RealNews

Nation’s Ports Concerned about Security, Harbor Dredging Funding Shortfalls in FY’06 Budget

Public seaports across the United States are weighing in this week on the Administration’s requested Fiscal Year 2006 federal budget. Ports are deeply concerned about recommended elimination of the Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security Grant Program by lumping it into a sweeping new program that combines the security infrastructure needs of seaports with those of trains, trucks, busses and other public transit. In addition, ports are concerned about the Administration’s proposed budget, which would significantly under-fund the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program and needed deep-draft dredging projects. “Protecting America’s marine facilities from acts of terrorism must be a top Administration priority and a shared responsibility between the ports, government and private industry,” said Kurt Nagle, president and CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA). “Another top Administration priority must be to adequately fund the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to keep the nation’s deep-draft navigation maintenance projects on schedule, ensure existing construction isn’t delayed, and allow some of the dozens of already-approved new construction projects to finally get started.” Full Story

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