DHS Awards $844 Million To Secure Nation’s Critical Infrastructure
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has granted more than $844 million in awards as part of its Infrastructure Protection Activities (IPA) grant program. Grant awards will strengthen security at ports and enhance transit, trucking and intercity bus systems. Funds provided will be used to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies.
“With this year’s funding, the department will have provided roughly $3 billion in grants for securing the nation’s critical infrastructure and transportation systems,” says Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. “As capabilities mature, we’re encouraging state and local governments and the private sector to prioritize IED prevention and protection, communications capabilities, information sharing, and regionally based security cooperation.”
Fiscal Year 2008 IPA awards represent a 29 percent increase from last year. They include:
Port Security Grant Program: $388.6 million
The Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) supports sustainable, risk-based efforts to enhance access control and credentialing, protect against an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and other non-conventional attacks, and conduct exercises for disaster-response scenarios. The seven highest risk port areas that comprise Group I will receive $220.9 million, which is a 26 percent increase from last year. There are 40 Group II port areas that will receive a total of $138.1 million, and 16 Group III port areas will be awarded $17.3 million. Other port areas will receive a total of almost $9.9 million, and five ferry systems will be awarded more than $2.4 million. DHS has provided nearly $1.5 billion in PSGP grants since 2003.
Transit Security Grant Program: $380.1 million
The Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) supports sustainable, risk-based efforts to protect critical transit infrastructure, particularly against explosives and non-conventional threats that could cause major disruption to commerce and significant loss of life. The eight highest risk Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Tier 1 awardees will receive a total of $333.2 million, which is a 46 percent increase from last year. There are 23 UASI Tier II awardees that will receive a total $16.9 million. They will also have an opportunity to re-compete for another $8.5 million. DHS has provided roughly $921 million in TSGP grants since 2005.
Freight Rail Security Grant Program: $4.9 million
The Freight Rail Security Grant Program (FRSGP) provides awards to railroad operators that transport security-sensitive materials through high-density population areas. This is the first year of funding for the FRSGP, which will prioritize the development of vulnerability assessments and security plans, as well as security training of railroad front-line employees.
Intercity Passenger Rail Program: $25 million
The Intercity Passenger Rail Program (IPRP) will fund the National Passenger Railroad Corporation (Amtrak) to harden underground and underwater track and tunnels against IEDs, train key employees in counter-terrorism, and expand visible deterrence activities. DHS has provided more than $50 million in IPRP grants since 2005.
Intercity Bus Security Grant Program: $11.2 million
The Intercity Bus Security Grant Program (IBSGP) provides awards to operators of fixed route intercity and charter bus companies serving one or more defined UASI jurisdictions. Funding priorities include: IED prevention and detection; protection of high-risk/high consequence assets; antiterrorism training and preparedness exercises; visible, unpredictable deterrence activities; and the development of vulnerability assessments and security plans. There are six awardees providing extensive service to UASI Tier I jurisdictions that will receive $6.2 million. The remaining $5 million will be allocated to UASI Tier II eligible recipients. DHS has provided more than $71 million in IBSGP grants since 2003.
Buffer Zone Protection Program: $48.5 million
The Buffer Zone Protection Program (BZPP) provides grant funding for security and risk-management capabilities at state and local levels to bolster pre-designated UASI Tier I and Tier II critical infrastructure sites, such as chemical facilities, financial institutions, nuclear and electric power plants, dams, stadiums, and other high-risk/high-consequence facilities. DHS has provided more than $236 million in BZPP funds since 2005.
Trucking Security Grant Program (TSP): $15.5 million
The Trucking Security Grant Program (TSP) provides an award to a single grantee selected through a competitive process. The funding will support: participant identification and recruitment, planning, training, communications, and information analysis and distribution. DHS has provided nearly $78 million in TSP grants since 2003.