DHS Announces $141M in Port Security Grants

Wednesday, September 14, 2005
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced $141,969,967.61 in the fifth round of awards under the Port Security Grant Program (PSGP).

The FY 2005 PSGP fortifies security at our nation’s critical ports and maritime facilities. PSGP funds address key national priorities by helping to protect ports against small craft and underwater attacks and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices. The program also funds measures to enhance explosive detection capabilities aboard passenger vessels and associated facilities.

“These grants provide another layer of security to help protect ports from terrorism, safeguard nearby communities and ensure the uninterrupted flow of global commerce,” said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

Recipients were selected through a competitive peer review process using a new risk-based formula weighing threat, vulnerability and consequence. Consequence considers risks to people, the economy, and national security. Vulnerability involves factors such as distance from open water, number of port calls, and presence of tankers. Threat includes credible threats and incidents and vessels of interest information. The risk formula was developed by subject matter experts who have devoted much of their careers to maritime/port security.

In order to receive funding, eligible port terminals must have submitted an application that met grant guidelines, and requested funding for eligible projects – especially projects addressing our national port security priorities. All applications were reviewed by the local United States Coast Guard (USCG) port captains and scored on uniform rating criteria. In deference to the experience of port captains who best understand their port vulnerabilities, the PSGP relied heavily upon the recommendation and application scoring of the USCG port captains.

The USCG port captain ratings were reviewed by a regional and national panel of subject matter experts. Successful applications received concurrence by the USCG port captain and the national review panel of subject matter experts.

To maximize security benefits with limited resources, the Department encouraged private companies to apply for grants with the requirement of a 50% match. Of the $141.9 million in awards announced today, the private sector matched roughly $33 million in grants. Through this public-private partnership, port communities will receive more than $175 million in security enhancements.

For ports impacted by Hurricane Katrina, funds will be held in reserve until proposed security projects are ready to be implemented.

In addition to the awards announced today, over the past five years, the PSGP has provided $489 million to enhance dockside and perimeter security in our nation’s seaports.

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