DHS to Provide $445 Million for Critical Infrastructure Security

WASHINGTON

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will distribute $445 million to U.S. cities to help protect ports, subways, rails and other infrastructure from possible terrorist attacks.

Nearly half the Infrastructure Protection Program (IPP) grant money, $201 million, will be used to secure ports and subway systems, including Amtrak. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will get the biggest share of the funds, $27.1 million.

“We’re investing resources where risk is greatest and where the funds will have the most significant impact,” says DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff. “This year’s grants reflect a rigorous, disciplined approach that places risk first, driven by hard analysis from the intelligence community and supported by common sense.”

The New Orleans region, devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, will get $17.3 million, followed by $15.7 million for the Houston area. DHS set aside $172 million to protect the nation’s transit systems, with New York City and northern New Jersey getting the largest share of $61 million.

Washington, D.C. and the Baltimore area will get $18.5 million, the Boston area $15.3 million, followed by the San Francisco Bay area at $13.8 million. Amtrak will get $8.3 million.

Transit funding this year includes 19 ferry systems in 14 regions in California, Connecticut, southern New Jersey and Delaware, northern New Jersey and New York City, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington state.

Intercity bus systems and trucking safety will each get $11.6 million. And DHS set aside $48.5 million for “buffer zone protection” which would provide security around critical facilities.

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