Livingston County’s congresswoman has introduced bi-partisan legislation that aims to increase security and protect inland waters in the United States.

8th District Rep. Elissa Slotkin and Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona introduced H.R. 4402, the Inland Waters Security Review Act. The bill would require the Department of Homeland Security Secretary to conduct an inland waters threat analysis that includes current and potential criminal threats posed by individuals and groups, security challenges at U.S. inland waters ports, security mitigation efforts on inland waters, vulnerabilities related to cooperation between State, local, Tribal, and territorial law enforcement, or international agreements, and metrics and performance measures used by DHS to evaluate inland waters security.

Slotkin, a Holly Democrat, is a member of the Homeland Security Committee. She says maritime security may not be what people are thinking about when enjoying the Great Lakes and inland waters in Michigan but it's critical to the state's security and homeland security. Slotkin added ensuring that the Department of Homeland Security conducts a thorough security and threat assessment of the nation’s lakes, rivers and streams should be par for the course — and she’s proud to introduce the bipartisan bill with Congresswoman Lesko to make that a requirement.

Slotkin says the analysis must consider technology needs and challenges, personnel needs and challenges, the roles and the need of State, local, Tribal, territorial, and international law enforcement, as well as the challenges posed by geography with respect to inland waters security. The analysis will be reported in unclassified form, but some portions may be classified. The Committees that would receive the report include, House Homeland, House Transportation and Infrastructure, Senate Homeland, Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation. (JM)