Oct 07 2005

SHELBY ANNOUNCES HOMELAND SECURITY FUNDING FOR ALABAMA

Senate Passes FY 2006 Homeland Security Appropriations Conference Report

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-AL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, announced funding for several projects included in the conference report to accompany the Fiscal Year 2006 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill. This legislation was approved today by the Senate and now heads to the President’s desk for his signature.

Senator Shelby said, “As we continue to look for ways to reduce our nation's spending in light of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we must also ensure that funding is provided for important priorities, such as homeland security.”

CASA Aircraft - $68 Million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased the conference report includes $68 million for the acquisition of two CASA aircraft (CN-235 maritime patrol aircraft) by the U.S. Coast Guard. This will compliment the three aircraft that have already been ordered. These aircraft are integral to the Coast Guard’s mission.”

In 2004, EADS (European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company) North America announced the expansion of operations to Mobile with a new EADS CASA facility. All training for the CN-235 will take place at the U.S. Coast Guard Mobile Air Training Center in Mobile.

Center for Domestic Preparedness - $57 Million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that the Senate agreed that the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) at Ft. McClellan is the cornerstone of our nation's emergency responder training facilities. The $57 million included in the conference report will allow CDP to increase its training capacity for first responders so that we may respond to terrorist attacks quickly and effectively. These first responders include law enforcement personnel, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel who are trained by CDP to prevent and respond to incidents of domestic terrorism.”

“In fiscal year 2004, CDP trained over 50,000 first responders, and is expected to train 60,000 more by the end of fiscal year 2005. In addition to training our nation’s local first responders, CDP works closely with a number of federal agencies including the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and others to develop new integrated counter-terrorism training programs.”

“Since the September 11, 2001 attacks on our country, the importance of first responders has become evident. Ft. McClellan's Center for Domestic Preparedness provides the necessary training for professionals to rapidly respond and react to terrorist attacks,” Shelby concluded.

14 Mile CSX Railroad Bridge on the Mobile River - $6 Million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that the Senate recognized the need to provide continued funds to replace the 14 Mile CSX Railroad Bridge on the Mobile River. Replacement of the bridge will ensure safe marine navigation on the Mobile River, which is critical to maintaining the efficiency and reliability of waterways commerce through the Port of Mobile and along the Black Warrior-Tombigbee waterway system.”

“The replacement of the bridge will save shippers millions of dollars annually in lost time and accidents, and will greatly assist in the shipment of cargo moving through the Alabama State Docks,” added Shelby.

Transportation Security grants - $390 Million

Senator Shelby said, “The conference report provides $150 million for rail and transit security grants; $175 million for port security grants; $50 million for buffer zone protection plan grants; $10 million for inter-city bus security grants; and $5 million for trucking industry security grants. I believe these funds are crucial to our efforts to improve homeland security. We have made great strides in improving our nation’s aviation security, but Americans deserve to have the government’s full attention devoted to the security of every mode of transportation.”

These funds will be administered by the Office of the State and Local Government Preparedness and Coordination within the Department of Homeland Security.

Firefighter Assistance Grants - $655 Million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that the Senate approved $655 million for Firefighter Assistance Grants. These funds will assist local fire departments in their efforts to protect the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel against fire and fire-related hazards, and to provide assistance for fire prevention programs.”

These funds are administered by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Domestic Preparedness. Funds can be used for such things as fire operations, firefighter safety programs, emergency medical services, and firefighting vehicles.

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