Domestic Ports Division

Certain Dangerous Cargoes

Certain Dangerous Cargo


A critical responsibility of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) is to protect the Marine Transportation System (MTS) and its critical infrastructure from a successful terrorist attack that uses chemical commodities vital to America’s way of life as the medium for death, injury, and destruction.  In addition, concerns from Congress in 2008 sparked national interest in the USCG's ability to protect the public from the security issues surrounding Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) tankers.  To help address these critical responsibilities and congressional concerns, the USCG participated in the National LNG Task Force and hosted a National Cargo Security Symposium to confirm the need for development of a National Strategy for reducing the risk associated with the transportation of bulk Certain Dangerous Cargoes within our ports and waterways.  These efforts helped to develop USCG Operations Order (OPORD) Neptune Shield. This OPORD identified five cargoes in bulk: Chlorine, Anhydrous Ammonia, Ammonium Nitrate, LNG and LPG as Especially Hazardous Cargoes (EHC's). These five cargoes pose such risks that they require an elevated level of security. 

Quickly thereafter, the 2010 Coast Guard Authorization Act mandated a National EHC Study and Strategy to include risk assessment analysis, recommended measures to improve waterside security, stakeholder responsibilities, and alternative sources of funding for EHC security mitigation measures.  To complete the 2010 Authorization Act requirements, the Commandant signed the "Strategy for the Waterside Security of Especially Hazardous Cargo."  As mandated by DCO Functional Statements, the Office of Port and Facility Compliance (CG-FAC) is responsible for the policy governing marine transportation of EHC's including Liquefied Natural Gas.  CG-FAC oversaw all comments and questions from DHS, OMB and the NSC regarding the new Strategy. The Strategy reflects the input and collaboration of Federal, state, and local government agency, maritime industry, and private sector stakeholders.  It seeks to manage the risk of an attack on the MTS involving EHC by mitigating the threat, vulnerability, and consequence elements of risk through awareness, prevention, protection, response, and recovery components of the security risks associated with EHCs.  An implementation plan will facilitate and improve communication between industry and government on incident response/recovery as well as maritime transportation infrastructure security.  CG-FAC is working with Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC) and National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC) on an implementation plan.


For more information regarding on-going CG-FAC initiatives relating to CDC policy development please email us at and we will make every effort to reply in a timely manner.