Port Security Grant Program Legislation Introduced

U.S. House Representative Laura Richardson (D-CA) recently introduced two bills that would expand the ways grantees can use grant money awarded under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Port Security Grant Program (PSGP): H.R. 5802, the Port Security Equipment Act of 2012 and H.R. 5803, the Port Security Boots on the Ground Act.

H.R. 5802 would amend the PSGP authorizing statute to allow funding to be used not only for the acquisition, operation, and maintenance of security equipment but also for the replacement of such security equipment. This amendment would certainly make sense as the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) program is now nearly 10 years old and much of the security equipment initially purchased by chemical and petrochemical facilities for MTSA compliance may be outdated and require replacement.

H.R. 5803 would amend the PSGP authorizing statute to allow funding to be used for additional payroll expenditures for Coast Guard mandated security personnel, including “overtime and backfill costs...” incurred in support of other authorized PSGP expenditures. The bill however, would limit the amount of funding a grantee could use on those expenditures to 50 percent of the grant money received.

Placing a cap on the amount of funding that could be applied to personnel expenses may affect certain facilities that have used significant portions of their grant award for personnel. However, by expanding the ways grant money could be used to include overtime and backfill costs associated with supporting other PSGP expenditures, the amendment would likely benefit a larger portion of the affected population of grantees.

I will continue to follow this legislation and provide any updates as they become available. For additional information, take a look at the White Paper: MTSA - Tips & Updates.

Ryan Loughin is Director of Petrochemical & Energy Solutions for the Advanced Integration division of ADT- www.adtbusiness.com/petrochem. He provides security education to CFATS and MTSA-affected companies and is a member of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA), Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Associates (SOCMA), Energy Security Council (ESC) and American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS). Loughin has also completed multiple levels of CVI Authorized User training (Chemical-Terrorism Vulnerability Information) which was authored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
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