Thursday, December 11, 2003

State gets seaport
security funding

Five local firms will share in
the grants totaling $4.2 million

The state, along with five companies, will get $4.2 million in federal funds to help secure Hawaii's ports.

The grants, part of more than $179 million awarded nationwide this year through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Port Security Program, will go to projects on Oahu, Maui, the Big Island, Kauai and Lanai.

The largest grant, $2.4 million, was awarded to Chevron Products Co. for its 300-acre refinery in Kalaeloa.

Albert Chee, of Chevron, said the grant will be used to fund a high-tech electronic surveillance system that will supplement current security at the refinery site, which includes a barbwire fence and a scheduled security patrol. A number of audits of the site by local, state and federal law enforcement officials suggested heightening security measures on the refinery's grounds, he said.

Meanwhile, the state Department of Transportation's grants through the program total $984,000, and Horizon Lines LLC will get more than $525,000.

ConocoPhilips, Matson Navigation Co. and the Gas Co. are also receiving federal funds.

Transportation Department spokesman Scott Ishikawa said a bulk of the state agency's grant is earmarked for an employee ID tag system for Hawaii's harbors.

Other funds will go to installing additional security cameras and fences at the state's ports.

He said the state, with the help of other federal allocations and grants, has already spent more than $800,000 to secure Hawaii's harbors, including $300,000 for surveillance cameras on Oahu.

The Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration reviewed the grant applications and selected award recipients.

In this latest round of grants, more than 400 projects spearheaded by 235 organizations across the United States were funded by the program.

"These grants are critical to the mission of securing our critical ports," Asa Hutchinson, Homeland Security undersecretary for border and transportation security, said in a statement released yesterday.


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