Senate Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Susan Collins today announced that Maine is eligible to apply for approximately $10.8 million in Fiscal Year 2009 under grant programs administered by the Department of Homeland Security. The grant programs include the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP), which provides funding to state and local governments for homeland security-related planning, training, equipment, and exercises. Maine is expected to receive more than $6 million under this program.

“This money will fund important prevention, protection, response, and recovery activities among first responders in our local communities. Maine’s long international border, its expansive coastline, and its proximity to major populations centers such as New York and Boston require the State to be prepared to stop terrorists before they strike, to train for all hazards, and to deal with looming threats such as a pandemic disease. This funding will provide a significant boost to the capabilities of first responders throughout Maine,” Senator Collins said.

In addition, the State of Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) will receive more than $3 million in Emergency Management Performance Grant funding. And under the Port Security Grant Program, Portland will receive more than $1 million and other ports will be eligible for additional funding to be announced next year. Maine will also receive more than $145,000 under the Citizen Corps Program, $200,000 under the Buffer Zone Protection Program, and more than $240,000 under the Interoperable Emergency Communications Program, created as part of homeland security legislation authored by Senators Collins and Joe Lieberman in 2007. The final dollar amount for each grant program announced today may be adjusted based on review of applications for each individual grant program.

“Funding under these grant programs is important to protect and strengthen the security of Maine’s communities and ports. These funds will help prevent terrorist activity and speed recovery from both natural and man-made disasters,” said Senator Collins. “I am pleased that DHS has allocated these funds to Maine.”

Using her leadership position on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Collins has worked to enhance and sustain funding for DHS grant programs. The SAFE Port Act, co-authored by Senator Collins, increased authorized funding for the DHS Port Security Grant Program. Additionally, Senator Collins’ legislation to reform FEMA substantially increased the authorization for the EMPG program.