Senate Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Susan Collins today announced that Maine has received more than $3.3 million from six grant programs administered by the Department of Homeland Security. The funding is a nearly 9 percent increase over last year. Among the grant program awards announced today is the Port Security Grant Program (PSGP), which provides funding to prevent, prepare for, and respond to acts of terrorism such as weapons of mass destruction or improvised explosive devices. Maine has received more than $10 million under the PSGP since the program was started.
Under the PSGP, Portland will receive more than $1.1 million, Bar Harbor will receive approximately $473,000, the Maine Department of Public Safety and the Maine State Police will be allocated more than $168,000, the Maine Port Authority will get more than $22,000, the City of Rockland will receive more than $8,600, and Searsport will receive $24,200 on behalf of the Sprague Energy Corporation. The grants are funded by federal appropriations made available to DHS for administration of the PSGP. The SAFE Port Act, which is now law and was co-authored by Senator Collins, increased the authorized funding for this grant program.
“Funding under these grant programs is important to protect and strengthen the security of Maine’s ports and surrounding infrastructure,” said Senator Collins. “These funds will help prevent terrorist activity and speed recovery from man-made disasters.”
Under the other grant programs announced today, DHS will award $360,000 to the Waldo County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) under the EOC Grant Program. The State of Maine will also receive more than $833,000 under the Drivers License Security Grant Program and the NorthEast Charter and Tour Co., Inc. will receive more than $8,000 for the Intercity Bus Security Grant Program. In addition, Maine will receive $200,000 under the Buffer Zone Protection Program, and more than $242,000 under the Interoperable Emergency Communications Program, created as part of homeland security legislation authored by Senators Collins and Joe Lieberman in 2007.
“This money will fund important prevention, protection, response, and recovery activities among first responders in our local communities. Maine’s long international border, its ports, 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.