TSA announces $8.5 million in security grants to Texas ports

| 2/24/2003

The Transportation Security Administration recently announced nearly $8.5 million in grants to Texas ports for command facilities, cameras, fencing, surveillance systems and other projects that will help local officials foil terrorism, TSA said Feb. 18 at a news conference at the Port of Houston.

George Rodriguez, TSA’s director of Cargo Security, said those grants also laid the foundation for ports to add new security technologies.

“It is imperative that we use everything at our disposal to protect cargo and passengers from terrorists and to keep suspicious cargo from entering our country,” Rodriguez said. “Accomplishing that will save American lives and contribute to a healthy economy.”

The Port of Houston – the nation's largest in terms of foreign trade and second largest in tonnage – received a $1.5 million grant for a new command and control center. Local, state and federal agencies can also use the center to monitor and control emergencies ranging from hurricanes to terrorist attacks.

Eight other Texas ports or companies received TSA grants for risk assessments and for projects that include new surveillance systems, lighting, command facilities, cameras, fencing, electronic detection equipment and access control. Those receiving grants:

  • Port of Beaumont Navigation District of Jefferson County, $560,000.
  • Port of Corpus Christi, $2.3 million.
  • Brazos River Harbor Navigation District, Freeport, $85,000.
  • Port of Galveston, $1.6 million.
  • Dynegy Midstream Services Inc., Houston, $60,000.
  • LBC Houston LP, Houston, $142,000.
  • BASF Corp. New Orleans, Freeport, $220,000.
  • Port of Texas City, $1.7 million.

Those grants were among 79 totaling $92.3 million awarded in June for port security. TSA is taking applications for new security grants totaling $105 million for port protection. Applications are due Feb. 27.