December 15, 2009

DHS releases guidance for $253M in transit security grants

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the application guidance for the Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) totaling an estimated $253 million in funds for state, local and territorial governments and private sector entities to strengthen the nation’s transportation infrastructure and protect the traveling public from acts of terrorism and other major disasters.

“These transit grants play a major role in our efforts to work with our state, local, tribal, territorial and private sector partners to build a national culture of readiness and resilience,” said Secretary Janet Napolitano. “This year’s guidance focuses on maximizing efficiency and value while prioritizing risk in awarding grants to strengthen our nation’s transportation security.”

TSGP awards funds to owners and operators of transit systems — including intercity bus, commuter bus, ferries and all forms of passenger rail — based on their capabilities to reduce risk through training, operational deterrence, drills and public awareness activities; key critical infrastructure and asset protection; and other mitigation activities.

Eligible agencies were determined by the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) urban areas list and the National Transit Database. TSGP Tier I is comprised of the transit agencies in the eight highest-risk urban areas, and will continue to utilize the cooperative agreement process, while Tier II will consist of all other eligible transit agencies.

Applications for the TSGP programs are due Feb. 18, 2010.

On Tuesday, Secretary Napolitano announced the release of fiscal year 2010 grant application guidance kits for 13 additional DHS grant programs totaling more than $2.7 billion. The guidance packages incorporate the input of DHS’ state, local, tribal, territorial and private sector partners and include specific steps undertaken by DHS to improve the ability of state and local partners to apply for and utilize grant funding.

The fiscal year 2010 guidance has increased tribal funding, reduced administrative paperwork for state and local government, and enabled local jurisdictions to use preparedness funding for ongoing maintenance contracts, warranties, repair or replacement costs, upgrades and user fees for equipment purchased with previous DHS grants.

DHS oversees more than 50 grant and financial assistance programs representing approximately $4 billion in non-disaster grant funding annually to help state, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector entities strengthen the nation’s ability to prevent, protect, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies.

For more information about TSGP and other preparedness grant programs, visit www.dhs.gov and www.fema.gov/grants.

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