Congress Drops Local Match Requirement for Port Security Funds


In a move that is expected to encourage ports to spend more on critical infrastructure protection initiatives, Congress has voted to eliminate the local cost-share requirement for port security grants in the Homeland Security Department appropriations bill (H.R. 2892).

The Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as an essential source of funding to help ports invest in cutting-edge security technologies, such as access control solutions that support deployment of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program.

Many ports indicated that the requirement of providing a 25 percent match in order to receive PSGP funds discouraged them from applying for grants. In a recent letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committee leaders, Security Industry Association (SIA) officials requested that lawmakers drop the local match requirement.

“We are thrilled that Congress recognized that the economic climate is not conducive to imposing a cost-share requirement on port security grant applicants,” says SIA Director of Government Relations Don Erickson. “We also understand that appropriators are not inclined to waive the requirement beyond FY2010, but SIA will work to prevent it from being imposed in future years.”

H.R. 2892 is expected to be signed soon by President Obama.

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