Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Port Security Funds

While the point of the article here is that Hampton Roads (a container port) didn't get the money it requested, the point is that other ports were getting funds:
Of the 66 ports nationwide that were deemed vital and allowed to compete for the money, 36 received grants and 30 did not. Houston, Texas, a large oil port, received $35 million, nearly a quarter of the total pie. That city was followed by $12.8 million to the port of Long Beach, Calif., and $11.4 million to the port of Los Angeles. Five ports in Texas - Houston, Beaumont, Texas City, Port Arthur and Freeport - got $54 million, or nearly 38 percent of the total.

In four previous rounds of federal security grants, the Virginia Port Authority received a total of $11.4 million. The authority has covered about $11 million in security improvements out of its own funds.

UPDATE: And Texas reports a "windfall":
Port communities from Freeport to Beaumont will share in more than a third of the $142 million doled out nationwide by the Homeland Security Department on Tuesday.

The Houston area received $35.3 million to beef up the security of its waterways with sophisticated cameras, underwater surveillance, speedboats and fencing.

This was the fifth round of security grant money the government has awarded since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"This year, we identified 66 ports that we view as the greatest risk, and only those were eligible to apply for the funds," spokesman Marc Short said. "Not all 66 were funded."

The United States has 361 seaports. To date, the federal agency has awarded $631 million. The security grants are earmarked for both public and private port terminals. They competed for the grants, but they also worked together.

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