Puget Sound ports receive security funding

The nearly $4.8 million is meant to protect cargo and citizens, as well as prevent trade slowdowns.

The Department of Transportation has awarded the Ports of Seattle, Tacoma and Everett a combined $4,769,724 to enhance security at the three seaports.
The ports submitted a joint grant application in April in an effort to win a share of the $93 million set aside for security grants in the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2002.
The total value of grant application requests nationwide was nearly $700 million.
“This grant to strengthen security at Puget Sound’s three major seaports reflects the roles our ports play in both the regional and national economies,” said Port of Seattle Commission Chair Bob Edwards. “Trade is the mainstay of our economy and our ports provide critical gateways for international commerce. These funds will provide a solid foundation for protection against terrorist threats.”
Tim Farrell, Port of Tacoma Deputy Executive Director, added, “Today’s announcement is an important step in an ongoing process to ensure that port facilities in Puget Sound are safe, efficient places for international commerce. By funding the programs outlined in our grant proposal, the federal government has recognized the role that port security plays in national security. The Ports of Seattle, Tacoma and Everett will now jointly bring those programs on line.”
Programs funded include:
n $839,121 for detailed security assessments and mitigation strategies (Seattle – $409,809, Tacoma – $283,372, Everett – $145,940);
n $1,709,601 for surveillance systems at Seattle ($1,150,859) and
Tacoma ($558,742);
n $2,163,854 for access controls at Seattle ($1,453,717) and Tacoma ($710,137); and
n Portable gatehouses at Port of Tacoma ($57,148).
“This funding will allow us to continue to address points of vulnerability that we may have and develop additional improvements to our security programs and infrastructure,” said Jack Fabulich, president of the Port of Tacoma Commission. “The Port applauds the support of Representatives Norm Dicks, Adam Smith and Jennifer Dunn and especially, the leadership Sen. Patty Murray on this issue.”
The state’s entire congressional delegation signed a letter supporting the joint grant application and provided critical support in Washington, D.C., according to Port of Seattle Chief Executive Officer M. R. Dinsmore.
“We’re grateful for support from our state’s congressional delegation in securing this funding, and for their leadership on the issue of port security,” said Dinsmore. “We’re building a strong partnership with the Coast Guard, the Maritime Administration, other federal agencies, industry and labor to improve security and keep commerce flowing.”
“As a result of the exceptional work by our state delegation led by Sen. Murray and Congressman Rick Larsen, the federal government has provided a program to improve national security right here in our port community of Puget Sound,” said John Mohr, Port of Everett Executive Director. “The Port of Everett looks forward to working with the United States Coast Guard, the Maritime Administration, Transportation Security Administration and our partner Ports of Seattle and Tacoma to coordinate an effective regional security strategy.”
“Washington state will benefit greatly from these investments, which will strengthen security at our ports and on our waterways,” Sen. Murray, Chair of the Transportation Appropriations Committee said. “These grants will help protect Washington state citizens and prevent trade slowdowns that could negatively impact our economy.”
The grants were announced today by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta in New York City.
Port security grants totaling $78 million will fund enhanced facility and operational security.
In addition, $5 million is provided for security assessments that will enable port and terminals to evaluate vulnerabilities and identify mitigation strategies for their facilities, and $9.3 million will fund “proof-of-concept” projects, which will explore the use of new technologies, such as electronic seals, vessel tracking, and electronic notification of vessel arrivals, to improve maritime security
Congress provided funding for the grant program to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which is responsible for security in all modes of transportation.
TSA, along with the Maritime Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard, reviewed project applications and is administering the grant program.
The Ports of Seattle and Tacoma comprise the third busiest container port in the country, after Los Angeles-Long Beach and New York-New Jersey.

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