The Federal Emergency Management Agency is allocating $10.1 million to Puerto Rico under four separate grant programs that are designed to help states and territories to prevent and respond to natural disasters, cross-border drug-trafficking, terrorist attacks; to increase port security; and to address other major threats, Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi said.
Puerto Rico will receive $4.9 million under the Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) program. The purpose of the EMPG program is to help states and territories prepare for the full range of hazardous events, whether they are natural or the result of human activity, and to protect human life and property in the event such a hazard takes place.
Puerto Rico will also receive $3.7 million under the State Homeland Security Program, which provides funding to states and territories so they have the training and equipment they need to prevent and respond to acts of terrorism or other significant events.
In addition, under the Operation Stonegarden program, the island will receive over $1 million to enhance law enforcement preparedness and operational readiness along its maritime border. Specifically, funds will be provided to the Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources, the Joint Forces of Rapid Action of the Puerto Rico Police, and the municipalities of Aguadilla, Arecibo, Barceloneta, Cabo Rojo, Carolina, Camuy, Hatillo, Guanica, Isabella, Manatí and Ponce.
Finally, Puerto Rico will receive more than $515,000 under the Port Security Grant program to enhance security at the island’s seaports. Puerto Rico has various seaports, including in San Juan, Ponce, Mayagüez and Fajardo. The PSPG funding will be provided to FURA, who can utilize the resources at any of Puerto Rico’s ports, and to the Municipality of San Juan.
“The grants being awarded by the Department of Homeland Security help bolster the capacity of our state and local law enforcement agencies to keep the people of Puerto Rico safe. Grant recipients will be able to use these funds to prevent and respond to emergencies, natural disasters, drug trafficking along our coasts, and to increase security at our ports,” said Pierluisi.
Separately, he announced that the Federal Aviation Administration is awarding $3.8 million in grants to the Puerto Rico Ports Authority. Of this amount, $2 million will be used to make runway improvements at Mercedita Airport in Ponce, Eugenio Maria de Hostos Airport in Mayagüez, and Rafael Hernández Airport in Aguadilla.
The remaining $1.8 million will fund a major planning effort by the PRPA to evaluate pressing infrastructure needs at all of its airports across the main island of Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra.