Friday, May 14, 2010

Homeland Security Grants For Freight And Shipping Infrastructure Criticised

$ 790 Million Additional Funds Slated
Shipping News Feature

US – As we predicted in December the ambitious plans which the Department of Homeland Security had for screening every freight consignment and shipping container due to enter the United States have been further criticised with this weeks announcement of around $790 million in funding to beef up security in port and inter modal facilities around the country described as “insufficient”.

Accusations of under investment have been flying in from all sides including press and legal organisations despite the seemingly huge amount being invested, particularly in the light of recent events with the failed car bomb discovered and made safe in New York. Already in place is $300 million in transit security and port security grants provided by the Recovery Act.

The new grants for the 2010 fiscal year include $253.4 million to protect critical transit infrastructure from terrorism, $14.5 million to protect critical freight rail systems infrastructure from acts of terrorism resulting from railroad cars transporting toxic inhalation hazardous materials, $288 million to protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism; enhance maritime domain awareness and risk management capabilities to protect against improvised explosive devices and other non-conventional weapons; conduct training and exercises; and support implementation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).

Undoubtedly the large sums promised will assist in the Departments sworn objective to eliminate any possibility of terrorism but the facts, learned in the UK and other nations during years of terrorist campaigns, that total security can never be achieved and is best provided by individual vigilance, may still need to be understood by the American public at large.