Delegation Announces Homeland Security Grants for Delaware

Money Would Help Protect Critical Infrastructure, Chemical Plans, Amtrak

WASHINGTON (July 6, 2006) – Delaware’s congressional delegation – Sens. Joe Biden and Tom Carper and Rep. Mike Castle – today announced that the Department of Homeland Security has awarded Delaware several grants to help protect critical infrastructure, such as chemical plants, as well as Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. Delaware would receive about $630,000 under the department’s “Chemical Sector Buffer Zone Protection Program,” which helps states establish safety perimeters and security guidelines at identified chemical facilities. The list of eligible sites within each state is classified information, but each recipient state will develop a plan to enhance preventative and protective measures around sites identified as “high-priority” chemical-sector critical infrastructure. In addition, Delaware would receive $189,000 under the department’s “Buffer Zone Plan” program, which helps secure identified critical infrastructure and “key resources.” Again, the list of eligible sites is classified information, but the buffer zone plans are intended to develop effective measures making it more difficult for terrorists to conduct surveillance or launch attacks within the immediate vicinity of high-priority critical infrastructure targets. They also increase the preparedness capabilities of the local jurisdictions responsible for the safety and security of the surrounding communities. In addition, Amtrak would receive about $7.2 million to fund its top priorities, including continued security enhancements for intercity passenger rail operations in the Northeast Corridor. “While we believe we can be doing more to help protect critical infrastructure in Delaware, not to mention securing Amtrak and transit rail lines, these funds should help the state and others do a better job preparing for and responding to possible terrorist activities in the region,” said the delegation.