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Hawaii eligible or $6M in Homeland Security grants


U.S. Sens. Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye have announced Hawaii will be eligible for more than $6 million in grants distributed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for Fiscal Year 2012.

Akaka, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, said: “This funding is critical to safeguarding our communities against man-made or natural disasters. Investing in preparedness saves lives and protects property and the environment when a disaster strikes. As we consider the Department’s budget request for the next fiscal period, I will work with my colleagues to ensure that homeland security grants receive adequate funding.”

Inouye, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, said: “Government’s greatest responsibility is providing for the safety and welfare of our citizens. Given Hawaii’s unique location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, we are susceptible to an array of natural disasters and our geographic isolation makes preparation and training that much more important. These requested funds will prepare our communities and first responders for any man-made or natural disasters. I will do everything I can to work with my colleagues in the Congress to ensure these Hawaii requests are adequately funded.”

Hawaii is eligible to apply for several grant programs, including:

* Emergency Management Performance Grants – the State is eligible to receive $3,432,873 to enhance and sustain all-hazard emergency management capabilities

* Homeland Security Program – the State is eligible to receive $2,801,316 to invest in homeland security capabilities, including addressing planning, equipment, and training needs

* Port Security Grant Program – the State is eligible to receive funding to protect critical infrastructure from attacks for the Honolulu and Barber’s Point port areas

* Transit Security Grant Program – the City and County of Honolulu is eligible to receive funding to enhance security measures at critical transit infrastructure, including bus, ferry, and rail systems

* Operation Stonegarden – the State is eligible to receive funding to promote cooperation and coordination among all levels of government law enforcement agencies in order to secure the U.S. international water borders.

The application period for these federal grant programs began Feb. 17. Final allocations for these grants are expected to be announced in mid-2012, according to DHS.

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