Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

June 23, 2009

DHS appropriations: another reading from the Report together with Additional Views

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on June 23, 2009

From pages 10-11 of the Committee Report:

Transit systems are vulnerable to terrorist attack, as demonstrated in London, Madrid, and other locations around the world. Since 9/11, $1.67 billion has been provided to protect those systems in the United States, and the transit industry has estimated that a total of $6 billion is needed for security training, radio communications systems, security cameras, and access controls. The $250,000,000 provided in this bill for transit and rail security, coupled with the $150,000,000 provided in ARRA that has not yet been awarded, puts us one step closer to meeting these identified security needs. In addition to grant dollars provided directly to transit systems, both TSA and S&T have stepped up their efforts in this area. TSA requested additional surface transportation inspectors to participate on Visible Intermodal Protection and Response teams, which conduct unannounced, high-visibility exercises in mass transit or passenger rail facilities. The Committee has provided $25,000,000 for these activities. In addition, the Committee has fully funded 9/11 Act activities for surface transportation, including funding to continue vulnerability and threat assessments of high risk entities, to conduct additional security exercises and training programs, and for critical information sharing activities. S&T has begun a new research program that focuses on the risk of explosives in rail and transit facilities. Prior research has focused on finding effective methods to counteract, defeat, and mitigate the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), with a heavy emphasis on deterring the threat to commercial aviation. Within an overall increase of $24,660,000 in fiscal year 2010 for explosives research is $5,000,000, as requested by the Administration, to expand those efforts to address the specific threat of IEDs to mass transit. As recent attacks worldwide have shown, the threat to mass transit from IEDs must be addressed, and the investments in this bill provide a step forward in that direction.

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