The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will install new rail-cargo scanning systems at 12 rail ports of entry on the U.S. southern and northern land borders.
The $46 million initiative is slated to replace aging equipment with scanners that use “linear accelerators to generate X-rays from electricity rather than radioactive isotopes, producing high-quality images that support faster and more secure cargo inspections,” CBP said.
CBP noted that the new scanners “will generate X-rays only when trains are present,” and it will implement shield walls, fencing and signage at project sites “in compliance with the safety and performance requirements specific to each location.”
The scanners will be installed and tested this fall at these locations, which process approximately 60% of the rail cargo imported to the United States: Nogales, Ariz.; Calexico, Calif.; Eastport, Idaho; International Falls/Ranier, Minn.; Portal, N.D.; Buffalo and Rouses Point, N.Y.; Brownsville, Eagle Pass, and El Paso (two locations; BNSF and Union Pacific), Tex.; and Blaine, Wash.
“Non-intrusive inspection technology is a force multiplier that allows CBP officers to safely and more efficiently process U.S.-bound cargo,” said William A. Ferrara, Executive Assistant Commissioner of the CBP Office of Field Operations. “The high-quality images produced by the new rail cargo scanners will enhance CBP’s efforts to interdict stowaways, deadly narcotics, and other contraband while facilitating the flow of lawful trade.”