The Passenger Vessel Association called member attention to the recently enacted economic stimulus bill contains $150m for a new round of financing for competitive Port Security Grants. Program Guidance and Application Kits are available online (www.fema.gov/grants). Click on “American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA).”
Many PVA members will be eligible to apply. Several changes from past grant rounds may make these grants potentially more attractive to PVA members.
Key features in the FY 2009 ARRA Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) include:
• There will be no applicant cost share required. Federal grant funds will finance 100 percent of eligible projects.
• Any owner or operator of a MTSA-regulated vessel or facility is eligible to apply. This means that if a vessel or facility is required by the Coast Guard to have an approved security plan, the owner or operator can submit a grant application. The vessel can operate as a ferry or in any other capacity.
• An eligible use of funding would be to purchase and install Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) on vessels. A PVA operator has successfully applied for funding for this purpose in the fiscal 2009 round, thus establishing a precedent. With many PVA operators likely to be required to install AIS as a result of a pending Coast Guard rule, some may wish to get ahead of the rule and apply for funds for AIS and related equipment to increase Maritime Domain Awareness.
• An eligible use of funding would be to purchase and install TWIC readers.
Other permissible uses of grant funds include: installation of closed-circuit television systems in vessel bridges and engine rooms; fencing and other perimeter security; lighting; canine explosive detection teams, in some circumstances; and training and exercises.
Completed applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. ET, June 29, 2009.