In addition to FEMA and USCG’s two overarching priorities of risk-based funding and robust regional collaboration,, the Department has identified the following five points as its priority selection criteria for ports in the FY 2009 ARRA PSGP:
1. Enhancing Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA)
MDA is the critical enabler that allows leaders at all levels to make effective decisions and act early against threats to the security of the Nation’s seaports. In support of the National Strategy for Maritime Security, port areas should seek to enhance their MDA through projects that address knowledge capabilities within the maritime domain. This could include access control/standardized credentialing, command and control, communications, and enhanced intelligence sharing and analysis.
2. Enhancing Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) prevention, protection, response and recovery capabilities
Port areas should seek to enhance their capabilities to prevent, detect, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks employing IEDs, WMDs and other non-conventional weapons. Of particular concern in the port environment are attacks that employ IEDs delivered via small craft (similar to the attack on the USS Cole), by underwater swimmers (such as underwater mines) or on ferries (both passenger and vehicle).
3. Efforts supporting implementation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), including the completion of TWIC pilot projects
The TWIC is a congressionally mandated security program through which DHS will conduct appropriate background investigations and issue biometrically enabled and secure identification cards for individuals requiring unescorted access to U.S. port facilities. Regulations outlining the initial phase of this program (card issuance) were issued by TSA in cooperation with the Coast Guard in 72 Federal Register 3492 (January 25, 2007).
4. Construction or infrastructure improvement projects that are indentified in the Port Wide Risk Management Plan (PWRMP) and/or Facility Security Plans (FSPs)
5. Projects that can be implemented quickly and create jobs
Due to the current state of the economy, Congress intends stimulus funding to be spent quickly with a principal objective of job creation. Additionally, in meeting its mission responsibilities, DHS will make one of the determining factors the ability of a port to execute projects within a shortened timeframe, in order to put more of these grant funds into the economy mitigation.
For Ferry Systems, the following priorities will apply:
1. Development and enhancement of capabilities to prevent, detect, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks employing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs)
2. Mitigation of other high consequence risks identified through individual ferry system risk assessments
3. Innovative utilization of mobile technology for prevention and detection of explosives or other threats and hazards
4. Development and enhancement of physical and perimeter security capabilities to deny access around maintenance facilities, dry docks, and piers
5. Development of emergency preparedness and response capabilities in the event of a ferry being used as a weapon to inflict damage on critical infrastructure.