin Kiefer. "Individuals requiring a TWIC should enroll as soon as possible before enforcement begins."

Workers at the Port of Huntington are able to pre-enroll for TWIC online at or the Coast Guard's Homeport site at Pre-enrolling speeds up the process by allowing workers to provide biographic information and schedule a time to complete the application process in person. This eliminates waiting at enrollment centers and reduces the time it takes to enroll each individual.

"Working in close cooperation with our federal partners to ensure a seamless and smooth deployment of the TWIC is in the best interest of the West Virginia Department of Transportation," said Secretary of Transportation Paul Mattox. "It also demonstrates West Virginia's strong commitment to the security of our nation's and state's critical ports and infrastructure."

About the Port of Huntington/Tri-State: The Port of Huntington is the largest inland river port in the United States, covering 199 navigable river miles on the Ohio, Kanawha and Big Sandy River systems. It ranks as the fourth largest port in the U.S. for tonnage, and is home to numerous chemical and petroleum production facilities including the largest inland and fourth largest petroleum refinery in the nation.