Napolitano Unveils Fiscal 2010 DHS Grants

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano presented application instructions for more than $2.7 billion in funds for 13 specific fiscal 2010 grant programs at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), outlining the guidance in remarks at DHS headquarters Tuesday.

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

The fiscal 2010 guidance kits incorporate feedback from states, cities, tribes, territories, and private companies, Napolitano added, all of which are eligible to compete for grant allocations under certain programs.

DHS released the guidance kits online at www.fema.gov/grants, enabling all organizations to begin applying immediately.

The 13 specific grant programs emphasize emergency preparedness across a range of specific areas of concentration.

The Homeland Security Grant Program offers a total of $1.78 billion for states and urban areas to build security capabilities. It encompasses five programs: State Homeland Security Program ($842 million) for emergency management in US states; Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) ($832.5 million) for emergency management in large US metropolitan areas; Operation Stonegarden ($60 million) for law enforcement activities in border states; Metropolitan Medical Response System Program ($39.3 million) for regional mass casualty incident response among 124 metropolitan areas; and Citizen Corps Program ($12.4 million) for community preparedness, planning, mitigation, response and recovery activities.

The Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program includes up to $10 million for eligible American Indian tribes to fund efforts to mitigate terrorist attacks.

The UASI Nonprofit Security Grant Program provides $19 million to harden infrastructure at nonprofit organizations that face a high risk of terrorist attack.

The Emergency Management Performance Grants Program distributes $329 million to state and local governments for strengthening all-hazards emergency management.

The Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program gives governments $48 million for activities that carry out Statewide Communication Interoperability Plans for the improvement of interoperable communications among first responders.

The Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program funds high-risk urban areas and surrounding regions with $ 33.6 million to bolster preparedness for catastrophic events.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Grant Program provides $57.6 million to support the construction or renovation of state, local and tribal emergency operations centers.

The Buffer Zone Protection Program offers a total of $48 million to protect critical infrastructure such as chemical facilities and nuclear power plants.

The Driver’s License Security Grant Program provides $48 million to assist states with enhancing the security of driver’s licenses in line with current federal standards under the REAL ID Act.

The Port Security Grant Program distributes $288 million to states to protect the critical infrastructure around US seaports from terrorists.

The Intercity Bus Security Grant Program divides up $11.5 million among cities to enact security measures to protect fixed-route intercity and charter buses.

The Freight Rail Security Grant Program contains $15 million for awards to protect freight rail systems from damage due to terrorism or natural disasters, particularly for railcars transporting chemicals that could poison the surrounding population if inhaled.

The Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program, designated for Amtrak, funds $20 million to protect passenger rail systems from emergencies that could harm rail passengers.

Funding levels for fiscal 2010 grants generally dropped a bit compared to fiscal 2009 levels, as last year’s grants offered $3.1 billion–roughly $400,000 more than this year.

The State Homeland Security Program dropped in funding to $842 million this year from $861 million in 2009, for example. Funds for the Port Security Grant Program fell to $288 million this year from $388 million in fiscal 2009.

DHS zeroed out the Trucking Security Program, funded with $2.2 million last year.

Some grant programs saw increases. The Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program leapt to up to $10 million after receiving $1.7 million last year. EOC grants funding climbed to $57.6 million from $34 million in 2009.

The deadline for Emergency Management Performance Grants is Jan. 22, 2010. The deadline for the Interoperable Emergency Communications Grants, Freight Rail Security Grants, Port Security Grants, Intercity Passenger Rail Grants, Intercity Bus Security Grants, EOC Grants, Buffer Zone Protection Grants, and Driver’s License Security Grants is Feb. 12, 2010.

Applications for the Homeland Security Grants, Tribal Homeland Security Grants, Nonprofit Security Grants, and Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grants are due by April 19, 2010.

"Together, DHS grant programs may fund a wide range of preparedness activities, to include planning, organization, equipment purchase, training, exercises and grant management and administration costs. These programs support objectives outlined in the National Preparedness Guidelines and related national preparedness doctrine, such as the National Incident Management System, the National Response Framework, and the National Infrastructure Protection Plan," stated the Fiscal 2010 Preparedness Grant Programs Overview, published Tuesday.

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