AAPA Applauds DHS For Opening Round 9 Port Security Grants
$388.6 Million To Be Available For Maritime Security Projects
Officials of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) today lauded the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for announcing that it is opening the application process for the next round of port security grants. The Port Security Grant program, run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will distribute $388.6 million in grant funding in fiscal 2009 to eligible maritime entities to pay for facility expenses ranging from security cameras, lighting and other protective equipment and infrastructure, to interoperable communications devices, interagency coordination and implementation expenses associated with the new Transportation Worker Identification Credential.
As in the past, port areas classified as Group I and Group II have been designated a specific funding amount based upon a DHS risk analysis. Group III recipients and what FEMA classifies as "All Other Port Areas," together with ferry systems, will compete for the funding identified in their corresponding group.
"Protecting the people and freight that move through our seaports and surrounding communities is essential to keeping them safe and secure, and for keeping our ports open for business," said Susan Monteverde, AAPA's government relations vice president. "The Port Security Grant program provides essential resources that help seaports and related facilities harden their security to thwart terrorism."
In June, Congress approved $400 million for the Round 9 grants program, although approximately 3 percent is being held back for administration costs. AAPA and its members collaborate with both government officials and private-sector security experts to maintain and enhance seaport security.