Two-thirds of U.S. ports miss security plan deadline

Two-thirds of U.S. ports miss security plan deadline

About two-thirds of the nation's ports missed the Dec. 31 deadline for submitting anti-terror security plans set by the federal government.

The Coast Guard said Monday that while final tallies will not be available until later this week, some two-thirds of a 10,000 eligible vessels and one-third of 5,000 port facilities have yet to file security plans.

Coast Guard spokeswoman Jolie Shiflet said that the agency is still sorting out the large volume of plans that the agency received Friday.

An undetermined number may still be in transit. Shiflet said that as long as the plans were postmarked by Dec. 31, 2003, they have met the deadline. She said some plans also are being submitted by way of local Coast Guard offices.

The plans are required under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002.

-- R.G. Edmonson in Washington