WASHINGTON, The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017, due to inclusion of the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) within the bill, failed by three votes to reach the 60 votes needed in the United States Senate to end debate and move to a vote on final passage. While the vote tally reflected bipartisan support for the Coast Guard authorization bill with VIDA included, the votes against included several senators who were previously supporters of VIDA, either in this Congress or the previous Congress: Sen. Chris Coons (D-Delaware), Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), Sen. Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts), Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts).
In response to the vote, Thomas A. Allegretti, President & CEO of The American Waterways Operators, stated:
"The outcome of yesterday's vote on VIDA was a great disappointment to the men and women of the American tugboat, towboat and barge industry, who work tirelessly to support homeland security and to deliver annually over 760 million tons of vital commodities that drive our economy.
"VIDA is both critically important and thoughtfully balanced legislation. Currently, commercial vessels navigating American waters are subject to a patchwork of conflicting vessel discharge regulations issued by two federal agencies and 25 states. Our government does not require airplanes, trains or trucks to disrupt transit, switch out technologies and take on exceedingly high costs to meet a different environmental standard every time the vehicle crosses state lines. To require this of commercial vessels defies common sense and threatens the viability of maritime commerce – the most environmentally friendly mode of cargo transport – throughout the country, including in states like Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Virginia.
"VIDA replaces today's unsustainable system with one under which the Coast Guard administers a single federal ballast water discharge standard, but maintains as that standard one that the EPA and National Academy of Sciences have deemed the most stringent currently available, and that can be raised over time as technology improves. The approach taken by VIDA is the reason it is supported by over 320 organizations representing U.S. and international vessel owners and operators; fishing vessel, passage vessel and charterboat operators; labor unions; marine terminals and port authorities; national business organizations; and industries that rely on maritime shipping to transport essential cargoes in domestic and international commerce. This legislation solves a serious regulatory problem while protecting the environment – a point on which at least 60 senators had agreed for many months, until yesterday.
"We remain committed to working on a bipartisan basis to see VIDA enacted into law, and we call on the Senate to resolve any outstanding issues before adjourning for Memorial Day recess. The American maritime workforce, which urgently needs the balanced, common sense regulatory relief that VIDA provides, deserves no less."
The American Waterways Operators is the national trade association representing the tugboat, towboat and barge industry, which operates on the rivers, the Great Lakes, and along the coasts and in the harbors of the United States. Barge transportation serves the nation as the safest, most environmentally friendly and most economical mode of freight transportation. For more information about AWO, please visit www.americanwaterways.com.
Raytheon, Virsec establish alliance to protect government and critical infrastructure from advanced cyberattacks
DULLES, Va., April 23, 2018 -- Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) announced an alliance with Virsec to bring commercial cybersecurity tools to global government and critical infrastructure customers. Combined with Raytheon's decades of cybersecurity defense expertise, Virsec's patented Trusted Execution™ technology protects networks by detecting deviations in software applications caused by cyber intrusions.
"Critical infrastructure – from the electrical grid to transportation – is under assault, and hackers are evading conventional security defenses," said John DeSimone, vice president of Cybersecurity and Special Missions at Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. "Commercial tools from companies like Virsec can help bridge the gap for our global government and commercial customers and provide effective protection against the growing cyber threat."
Trusted Execution protects against attacks on critical systems that bypass conventional network security tools using advanced hacking techniques and memory exploits. Commercially available, this technology protects memory and processes in real-time and instantly detects deviations in software applications. This deterministic process blocks attacks within milliseconds, providing precise forensics at every step.
"It's time to change the equation for security and deliver better protection for our most critical infrastructure," said Atiq Raza, CEO of Virsec. "Our philosophy is simple – rather than eternally chasing elusive threats, we need to take the guess-work out of cybersecurity and stop attacks, at the application level, in real-time."
Based in San Jose, California, Virsec was founded on the belief that a new model is required to counter today's advanced threats. The company is led by industry veterans who have driven one of the world's top processor teams, and created innovative technology in network security, embedded systems and real-time memory systems. The team has broad leadership experience at multiple leading cybersecurity and information technology companies, as well a long list of high-growth start-ups. More information and demos are available at www.virsec.com.
Raytheon Company, with 2017 sales of $25 billion and 64,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. With a history of innovation spanning 96 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration, C5I™ products and services, sensing, effects, and mission support for customers in more than 80 countries. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. Follow us on Twitter.
Vectra Cognito Platform Now Available for the Department of Homeland Security Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation Program
"We believe security operations teams need the most advanced and consistent approach to endpoint security. With Secdo's EDR capabilities as part of our platform, we will accelerate our ability to detect and prevent successful cyberattacks across the cloud, endpoint, and network." —, chairman and CEO of Palo Alto Networks
"We are delighted to join the Palo Alto Networks team. We founded Secdo to dramatically increase visibility for security operations teams to reduce the time it takes to detect and respond to an alert. The combined capabilities of Secdo and Palo Alto Networks will provide customers the capabilities they need to swiftly and accurately detect and respond to cyberattacks." —, co-founder and CEO of Secdo