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SECURITY IN A VACUUM: WHY TSA'S PROPOSED RULES ON RAIL SECURITY MUST BE RECONSIDERED

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On Dec 21, 2006, the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration (TSA) published in the Federal Register proposed rules regarding rail transportation security. The proposed requirement that railroads provide location and shipping information on individual rail cars in one hour or even faster -- if the "real-time" location of the rail car is what TSA seeks -- and the chain of custody and control proposed rules are unworkable and unlikely to improve security. These two proposals, should concern railroads, rail customers, and the consuming public alike. This article examines these two proposed rules from two perspectives. First, it sets forth the legal framework that applies to the proposed rule. Second, this article reviews the policy implications associated with the proposed rules that should factor into any decision TSA makes regarding final rules. Third, informed by the discussion of the policy implications, it questions the sufficiency of the proposal through the lens of the legal framework.

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