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January 10, 2007 9:00 AM, EST

DHS ’07 Security Grants Include More Port Security Funding

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The Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday it will grant $445 million for fiscal year 2007 to protect critical infrastructure, including ports and transit systems.The amount given nationwide for fiscal 2007, which ends Sept. 30, is $46 million more than last year. This year, DHS will grant $201 million for port security, $172 million for transit, $48 million to protect areas surrounding electric plants, bridges and tunnels and $12 million each for buses and trucks, Bloomberg reported.Eight ports qualify for grants as Tier I facilities, or those with the highest risk status, for fiscal year 2007. They will receive a combined total of $120 million, or roughly 60% of total port security grant funding, DHS said.Those ports are: New York-New Jersey, $27.1 million; New Orleans, $17.3 million; Houston-Galveston, Texas, $15.7 million; Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif., $14.7 million; Seattle-Tacoma, Wash., $12.2 million; Delaware Bay (Philadelphia, Wilmington, Del., and Southern New Jersey), $11.3 million; San Francisco Bay, $11.2 million; and Port Arthur-Beaumont, Texas, $10.9 million.The American Association of Port Authorities said it welcomed the news and that the appropriation represents a 20% increase over the $175 million that Congress appropriated for port security grants in FY 2006.DHS was criticized last year by some lawmakers for spreading its grant money among municipalities and not focusing on cities that could be likely terrorist targets, Bloomberg said.