The funding is aimed at improving terminal security at ports as well as making modifications in infrastructure in order to prevent terrorist attacks. Eligible ports have a deadline of June 10, 2005 to apply for the money.
The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) notes that this year’s funding from DHS was aimed at supporting what DHS perceives as the 66 areas having the greatest degree of perceived risk.
Proposed in the new budget is an increase in funding to $150 million, however in the FY 2006 budget it has been recommended that the Port Security Grant program be eliminated and in its place would be a Transportation Infrastructure Protection (TIP) program that would incorporate port proposals together with requests from a number of other transportation-related industries.
In written testimony, AAPA’s executive vice president and general council, Jean Godwin, stated that putting port security in with the TIP program would “pit an under funded border protection program (port security) against under funded domestic transportation protection programs (such as transit).”