U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta today announced $148 million in new transportation security grants.
The $148 million, made available by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will include $105 million in Port Security Grants, $15 million in Intercity Bus Security Grants, and $28 million for Operation Safe Commerce's pilot program for port security.
"The Bush Administration is committed to further securing our nation's highways, mass transit systems, railways, waterways and pipelines, each of which is critical to ensuring the freedom of mobility and economic growth," said Secretary Mineta. "These grant programs will help the Transportation Security Administration identify critical infrastructure, provide transit personnel security training, harden our seaports, enhance vehicle tracking and driver protection and increase security throughout the supply chain."
The Port Security Grants program includes grants for security assessments and strategies for mitigating vulnerabilities and for enhancing cargo and passenger security and access control. Additional funds will be announced in the near future for port incident training to enhance prevention and response preparedness for countering terrorist incidents.
More than $92 million in Port Security Grants has been distributed to 51 U.S. ports since June 2002.
A selection board composed of representatives from the TSA, U.S. Coast Guard and Maritime Administration will judge Port Security Grant applications. All grant applications are to be submitted to www.portsecuritygrants.dottsa.net. An announcement providing details about the program is being published at the same site, as well as in FedBizOpps, http://fedbizopps.gov.
Under Operation Safe Commerce, TSA today requested applications from the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, New York/New Jersey and Seattle/Tacoma for pilot programs using new security techniques with the potential for increasing the security of container shipments. A notice was published in the Nov. 30, 2002 Federal Register soliciting comments on the program.
Funds for the grant programs were provided for in the Fiscal Year 2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act.