BANGOR (AP) – Maine’s ports have done a good job meeting the Jan. 1 deadline for submitting security plans to the U.S. Coast Guard.

All facilities and shipping companies were required to file a security plan with their country’s applicable governmental agency.

“I am happy to say that I think we’re going to be very close to 100 percent compliant here in Maine” for filing the security plans, said Lt. Matt McCann of the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Office in Portland.

Overall, Coast Guard officials said the deadline was met by only 5,200 of 10,000 ships and 1,100 of 5,000 port facilities.

The Coast Guard was authorized after Jan. 1 to levy fines of $25,000 per violation for any operator or port facility that did not file the security plans. After July 1, the Coast Guard can begin shutting down shipping companies and facilities that have not implemented the new regulations.

Maine maritime companies and operators have taken the new rules seriously and have not complained or told the Coast Guard they can’t comply, McCann said.

Russ Selwood, who manages the Federal Marine Terminal in Eastport, doesn’t expect any problems because of the new rules. His company already had a security plan in place before the new rules were adopted in 2002.

Donald Cormier, vice president of operations and safety management for Bay Ferries Ltd., also was optimistic that his firm could easily comply with the new rules. Bay Ferries operates The Cat from Bar Harbor to Nova Scotia.

“We expect to be fully compliant with the new regulations,” Cormier said this week. “Our customers, as they already do, can expect safe and secure transportation to Canada.”

AP-ES-01-03-04 1441EST



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