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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has awarded more than $844 million in grant awards as part of its Infrastructure Protection Activities (IPA) grant program. Grant awards aim to strengthen security around facilities and ports, as well as enhance transit, trucking, and intercity bus systems. Recipients will use the funds to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies.
The awards include $48.5 million for the department's Buffer Zone Protection Program. The program provides security and risk-management capabilities at state and local levels to bolster pre-designated critical-infrastructure sites, such as chemical facilities, financial institutions, nuclear- and electric-power plants, dams, stadiums, and other high-risk or high-consequence facilities. The department has provided more than $236 million in funds to the program since 2005.
Other awards include:
• $388.6 million for the Port Security Grant Program, which supports efforts to enhance access control and credentialing, protect against improvised explosive devices (IED) and other non-conventional attacks, and conduct exercises for disaster-response scenarios
• $380.1 million for the Transit Security Grant Program, which supports efforts to protect critical transit infrastructure, particularly against explosives and non-conventional threats that could cause major disruption to commerce and significant loss of life.
• $25 million for the Intercity Passenger Rail Program, which will fund the National Passenger Railroad Corp. (Amtrak) to harden underground and underwater track and tunnels against IEDs, train key employees in counterterrorism, and expand visible-deterrence activities.
• $4.9 million for the Freight Rail Security Grant Program. The program provides awards to railroad operators that transport security-sensitive materials through high-density population areas.
State contacts and grant award Information is available at the department's Web site.