Harbor Security Could Burden Locals
By Léo Azambuja
Marine-port workers and shippers will soon have their budget tweaked by a new identification card required for the sake of national security. Everyone who works at, and makes or receives shipments out of Kaunakakai Wharf will be affected.
TWIC, short for Transportation Workers Identification Credential, will cost $132.50, and has a life span of five years. The card will be valid for any marine port nationwide.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that maritime workers across the nation will have to carry the new identification card by September. The measure will also affect those who make at least one weekly trip to any marine port. However, the Coast Guard in Hawaii has yet to set a deadline for non-maritime workers to obtain the card. Once the deadline is set, they will have 90 days to comply.
Those who do not enter facilities as often as once a week will not have to obtain the card. But they will have to be escorted at all times when in the premises. Escorting can be done by a marine port worker or by anyone who already has the card.
Maritime cargo company Young Brothers, along with Lockheed Martin, the company contracted to process the cards, gave Molokai residents a detailed explanation of requirements and procedures to obtain the credential. Over 40 people crowded the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands conference room last Friday, trying to find out more information.
There are only three processing centers in Hawaii, and they are located on the Big Island, Oahu and Maui. Molokai and Lanai residents were left out. The common knowledge before the meeting was that each person applying for the card would have to travel twice off-island, one to apply for it and one to pick it up. This would put a heavy burden on the budget of many local businesses, which would have to sponsor their employees’ cards.
Michael Boutte, TWIC coordinator at Lockheed Martin, said the company is willing to bring a mobile enrollment center on Molokai, depending on the needs of island residents. He said that so far he has received only one phone inquiry from a Molokai resident. However, many attending the meeting said they did not know who to contact to request a mobile enrollment center.
Attendees informed Boutte that there are at least 200 Molokai residents who will need to apply for the card. Boutte said he brought a mobile enrollment center to Young Brothers on Oahu, and it took a whole week to process 200 employees there. He estimated that it would take about that long to get the job done on Molokai.
Boutte said Lockheed Martin workers need a place with electricity and a wireless connection. Molokai Chamber of Commerce President Barbara Haliniak made a commitment to arrange a place for to the company set up the mobile office.
Applicants should start the application process online, and bring all required paperwork to the mobile office. Lockheed will notify applicants via telephone or email when the card is ready. The person applying should be the same person picking up the card, which would still require a trip to Hawaii’s main processing center, on Oahu. However, Boutte said Lockheed Martin could possibly come back to Molokai to distribute the cards, alleviating the financial burden on Molokai’s residents.
Every Molokai resident who may have to obtain the TWIC should call Boutte, which will increase the chances of a mobile office coming to the island. Boutte can be reached at (808) 838-4038, or at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the application process, and to download forms, please go to www.tsa.gov/twic, or call 1-866-DHS-TWIC.