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PORT OF OAKLAND <br>WHAT'S BEEN DONE: New fences, cameras, secured <p>power supplies, radiation detectors and automated gates.
IT'S FIVE years after 9/11. Do you know how safe your refinery is?

What about the trains you ride, the hotels you stay in or the tall building where you work?

The federal government has spent billions of dollars equipping public safety and medical personnel to protect Americans from terror, but only a fraction of that amount to directly secure the nation's terror targets.

And it has yet to mandate security standards for much of the private sector — which owns most of the potential targets — giving businesses little incentive to bolster security themselves, homeland security experts say.

The result is an uneven patchwork of security measures that, for many potential targets, fall far short of what's needed, they say.

After the 9/11 attacks, America was facing an enemy that could attack anything, anywhere, at any time, said Brian Jenkins, a terrorism and homeland security expert for RAND Corp. in Santa Monica and author of the just-released book "Unconquerable Nation."

Suddenly, everything from county fairgrounds to chemical plants seemed vulnerable. But the government lacked the resources to protect it all.

It took the federal government nearly five years to finalize a plan to decide what to protect, when and how. But federal officials say they are making progress.

The Department of Homeland Security is reaching out to the private companies that own "critical infrastructure" — which includes energy, agriculture, commercial buildings and telecommunications — through grant programs that fund security improvements, said Thomas DiNanno, deputy assistant secretary for infrastructure protection.

This year, experts say there were about 600 sites in the United States that qualified for $48 million in grant money this year. (Chemical plants get their own separate grant, $25 million this year.) DiNanno would not confirm the number of eligible sites in California, saying that information is too sensitive to share.

Last year, California had 269 such sites and got money to secure about 15 percent of them, one former state homeland security official said. This year it got $2.4 million, excluding money for chemical plants, and DiNanno estimates spending at about $200,000 per site.

He said the federal government helps assess security needs at such sites. But the money is handed not directly to them but to local governments, who determine what each site needs — a move that he says provides a vital link between public safety and private owners.

California's homeland security office is working with the Los Angeles Police Department to expand its database of critical sites statewide, said Gary Winuk, the state's deputy homeland security chief.

But more regulation is needed to force private industry to take security needs seriously, McIntyre and other experts say, because there is no financial incentive for them to do so. The nuclear and airline industries are more heavily regulated, and as such, have stricter security requirements, they say. But many of the other industries considered critical by the federal government are not.

"Who's responsible for that? My own take is, private industry has not yet bellied up to that," said Dr. David McIntyre, director of the Integrative Center for Homeland Security at Texas A&M University. "It would be best to establish some set of guidelines and metrics. What is due diligence on the part of businesses for protecting people, employees and customers? We have not established that, and we need to."

DiNanno doesn't think most industries need more regulations, though he admits that he would like to see Congress set security requirements for one — the chemical industry. An industry group put together voluntary standards, but not all chemical companies complied, McIntyre said.

One private sector spokesman disagrees with the call for increased regulation. 

"I don't think one-size-fits-all regulations are the right solution to security issues," said Andrew Howell, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's vice president for homeland security policy. "We believe the most effective way to continue to enhance security is for government and industry to continue their work together to understand the threats facing our country, the vulnerabilities, and the risk-management strategies that government and industry should use to enhance security."

And Howell said businesses need more information and protections from the government to comply. The final federal regulation for protecting private-sector information given to the government, he said, didn't go into effect until about a week ago.

Ports, transit covered

The federal government has directly paid for security enhancements at ports and for public transit. To date, the government has spent $630 million to protect America's ports and $375 million to protect mass transit. Local port and public transit officials said they've made progress, but more is needed.

Even before 9/11, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system had been working on strengthening the Transbay Tube against earthquake damage, said BART spokesman Linton Johnson.

Last month, the system received $2.9 million for a secret BART security upgrade that involved "hardening" part of the system that would also affect San Francisco's Muni transit system. Johnson said the system will be spending as much as $37 million in Tube protection, including other improvements such as intruder sensors.

"If a passenger wants to walk into the Tube from the Embarcadero station, we have surveillance equipment in that area, lots of it, alarms and that type of thing," Johnson explained.

The system has other improvements, such as seven police dogs that were cross-trained to sniff bombs after the March 2004 Madrid bombings and three more dogs added last month.

Still, the best protection BART has against the sort of bombing attack done against transit trains in Spain and India are the eyes and ears of its passengers and staff. Loudspeaker and text announcement boards urge passengers to "be aware of your surroundings" and report any suspicious people or objects, Johnson said.

But the more fool-proof method of protecting large masses of potential victims in a confined space just wouldn't work on the rail system, Johnson said.

"We couldn't take our passengers through airline security," Johnson said, "because that would pretty much take the rapid out of rapid transit."

Since the attacks, air security has gotten the lion's share of attention, with a government takeover of most airports' security and billions of dollars in improvements. But former El Al airline security chief Isaac Yeffet said those security workers need to be better trained and that air cargo needs to be better screened. And Yeffet, now a private security consultant in New York, said passengers should be questioned before flights to screen out potential troublemakers.

Nothing illustrates the difference in port security more than the barbed-wire fences that surround maritime terminals at the Port of Oakland.

Before the attacks, the fences at Oakland and many other ports were used more to mark boundaries than keep unwanted visitors out. But after, port officials used federal money to repair holes, add barbed wire and replace miles of chain-link fence.

Five years later, Oakland and other ports are requesting funding to institute more high-tech solutions including radio frequency identification devices, underwater cameras and radiation detection monitors.

The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection has also set up computers to check for irregularities in ship manifests, customs agents are stationed overseas to screen containers and permanent detection modules have been built at almost every major port.

The Port of Oakland, the nation's fourth largest container port, got $11.2 million, which it used to install cameras, secure power supplies, outfit each of its maritime terminals with radiation detectors and construct automated gates. It had requested $100 million.

"Security is certainly an expensive proposition," said Mike O'Brien, facilities security officer at the Port of Oakland. "But there is always infrastructure to be improved. There are always new innovations in technology."

But the government has yet to institute an identification system for port employees, and many containers still enter the country without being checked. Securing supply chains from warehouses to stores continues to worry many.

Golden Gate Bridge operators also got less than they say they need. They requested $2 million from the Homeland Security Department in 2005 and $5 million in 2006 for security enhancements but got just $200,000. This year the bridge's operating agency is putting in more than $3 million into security, two-thirds of it paid for with a federal grant.

The 2,900-acre Chevron Richmond Refinery can process 240,000 barrels of crude oil a day, neighbors one of Contra Costa County's largest cities and borders a busy passenger rail line. In 2003, the oil giant got a $3 million federal port grant for dockside and perimeter security. But it is reluctant to say what security precautions it is taking.

"For obvious reasons, we don't disclose details regarding our security procedures," said Chevron spokesman Leif Sollid. "At the Richmond Refinery, we coordinate with local, state and federal agencies," including the Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security.

But at many "soft targets" that have been hit by terrorists in the past — public places including hotels and landmark buildings — it's unclear what, if anything, has been done.

Federal building barriers

The Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland has barriers in front of it to protect it from a vehicle attack, 24-hour security and metal detectors, says Jackie Peters, deputy property manager in the U.S. General Services Administration's East Bay office. Security only admits people with federal identification to the building's underground garage, Peters said.

But owners of some other public places here in the Bay Area that have been considered potential targets didn't want to talk about what, if anything, they are doing.

"For security purposes, we are not at liberty to discuss (our) security measures," said Samara Diapoulos, spokeswoman for the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

The hotel, which has hosted U.S. presidents, has uniformed, 24-hour security; closed-circuit cameras; electronic room keys; double-locking doors; and restricted access to guest rooms, according to travel Web sites that sell reservations at the hotel.

Jim Abrams of the California Hotel & Lodging Association said his group put together a disaster plan to deal with blackouts during the 2001 energy crisis, something he says is also applicable to terrorist acts. He said his members are interested in preparing for terrorism but that he doesn't know specifically what they are doing.

To be fair, it is unclear what additional security measures could — or should — be put in place to protect such public sites. RAND's Jenkins said the costs of securing such sites could outweigh the benefits — especially if another similar but unprotected site is just down the street.

Not far down the street from the Fairmont looms the iconic 48-floor Transamerica pyramid.

Some of the more obvious security features include about 100 brushed-bronze-covered barriers between trees to prevent terrorists from driving onto the plaza at the pyramid's base. Plates that lift out of the pavement to block vehicles from entering the building's garage were installed pre-9/11, in response to the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, said Stephen Fee of Fee Munson Ebert, the architecture firm that designed the security features.

The building's owners did not want to discuss their security measures.

"We're working with the Department of Homeland Security. We're not prepared to discuss what measures we're taking (to protect the building's 1,500 workers)," said Tom Shefter, senior vice president in Realty Asset Management for AEGON USA, which owns the building.

While Yeffet said he thinks Americans would welcome more security, McIntyre doesn't think they would stand for it.

"The only way we can protect everything is if you bring everything to a halt," McIntyre said. "Do the American people want to put up with it? Not until there's a bomb."

While Americans should be more savvy about terror, Jenkins said, they stand an exponentially greater chance of dying in a car accident than at the hands of a terrorist.

"When friends call me to say they are going on a trip, I say, 'Drive very carefully to the airport,'" Jenkins said.