Articles

Secretary Michael Chertoff on 2007 Homeland Security Grant Program

Remarks by Secretary Michael Chertoff at a Press Conference on the Fiscal Year 2007 Homeland Security Grant Program

by / January 4, 2007
Press Conference:
Secretary Chertoff: Good morning, everybody, on a warm, but rainy, morning. As you know, I'm joined here by Undersecretary George Foresman. We're going to start the new year by issuing the first part of our fiscal year 2007 homeland security grant guidance. This year we're making available $1.7 billion in grants under the Homeland Security Grant Program; there will be an additional set of grants, including the Infrastructure Protection Program grants that we will announce early next week.

I know you know that the Homeland Security Grant Program funds state and local governments for planning, organization, equipping, training and exercising against the possibility of terrorist attacks. It includes the Urban Area Security Initiative, which provides funds specifically directed to high risk cities and urban areas. Since 2003, the Department of Homeland Security has provided more than $18 billion in support to our state and local partners through these and other programs. And with the fiscal year 2007 grants, our total investment will reach nearly $20 billion, which is a considerable amount of money by any standards.

I thought what I would do is address our key principles, or our basic approach in the grant guidance and, in particular, focus on how this fits with our philosophy for risk management, and then we can talk a little bit about specific awards.

Now, what you will see this year as compared to past years are not huge changes, but refinement, simplification and transparency. Part of what we have done, particularly over the last year, is to listen to an awful lot of people -- and we've evaluated a lot of constructive criticism, some of it we've accepted, some of it we haven't accepted. But I think that it's resulted in an improved process and better results.

If you step back, our job here is risk management -- and that does not mean risk elimination. It means we have to look at the totality of risk across the United States, not just in a handful of places, and we have to figure out where to prioritize the money and the resources that we have against the greatest risk.

We recognize that every community can make a strong case for its own needs. If you live in a small town, it is of huge importance to you that that town be prepared against a possible attack or a natural disaster. But our responsibility is to look at the total risk and to prioritize our resources in a risk-based manner. It's what the American people expect and it's what Congress has mandated.

Now, in theory, there are three ways we could go about distributing risk funding across the country. The first would be to spread the money around like peanut butter on a piece of bread, with everybody getting a little bit. That would certainly be a feel good approach, but I think it would be not a responsible or risk-based approach.

Another way to do it would be to give all the money to a very small number of highest-risk cities and nowhere else. Now, clearly those cities deserve to get a lot of resources, but to focus exclusively on them would be shortsighted, because we cannot assume that the risk resides only in a very few places. In fact, the intelligence that I see every morning tells me quite the contrary, that risk can be found in many places in the United States.

So the third approach, and the one we've taken, is to have an appropriate mix, to recognize that there are a handful of cities that are in the highest risk category and need to get a disproportionate amount of the resources, but also to recognize that there are many other cities that do have a real, albeit perhaps somewhat lesser, risk, and to make sure those cities are equipped with the basic tools to protect their populations.

As a consequence of this philosophy, what this means for our Urban Area Security Initiative program that is the top tier cities, the highest risk cities, will get about 55 percent of this year's grant funds, equaling approximately $410 million. This first tier urban area is not going to surprise anybody: they include Chicago, Houston, the Los Angeles-Long Beach region, the National Capital Region, the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area, and the San Francisco Bay area.

Consistent with this risk-based approach, 39 additional tier two cities -- that's to say moderate but lesser risk cities -- will share the remaining 45 percent of the funds, or $336 million. This adds up to the total UASI funding for fiscal year 2007 of $746 million, which is an increase of $36 million over last year.

Next question is how do we assess risk. Well, we look at three things. We look at threat, we look at vulnerability and we look at consequence. And the more sophisticated we become at weighing these variables -- which are not static, but which always change and evolve -- the better we become at targeting the resources to address and mitigate those risks. And we've continued the process of refining this analysis this past year. Our risk tiering is an effort to be, first of all, more transparent to the public about how we assess the risks; and we've also put a great deal of effort into simplifying the process so it's more understandable.

I also want to say that our threat analysis is supported by the intelligence and the law enforcement communities. For vulnerability and consequence, we weighed factors such as population, population density, the economic impact of an attack, and the proximity to national critical infrastructure, international borders and key military assets. And I want to give you some sense of how we weigh these various things, because I think an important part of what we do is allow the public to understand in a common-sense fashion why we make the decisions that we do.

We begin with focusing on population, because the fact is, we are most concerned about the potential loss of life associated with a terrorist attack. We most want to protect people, and not things. We do, however, address the issue of infrastructure and economic impact, as well. So our primary weight is placed on population, which reflects our primary concern about protecting people.

But in addition to simply weighing the raw population based on census data, we've looked at tourist and visitor population and calculation, which reflects the fact that you do have variations in the number of people at a particular area depending on travel and commuting and tourism. And we've looked at population density, which reflects, again, a certain element of vulnerability and consequence in terms of a way a particular attack might impact on people.

Now, let me turn to infrastructure. Last year we spent a lot of time with what I -- perhaps a little bit dismissively -- called bean-counting. We counted an awful lot of individual pieces of infrastructure. Now, I think as we went back and looked at last year's analysis, a lot of that counting really didn't add materially to the serious analytic decision-making that we needed to undertake in order to assess where our really most valuable critical infrastructure is.

So based on analysis that we have done through our infrastructure protection programs, we've identified a list of approximately a little over 2,000 individual national assets that have national or regional significance. These are truly the critical infrastructure across the entire country, and they reflect the kinds of things that you would imagine, in terms of power plants or dams that are located in an area in which an attack could have a regional or even a national impact. This does not include popcorn factories or hotdog stands or any of the stuff which came in for ridicule over the last year. It is a focused effort to put weight on those elements of infrastructure that represent something more than just the impact on population, but a regional or even a national impact.

Putting together this top-tier list we relied upon data that was provided by states and cities, by the intelligence community, by the Department of Defense, by the Department of Commerce and the Census Bureau, and then we reviewed this data with all of the relevant players to make sure we had kind of a validation for the judgments that we made. Our goal here was to get high quality data, not simply a lot of data. It's quality, rather than quantity, that counts in making this judgment. And as a consequence, we had better data to work from in doing our analysis.

The bottom line is that this is not just about mathematics and getting a lot of statistics and doing a lot of mathematical operations; it's about keeping sight of the big picture, and the big picture is worrying about how do we protect the most people from the greatest risks most of the time. This year's guidance hopefully provides greater transparency and better justification to the American people.

Another element is something that we did carry forward from last year because we think it worked well and I think it reflects an appropriate philosophy -- and that is a regional approach in our urban area security grants. When we first rolled out the idea of taking a regional approach to the grant process, there was a little bit of resistance from some of the communities. Some of the mayors wondered how they would work together to come up with a common set of plans and a common set of proposals. But, in fact, when I went back over the course of the year and talked with a number of the mayors, they actually said they thought it worked well and they appreciated the opportunity to get together and to avoid the kind of duplication where every community buys the same thing, so we wind up with an excess of one type of asset and not enough coverage of something else.

We recognize that a major emergency is going to impact an entire region and it's going to require a multi-jurisdictional response. It's not going to be confined within one political body. And, therefore, once again this year we're going to focus on building capabilities that are not simply tied to political jurisdiction, but they are based upon the needs of regions and the population in and around our major urban areas.

Another element which we are carrying forward from past years is making sure that the grants support our national priorities for homeland security. And these are interoperable communications, implementation of the National Incident Management System and the National Response Plan -- and of course, as you know, these are 9/11 commission recommendations -- information-sharing, preventing the use of radiological, chemical and biological weapons and citizen preparedness. And this year's grant guidance supports all of these priority areas of homeland security.

We also want to work to make this a more user friendly or customer friendly process. Last year -- again, listening to some of the constructive criticism -- I think that there was a sense that we required communities to submit a plan and the plan was reviewed on a pass/fail basis -- either we accepted it or we rejected it. And sometimes there were elements of a plan that were rejected that were actually valuable, and had we had the opportunity to go back to the community and make some suggestions, they might have actually done somewhat better in terms of what they received.

This year, we've adopted an approach that allows a back-and-forth with the community. By getting the grant guidance out early in the year, we're going to have the opportunity to work with communities based on their submissions, to have a back-and-forth or a give-and-take to allow them to make revisions so that they can maximize the use to which they put the funds that they may be receiving under these programs. Again, this is not about playing "gotcha." It's about funding good projects that will help protect the community.

So by streamlining the application process, allowing some give-and-take -- including this mid-point review process, where we can go back and give people an opportunity to make some revisions in their plans -- I think we're going to have better plans, I think we're going to have more easily understood plans, and I think that the communities will feel that they've been dealt with more fairly.

The last major element of our approach is a very significant change. And it's a significant change in philosophy. This year we are going to be giving the highest risk urban areas some additional flexibility in the way they use UASI grants for personnel costs. There's been a debate over a number of years about whether we ought to fund personnel costs or police and law enforcement engaged in counterterrorism work.

This homeland security grant program is not a cops program. This is not a program that is designed to give block grants to police departments to do policing work. On the other hand, I think working with some of the big cities, listening to them tell us that they have now really acquired most of the equipment that they need -- and what they really need is support for the ongoing intelligence collection and surge patrolling that is specifically directed to counterterrorism activity -- we have concluded that we ought to build a little bit more flexibility into the process to allow some of these major communities to do a broader range of counterterrorism work using our homeland security funding. At the end of the day what we want to do is maximize the value in counterterrorism for our communities. And we get the value at a national level from that, as well.

As a consequence, what we're going to do is this: We will allow the tier one cities to make proposals to us that will allow for up to 25 percent of their UASI funding to be directed to regular activities of law enforcement personnel, provided -- and this is a very important requirement -- that those activities are dedicated 100 percent to counterterrorism field operations. What that means is, this is not about money for patrolmen, on the theory that any policeman might encounter a terrorist and, therefore, it's counterterrorism; but it means money for the kinds of programs some of our big cities are paying for out of their own pocket involving intelligence collection in the field with dedicated police officers, or the use of surge patrol efforts to secure areas against possible terror attack -- again, with strict accountability to make sure that the money is being spent on counterterror programs and not merely regular police work.

I'm convinced, based on my conversations with major city chiefs, this will answer a request that they have made for years; but I'm also convinced that we can do it in a way that will honor the requirement that the funds that are expended here are for counterterroism, they are not for other kinds of programs that might be funded out of other kinds of grant monies.

So that is a kind of overview of where we are. It's a philosophy that is risk-based, it's focused on risk management. We have listened and made some changes based on suggestions that have been made. And although I'm sure there are going to be people who are disappointed, because every community sees its own needs quite rightly as needs that ought to be serviced, and we have to make sure that the pie is distributed in a risk-managed approach, I think at a minimum, people will acknowledge that the program that we are undertaking this year is risk-focused, that it is practical, that it is more simple and more transparent, and that it injects some elements of flexibility, which will be welcome for communities.

So let me briefly end by highlighting the grand totals. In addition to their $746 million for Urban Area Security Initiative grants, we'll be providing, based on, obviously, Congress' appropriation, $509 million in State Homeland Security Program grants. That's a little bit less than Congress funded in 2006; $364 million under the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program; $32 million for the Metropolitan Medical Response System program, and $14.5 for the Citizen Corps.

And I do want the point out that Congress raised the UASI funding by about $20 million this year over the last year, but decreased the -- I'm sorry, raised the USAI funding by $36 million, but decreased the state funding by $20 million. So, you'll see a little bit more money spent on the urban area grants, and a little less on the state grants. And we're anticipating that as we work through the process, we'll be awarding these funds to the states and cities no later than the summer of this year.

All of the homeland security grant program submissions will be reviewed by more than a hundred national experts on homeland security, drawn from federal authorities and also from state and local communities. We look forward to working with the states and urban areas in the coming weeks as the process moves forward. I also look forward to working with Congress in the coming session to continue to promote a risk-based approach to how we award homeland security grants, and I welcome their ongoing partnership during this audit.

Question: I just want to make sure. These are still, though, the money -- it's still a competitive system, that everyone is competing for the slice of the pie. So, just to make sure, at least in the urban areas initiative, these 46 or so cities, every city will get some share of it, but how much they get will be ultimately dependent on how you evaluate how good their plans are.

Secretary Chertoff: That's partly correct. Each city will compete within the tiers. So the top tiered cities will be competing among themselves for the $410 million, and the others will compete for the other monies. We anticipate, again, with this back-and-forth approach, communities will have the best chance to put their best foot forward, and have the best case made for building capabilities that they need. But the actual dollar amounts will depend upon the particular programs that they want to fund.

Question: Could you give an example of how the give and take might work? For instance, what a city might say, and then what your response would be, and how they'd be able to tweak it.

Secretary Chertoff: I can give you an example -- I'll mask it a little bit, because I don't want to get specific, but drawn from last year's experience. Let's assume you have a particular type of infrastructure program with ports, and you come up with a proposal to do a network of radar and patrol boats and a whole series of assets designed to increase protection of the port.

Well, we might look at that, and say, well, the problem with this is, is that the Coast Guard already maintains a radar system; it doesn't make sense to have two radar systems. And in that sense, the proposal is rejected, because it requires spending money that would be wasted. But in fact, if you unpack the proposal, there are elements that are perfectly reasonable, like the additional patrol boats and some additional other kinds of security assets.

So we might say in that instance to the particular applicant, why don't you go back -- radar doesn't make much sense, but look to see -- at the other things that you're requesting money for, and why don't you repackage that and make another submission. Now it might be less money, but at least you'll get money for the patrol boats as opposed to having the whole thing rejected. That's what I mean by a give and take.

Question: Talk to us about New York. There are two things that I see here. One is, it looks like you've lumped in New Jersey with New York, which implies there's going to be an epic struggle between New York City and New Jersey. But the second part of it is, last year, when you cut the $80 million from New York City, you made the argument that when you invest in something, you don't put the same amount in every year; you make a based investment, and you add to it to maintain it or improve it. Are you going to use that model this year with New York City? Is New York City going to expect cuts over last year based on that philosophy?

Secretary Chertoff: Let me first deal with what you so elegantly described as "lumping" New Jersey in with New York. (Laughter.) What we are doing is we're looking at the New York metropolitan area, which includes Northern New Jersey, for purposes of assessing risk. And I think to say, for example, the risk for New York is at this level and the risk if you cross the Hudson River is at a much lower level doesn't make a lot of sense.

It does not mean, however, that we're going to lump the money together or make them take the grant as a single entity. In fact, because the money actually passes through the states, they will get the money in separate pots. But we will hope that they continue the practice that they followed in the past, of working together to coordinate, so that when they make requests for grants, if they, for example, want grants to protect infrastructure like tunnels, and one half of the tunnel is in New York and one half is in New Jersey, that they have a coordinated approach to the grants.

Question: So it will still be a separate proposal?

Secretary Chertoff: It will still be separate -- separate process, but a coordinated process. But we wanted to make sure that the risk was looked at based on the reality of where it is, as opposed to the arbitrary fact that the border between New York and New Jersey happens to be the Hudson River.

Our philosophy is the same: We want to put money into building capabilities. And you wouldn't normally expect that you're going to buy the same capability over and over again. On the other hand, because of the change we've made this year with respect to the personnel funding, that, I think, is going to answer, frankly, some of the concerns raised by people in the city of New York, which is that they have certain special ongoing needs with respect to intelligence gathering or with respect to surge capability that is personnel based; it's not addressed simply by equipment.

And so I think the major kind of response we've had to that reasonable point was to introduce this element of flexibility into the system, which will allow some portion of this money now, if it's supported by an adequate plan, to be used for costs that are person-based or personnel-based, as opposed to equipment-based.

Question: But that flexibility doesn't necessarily mean more money for New York City.

Secretary Chertoff: Well, I think -- I'm not going to tell you in advance who is going to get what money, because it's going to depend on the particular proposals. I'm confident that as we work with New York they are going to do well this year, because they have well thought out programs, and we spent a lot of time working with them over the last year. And I think they're in, frankly, in a pool with other communities that are high risk. And we've put more than half the money into that pool.

So this is, without any doubt, weighing to a significant degree the money in the highest-risk urban areas.

Question: Before the holidays, Secretary Rice asked you to look at the case of Canadian Maher Arar to see if there was sufficient evidence to keep him on the U.S. Terror Watch List. Have you come to a conclusion about that?

Secretary Chertoff: Well, first of all, we can't talk about individual -- this is going to sound a little ironic to say, but as a matter of privacy and the Privacy Act, I don't think we can talk about individual people's status, situation in front of the press. So I don't think I'm free to comment about that.

When and if any particular person applies to come into the United States, there's a process that's undertaken, if they want to get a visa to come in or get permission to come in, and then the appropriate judgment is made at that time. So whatever analysis we do has to be something that under the terms of the law, the Privacy Act, has to be kept confidential.

Question: Will you be communicating with Canadian officials about Mr. Arar's status?

Secretary Chertoff: Again, whatever communication we have with respect to an individual, or even whether an individual has a status, I think as I read the law, I'm restricted in making public comment about. And the last thing I want to do is get accused of violating the Privacy Act by answering a press question about an individual.

Question: Back to New York and New Jersey here. Would it be fair to say that what this means is, on the one hand, New York is going to have to share more of the assets it would have gotten with New Jersey -- there is going to have to be a little more sharing here. But on the other hand, I guess you could say that's balanced off by the fact that New Jersey is an additional magnet for these funds. I guess what I'm trying to figure out is, you could say that adding New Jersey helps New York, but adding New Jersey also means they're going to have to share more of the money that they would have gotten themselves.

Secretary Chertoff: Let me answer the question this way: First of all, as I say, the money will be awarded separately, so at the end, money will go to New York and New Jersey.

Question: But it's from the same line item, right? I mean, it will get to them through two pipelines, but from the same pot here initially.

Secretary Chertoff: Well, the pot, actually, is available to six urban areas. But I'd like to step back and take a moment to actually unpack the question you just asked. What we're concerned about, really, is protecting people. And I guess I can speak from personal knowledge, because I grew up in New Jersey, and I went into New York. And yet when I passed from New Jersey into New York, I still was just as concerned about my well being whether I was on the New Jersey side of the river or the New York side of the river. Likewise, I often use the example of the tunnels. The Holland Tunnel and Lincoln Tunnel and George Washington Bridge, half of them are in New York and half of them are in New Jersey.

In looking at the risk, it makes no sense to treat New York and Northern New Jersey as in separate pools of risk. Now, obviously, the actual applications and the actual programs will have to be managed through the individual political jurisdiction. That's how we give money out in this country. So New York will get its money, New Jersey will get its money.

I don't think you can conclude at the end that this means that you can predict how much more money New York is going to get, or how much more money New Jersey is going to get, it's going to depend on the specific programs.

But the point I'm trying to make is this: What matters here is, what protects the people who live in this general area the best? And I always find a little bit of the irony in people saying, well, isn't New York going to get a little more, or New Jersey get a little less, or whatever it is? If you're sitting in New York City in an apartment overlooking the Hudson River, and someone on the New Jersey side takes their rocket launcher and shoots across the river and kills you in New York, whose security responsibility was that? Was that New York to protect you because you're a New Yorker living in an apartment in New York, or is it New Jersey, where the attack was launched?

I mean, as important as it is, I understand for planning purposes, for political leaders to understand what money they're going to get -- as I said, I think this is a program that will wind up giving everybody the maximum chance to get the money that they want -- in the end, what we're trying to do is protect people. And the people in a particular urban region, a particular urban area, the threat is not necessarily going to come based on political jurisdiction, it's going to come based on geography.

I can tell you from the first World Trade Center investigation, a lot of the planning for that bombing took place in Jersey City. So who bore the security responsibility there? Was it New York? Well, New York didn't have the ability to get into Jersey City. Was it New Jersey? Well, the attack took place in New York.

Without being naive about the fact that public officials always want to know what they're going to get and be able to spend, I wouldn't regard this as telling you anything about whether a particular jurisdiction is going to get more or less, but I would suggest that this is very much about asking, what are we trying to protect -- who gives money out or who we're trying to protect with the money we're giving out? And I think in this sense, looking at New York and New Jersey as a single high-risk place makes a lot of sense, in terms of the reality about the way people live their lives, and where the risks really come from.

Question: May I just follow that up? In the past, the Homeland Security Department has always said, yes, we know what the cities want, but trust us, we think this is the best way to give the money out. This allocation formula now is much more what the cities have been pushing for from the beginning, more money to the highest-threat areas; let us use some money for overtime; that kind of thing. So to put it the way the cities might ask, have you been doing it wrong in the past, and now you're finally getting it their way?

Secretary Chertoff:This is going to be an amazing admission for a public official in Washington. We actually listen to people. I don't think we -- speaking for myself, I don't believe that I'm infallible, or that I have nothing to learn from anybody. We spent a lot of time talking to community officials, city officials, state officials, federal officials, and we got a lot of observations and a lot of suggestions. Some of them we did not accept, but some of them we did accept.

And I think what you're seeing over time is an evolution towards greater responsiveness, towards a little bit more flexibility, towards a more disciplined but more common sense analysis. And we also have the experience of several years more of intelligence gathering, and therefore a greater knowledge base, and also we've gotten to watch and practice what really works.

I can tell you what helped me, in terms of looking at this question of flexibility for personnel wise, to go in and actually see what cities are doing. And if someone can say, hey, look, we've been putting police out into the community, that's helping gather intelligence about homegrown terrorism, that's a value not only to us in the city but to the federal government; I say, you know, that's right, in practice that really works. All this is about is being pragmatic, seeing what works in the real world. And if you can demonstrate that we ought to make an adjustment because in the real world that's a helpful adjustment, I say, absolutely we're going to do it.

Because in the real world, that's a helpful adjustment. I say, absolutely, we're going to do it.

The one other point I'd make on the personnel piece, which I think is -- another point I've made, in other settings -- we're very concerned about intelligence gathering. We do an awful lot with what I call spies and satellites on an international arena. But we also know that the matter of homegrown terrorism is becoming an increasing concern all around the globe.

As we've looked at the question of intelligence gathering on the homegrown front, we recognize increasingly that a lot of this is going to have to take place networking at the community and local level. That's why we've put a lot of emphasis on fusion centers, which is a way of allowing states and localities to pull their information together. They benefit and we benefit from that.

And I have to say, my own thinking was that in fairness, if we're going to suggest that, for communities which are putting dedicated police into the field for intelligence gathering, we ought to be prepared to support that to some extent, because that's part of this intelligence gathering.

So this is -- you know, this is what a partnership is. Partners work together, they listen to each other, and when there's a good suggestion, we adopt it.

Question: Can you explain -- there's been a change in which cities qualify in tier two. There are four new ones and four other dropping off. Can you explain the general thinking behind eliminating, say, Louisville and Baton Rouge and adding El Paso and Norfolk?

Secretary Chertoff: All of the four cities which dropped off are cities that last year we indicated would not normally be included in the list of high-risk cities, but we were going to keep them on for what we call the sustainment year.a real, albeit perhaps somewhat lesser, risk, and to make sure those cities are equipped with the basic tools to protect their populations.

As a consequence of this philosophy, what this means for our Urban Area Security Initiative program that is the top tier cities, the highest risk cities, will get about 55 percent of this year's grant funds, equaling approximately $410 million. This first tier urban area is not going to surprise anybody: they include Chicago, Houston, the Los Angeles-Long Beach region, the National Capital Region, the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area, and the San Francisco Bay area.

Consistent with this risk-based approach, 39 additional tier two cities -- that's to say moderate but lesser risk cities -- will share the remaining 45 percent of the funds, or $336 million. This adds up to the total UASI funding for fiscal year 2007 of $746 million, which is an increase of $36 million over last year.

Next question is how do we assess risk. Well, we look at three things. We look at threat, we look at vulnerability and we look at consequence. And the more sophisticated we become at weighing these variables -- which are not static, but which always change and evolve -- the better we become at targeting the resources to address and mitigate those risks. And we've continued the process of refining this analysis this past year. Our risk tiering is an effort to be, first of all, more transparent to the public about how we assess the risks; and we've also put a great deal of effort into simplifying the process so it's more understandable.

I also want to say that our threat analysis is supported by the intelligence and the law enforcement communities. For vulnerability and consequence, we weighed factors such as population, population density, the economic impact of an attack, and the proximity to national critical infrastructure, international borders and key military assets. And I want to give you some sense of how we weigh these various things, because I think an important part of what we do is allow the public to understand in a common-sense fashion why we make the decisions that we do.

We begin with focusing on population, because the fact is, we are most concerned about the potential loss of life associated with a terrorist attack. We most want to protect people, and not things. We do, however, address the issue of infrastructure and economic impact, as well. So our primary weight is placed on population, which reflects our primary concern about protecting people.

But in addition to simply weighing the raw population based on census data, we've looked at tourist and visitor population and calculation, which reflects the fact that you do have variations in the number of people at a particular area depending on travel and commuting and tourism. And we've looked at population density, which reflects, again, a certain element of vulnerability and consequence in terms of a way a particular attack might impact on people.

Now, let me turn to infrastructure. Last year we spent a lot of time with what I -- perhaps a little bit dismissively -- called bean-counting. We counted an awful lot of individual pieces of infrastructure. Now, I think as we went back and looked at last year's analysis, a lot of that counting really didn't add materially to the serious analytic decision-making that we needed to undertake in order to assess where our really most valuable critical infrastructure is.

So based on analysis that we have done through our infrastructure protection programs, we've identified a list of approximately a little over 2,000 individual national assets that have national or regional significance. These are truly the critical infrastructure across the entire country, and they reflect the kinds of things that you would imagine, in terms of power plants or dams that are located in an area in which an attack could have a regional or even a national impact. This does not include popcorn factories or hotdog stands or any of the stuff which came in for ridicule over the last year. It is a focused effort to put weight on those elements of infrastructure that represent something more than just the impact on population, but a regional or even a national impact.

Putting together this top-tier list we relied upon data that was provided by states and cities, by the intelligence community, by the Department of Defense, by the Department of Commerce and the Census Bureau, and then we reviewed this data with all of the relevant players to make sure we had kind of a validation for the judgments that we made. Our goal here was to get high quality data, not simply a lot of data. It's quality, rather than quantity, that counts in making this judgment. And as a consequence, we had better data to work from in doing our analysis.

The bottom line is that this is not just about mathematics and getting a lot of statistics and doing a lot of mathematical operations; it's about keeping sight of the big picture, and the big picture is worrying about how do we protect the most people from the greatest risks most of the time. This year's guidance hopefully provides greater transparency and better justification to the American people.

Another element is something that we did carry forward from last year because we think it worked well and I think it reflects an appropriate philosophy -- and that is a regional approach in our urban area security grants. When we first rolled out the idea of taking a regional approach to the grant process, there was a little bit of resistance from some of the communities. Some of the mayors wondered how they would work together to come up with a common set of plans and a common set of proposals. But, in fact, when I went back over the course of the year and talked with a number of the mayors, they actually said they thought it worked well and they appreciated the opportunity to get together and to avoid the kind of duplication where every community buys the same thing, so we wind up with an excess of one type of asset and not enough coverage of something else.

We recognize that a major emergency is going to impact an entire region and it's going to require a multi-jurisdictional response. It's not going to be confined within one political body. And, therefore, once again this year we're going to focus on building capabilities that are not simply tied to political jurisdiction, but they are based upon the needs of regions and the population in and around our major urban areas.

Another element which we are carrying forward from past years is making sure that the grants support our national priorities for homeland security. And these are interoperable communications, implementation of the National Incident Management System and the National Response Plan -- and of course, as you know, these are 9/11 commission recommendations -- information-sharing, preventing the use of radiological, chemical and biological weapons and citizen preparedness. And this year's grant guidance supports all of these priority areas of homeland security.

We also want to work to make this a more user friendly or customer friendly process. Last year -- again, listening to some of the constructive criticism -- I think that there was a sense that we required communities to submit a plan and the plan was reviewed on a pass/fail basis -- either we accepted it or we rejected it. And sometimes there were elements of a plan that were rejected that were actually valuable, and had we had the opportunity to go back to the community and make some suggestions, they might have actually done somewhat better in terms of what they received.

This year, we've adopted an approach that allows a back-and-forth with the community. By getting the grant guidance out early in the year, we're going to have the opportunity to work with communities based on their submissions, to have a back-and-forth or a give-and-take to allow them to make revisions so that they can maximize the use to which they put the funds that they may be receiving under these programs. Again, this is not about playing "gotcha." It's about funding good projects that will help protect the community.

So by streamlining the application process, allowing some give-and-take -- including this mid-point review process, where we can go back and give people an opportunity to make some revisions in their plans -- I think we're going to have better plans, I think we're going to have more easily understood plans, and I think that the communities will feel that they've been dealt with more fairly.

The last major element of our approach is a very significant change. And it's a significant change in philosophy. This year we are going to be giving the highest risk urban areas some additional flexibility in the way they use UASI grants for personnel costs. There's been a debate over a number of years about whether we ought to fund personnel costs or police and law enforcement engaged in counterterrorism work.

This homeland security grant program is not a cops program. This is not a program that is designed to give block grants to police departments to do policing work. On the other hand, I think working with some of the big cities, listening to them tell us that they have now really acquired most of the equipment that they need -- and what they really need is support for the ongoing intelligence collection and surge patrolling that is specifically directed to counterterrorism activity -- we have concluded that we ought to build a little bit more flexibility into the process to allow some of these major communities to do a broader range of counterterrorism work using our homeland security funding. At the end of the day what we want to do is maximize the value in counterterrorism for our communities. And we get the value at a national level from that, as well.

As a consequence, what we're going to do is this: We will allow the tier one cities to make proposals to us that will allow for up to 25 percent of their UASI funding to be directed to regular activities of law enforcement personnel, provided -- and this is a very important requirement -- that those activities are dedicated 100 percent to counterterrorism field operations. What that means is, this is not about money for patrolmen, on the theory that any policeman might encounter a terrorist and, therefore, it's counterterrorism; but it means money for the kinds of programs some of our big cities are paying for out of their own pocket involving intelligence collection in the field with dedicated police officers, or the use of surge patrol efforts to secure areas against possible terror attack -- again, with strict accountability to make sure that the money is being spent on counterterror programs and not merely regular police work.

I'm convinced, based on my conversations with major city chiefs, this will answer a request that they have made for years; but I'm also convinced that we can do it in a way that will honor the requirement that the funds that are expended here are for counterterroism, they are not for other kinds of programs that might be funded out of other kinds of grant monies.

So that is a kind of overview of where we are. It's a philosophy that is risk-based, it's focused on risk management. We have listened and made some changes based on suggestions that have been made. And although I'm sure there are going to be people who are disappointed, because every community sees its own needs quite rightly as needs that ought to be serviced, and we have to make sure that the pie is distributed in a risk-managed approach, I think at a minimum, people will acknowledge that the program that we are undertaking this year is risk-focused, that it is practical, that it is more simple and more transparent, and that it injects some elements of flexibility, which will be welcome for communities.

So let me briefly end by highlighting the grand totals. In addition to their $746 million for Urban Area Security Initiative grants, we'll be providing, based on, obviously, Congress' appropriation, $509 million in State Homeland Security Program grants. That's a little bit less than Congress funded in 2006; $364 million under the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program; $32 million for the Metropolitan Medical Response System program, and $14.5 for the Citizen Corps.

And I do want the point out that Congress raised the UASI funding by about $20 million this year over the last year, but decreased the -- I'm sorry, raised the USAI funding by $36 million, but decreased the state funding by $20 million. So, you'll see a little bit more money spent on the urban area grants, and a little less on the state grants. And we're anticipating that as we work through the process, we'll be awarding these funds to the states and cities no later than the summer of this year.

All of the homeland security grant program submissions will be reviewed by more than a hundred national experts on homeland security, drawn from federal authorities and also from state and local communities. We look forward to working with the states and urban areas in the coming weeks as the process moves forward. I also look forward to working with Congress in the coming session to continue to promote a risk-based approach to how we award homeland security grants, and I welcome their ongoing partnership during this audit.

Question: I just want to make sure. These are still, though, the money -- it's still a competitive system, that everyone is competing for the slice of the pie. So, just to make sure, at least in the urban areas initiative, these 46 or so cities, every city will get some share of it, but how much they get will be ultimately dependent on how you evaluate how good their plans are.

Secretary Chertoff: That's partly correct. Each city will compete within the tiers. So the top tiered cities will be competing among themselves for the $410 million, and the others will compete for the other monies. We anticipate, again, with this back-and-forth approach, communities will have the best chance to put their best foot forward, and have the best case made for building capabilities that they need. But the actual dollar amounts will depend upon the particular programs that they want to fund.

Question: Could you give an example of how the give and take might work? For instance, what a city might say, and then what your response would be, and how they'd be able to tweak it.

Secretary Chertoff: I can give you an example -- I'll mask it a little bit, because I don't want to get specific, but drawn from last year's experience. Let's assume you have a particular type of infrastructure program with ports, and you come up with a proposal to do a network of radar and patrol boats and a whole series of assets designed to increase protection of the port.

Well, we might look at that, and say, well, the problem with this is, is that the Coast Guard already maintains a radar system; it doesn't make sense to have two radar systems. And in that sense, the proposal is rejected, because it requires spending money that would be wasted. But in fact, if you unpack the proposal, there are elements that are perfectly reasonable, like the additional patrol boats and some additional other kinds of security assets.

So we might say in that instance to the particular applicant, why don't you go back -- radar doesn't make much sense, but look to see -- at the other things that you're requesting money for, and why don't you repackage that and make another submission. Now it might be less money, but at least you'll get money for the patrol boats as opposed to having the whole thing rejected. That's what I mean by a give and take.

Question: Talk to us about New York. There are two things that I see here. One is, it looks like you've lumped in New Jersey with New York, which implies there's going to be an epic struggle between New York City and New Jersey. But the second part of it is, last year, when you cut the $80 million from New York City, you made the argument that when you invest in something, you don't put the same amount in every year; you make a based investment, and you add to it to maintain it or improve it. Are you going to use that model this year with New York City? Is New York City going to expect cuts over last year based on that philosophy?

Secretary Chertoff: Let me first deal with what you so elegantly described as "lumping" New Jersey in with New York. (Laughter.) What we are doing is we're looking at the New York metropolitan area, which includes Northern New Jersey, for purposes of assessing risk. And I think to say, for example, the risk for New York is at this level and the risk if you cross the Hudson River is at a much lower level doesn't make a lot of sense.

It does not mean, however, that we're going to lump the money together or make them take the grant as a single entity. In fact, because the money actually passes through the states, they will get the money in separate pots. But we will hope that they continue the practice that they followed in the past, of working together to coordinate, so that when they make requests for grants, if they, for example, want grants to protect infrastructure like tunnels, and one half of the tunnel is in New York and one half is in New Jersey, that they have a coordinated approach to the grants.

Question: So it will still be a separate proposal?

Secretary Chertoff: It will still be separate -- separate process, but a coordinated process. But we wanted to make sure that the risk was looked at based on the reality of where it is, as opposed to the arbitrary fact that the border between New York and New Jersey happens to be the Hudson River.

Our philosophy is the same: We want to put money into building capabilities. And you wouldn't normally expect that you're going to buy the same capability over and over again. On the other hand, because of the change we've made this year with respect to the personnel funding, that, I think, is going to answer, frankly, some of the concerns raised by people in the city of New York, which is that they have certain special ongoing needs with respect to intelligence gathering or with respect to surge capability that is personnel based; it's not addressed simply by equipment.

And so I think the major kind of response we've had to that reasonable point was to introduce this element of flexibility into the system, which will allow some portion of this money now, if it's supported by an adequate plan, to be used for costs that are person-based or personnel-based, as opposed to equipment-based.

Question: But that flexibility doesn't necessarily mean more money for New York City.

Secretary Chertoff: Well, I think -- I'm not going to tell you in advance who is going to get what money, because it's going to depend on the particular proposals. I'm confident that as we work with New York they are going to do well this year, because they have well thought out programs, and we spent a lot of time working with them over the last year. And I think they're in, frankly, in a pool with other communities that are high risk. And we've put more than half the money into that pool.

So this is, without any doubt, weighing to a significant degree the money in the highest-risk urban areas.

Question: Before the holidays, Secretary Rice asked you to look at the case of Canadian Maher Arar to see if there was sufficient evidence to keep him on the U.S. Terror Watch List. Have you come to a conclusion about that?

Secretary Chertoff: Well, first of all, we can't talk about individual -- this is going to sound a little ironic to say, but as a matter of privacy and the Privacy Act, I don't think we can talk about individual people's status, situation in front of the press. So I don't think I'm free to comment about that.

When and if any particular person applies to come into the United States, there's a process that's undertaken, if they want to get a visa to come in or get permission to come in, and then the appropriate judgment is made at that time. So whatever analysis we do has to be something that under the terms of the law, the Privacy Act, has to be kept confidential.

Question: Will you be communicating with Canadian officials about Mr. Arar's status?

Secretary Chertoff: Again, whatever communication we have with respect to an individual, or even whether an individual has a status, I think as I read the law, I'm restricted in making public comment about. And the last thing I want to do is get accused of violating the Privacy Act by answering a press question about an individual.

Question: Back to New York and New Jersey here. Would it be fair to say that what this means is, on the one hand, New York is going to have to share more of the assets it would have gotten with New Jersey -- there is going to have to be a little more sharing here. But on the other hand, I guess you could say that's balanced off by the fact that New Jersey is an additional magnet for these funds. I guess what I'm trying to figure out is, you could say that adding New Jersey helps New York, but adding New Jersey also means they're going to have to share more of the money that they would have gotten themselves.

Secretary Chertoff: Let me answer the question this way: First of all, as I say, the money will be awarded separately, so at the end, money will go to New York and New Jersey.

Question: But it's from the same line item, right? I mean, it will get to them through two pipelines, but from the same pot here initially.

Secretary Chertoff: Well, the pot, actually, is available to six urban areas. But I'd like to step back and take a moment to actually unpack the question you just asked. What we're concerned about, really, is protecting people. And I guess I can speak from personal knowledge, because I grew up in New Jersey, and I went into New York. And yet when I passed from New Jersey into New York, I still was just as concerned about my well being whether I was on the New Jersey side of the river or the New York side of the river. Likewise, I often use the example of the tunnels. The Holland Tunnel and Lincoln Tunnel and George Washington Bridge, half of them are in New York and half of them are in New Jersey.

In looking at the risk, it makes no sense to treat New York and Northern New Jersey as in separate pools of risk. Now, obviously, the actual applications and the actual programs will have to be managed through the individual political jurisdiction. That's how we give money out in this country. So New York will get its money, New Jersey will get its money.

I don't think you can conclude at the end that this means that you can predict how much more money New York is going to get, or how much more money New Jersey is going to get, it's going to depend on the specific programs.

But the point I'm trying to make is this: What matters here is, what protects the people who live in this general area the best? And I always find a little bit of the irony in people saying, well, isn't New York going to get a little more, or New Jersey get a little less, or whatever it is? If you're sitting in New York City in an apartment overlooking the Hudson River, and someone on the New Jersey side takes their rocket launcher and shoots across the river and kills you in New York, whose security responsibility was that? Was that New York to protect you because you're a New Yorker living in an apartment in New York, or is it New Jersey, where the attack was launched?

I mean, as important as it is, I understand for planning purposes, for political leaders to understand what money they're going to get -- as I said, I think this is a program that will wind up giving everybody the maximum chance to get the money that they want -- in the end, what we're trying to do is protect people. And the people in a particular urban region, a particular urban area, the threat is not necessarily going to come based on political jurisdiction, it's going to come based on geography.

I can tell you from the first World Trade Center investigation, a lot of the planning for that bombing took place in Jersey City. So who bore the security responsibility there? Was it New York? Well, New York didn't have the ability to get into Jersey City. Was it New Jersey? Well, the attack took place in New York.

Without being naive about the fact that public officials always want to know what they're going to get and be able to spend, I wouldn't regard this as telling you anything about whether a particular jurisdiction is going to get more or less, but I would suggest that this is very much about asking, what are we trying to protect -- who gives money out or who we're trying to protect with the money we're giving out? And I think in this sense, looking at New York and New Jersey as a single high-risk place makes a lot of sense, in terms of the reality about the way people live their lives, and where the risks really come from.

Question: May I just follow that up? In the past, the Homeland Security Department has always said, yes, we know what the cities want, but trust us, we think this is the best way to give the money out. This allocation formula now is much more what the cities have been pushing for from the beginning, more money to the highest-threat areas; let us use some money for overtime; that kind of thing. So to put it the way the cities might ask, have you been doing it wrong in the past, and now you're finally getting it their way?

Secretary Chertoff:This is going to be an amazing admission for a public official in Washington. We actually listen to people. I don't think we -- speaking for myself, I don't believe that I'm infallible, or that I have nothing to learn from anybody. We spent a lot of time talking to community officials, city officials, state officials, federal officials, and we got a lot of observations and a lot of suggestions. Some of them we did not accept, but some of them we did accept.

And I think what you're seeing over time is an evolution towards greater responsiveness, towards a little bit more flexibility, towards a more disciplined but more common sense analysis. And we also have the experience of several years more of intelligence gathering, and therefore a greater knowledge base, and also we've gotten to watch and practice what really works.

I can tell you what helped me, in terms of looking at this question of flexibility for personnel wise, to go in and actually see what cities are doing. And if someone can say, hey, look, we've been putting police out into the community, that's helping gather intelligence about homegrown terrorism, that's a value not only to us in the city but to the federal government; I say, you know, that's right, in practice that really works. All this is about is being pragmatic, seeing what works in the real world. And if you can demonstrate that we ought to make an adjustment because in the real world that's a helpful adjustment, I say, absolutely we're going to do it.

Because in the real world, that's a helpful adjustment. I say, absolutely, we're going to do it.

The one other point I'd make on the personnel piece, which I think is -- another point I've made, in other settings -- we're very concerned about intelligence gathering. We do an awful lot with what I call spies and satellites on an international arena. But we also know that the matter of homegrown terrorism is becoming an increasing concern all around the globe.

As we've looked at the question of intelligence gathering on the homegrown front, we recognize increasingly that a lot of this is going to have to take place networking at the community and local level. That's why we've put a lot of emphasis on fusion centers, which is a way of allowing states and localities to pull their information together. They benefit and we benefit from that.

And I have to say, my own thinking was that in fairness, if we're going to suggest that, for communities which are putting dedicated police into the field for intelligence gathering, we ought to be prepared to support that to some extent, because that's part of this intelligence gathering.

So this is -- you know, this is what a partnership is. Partners work together, they listen to each other, and when there's a good suggestion, we adopt it.

Question: Can you explain -- there's been a change in which cities qualify in tier two. There are four new ones and four other dropping off. Can you explain the general thinking behind eliminating, say, Louisville and Baton Rouge and adding El Paso and Norfolk?

Secretary Chertoff: All of the four cities which dropped off are cities that last year we indicated would not normally be included in the list of high-risk cities, but we were going to keep them on for what we call the sustainment year.

So it shouldn't be a surprise to people in those communities. But in terms of the metrics that we've used -- population, critical infrastructure, national security, assets -- they simply don't fall within the top category.

The more interesting question would be why we've added a couple of additional. You mentioned I guess Norfolk and -- what was the other one?

Question: El Paso.

Secretary Chertoff: And El Paso. It reflects two areas where we did put some additional weight into the formula this year, again candidly based on what we thought were some useful suggestions.

One is, with respect to Norfolk, we looked at the presence of a large military facility, large Naval base, as well as, of course, the population and the critical infrastructure. We had not previously given that much weight to either military bases or to what we call the defense industrial base, but we engaged with the Defense Department this year, and I think that pushed Norfolk into the higher category.

The secondary was proximity to the border. We weighted that a little bit more heavily because we do think that creates a certain vulnerability.

So we debated this, where there was a lot of input on these two topics. Last year, we thought there was merit to it, and so we incorporated it, to some degree, into the calculus.

Question: Can I do a follow on to the border question? A lot of the southern southwestern states are making appeals to you to treat the border itself as almost like a separate category, like create a new UASI category to basically link everyone from Brownsville all the way to San Diego. Do you think that argument has any merit, and do you think that you're going to move in that direction?

Secretary Chertoff: Well, I can't create a new UASI category because Congress creates UASI, and Congress hasn't set the borders as an urban area. But what we did do this past year, as the President announced over the summer, was we freed up state homeland security grant funds under Operation Stone Garden to allow them to be used for law enforcement activities along the border, conducted in coordination with the Border Patrol.

So although we didn't make them a UASI area, we did allow some of the state funding to be used, and we anticipate continuing to do so to allow some percentage of the state funding to be used at the border for law enforcement. So I think we've achieved the result that was requested. We've used the existing congressional programs, as opposed to created a new one.

Question: You mentioned that you've honed this list of national assets to the truly critical 2,000, approximately, national assets. One, do you know how big that list was last year? And two, how -- do national icons fall on to that list, things that are considered likely targets, like the -- possible targets like the Washington Monument, the Statue of Liberty?

Secretary Chertoff: The answer to your second question is, no. And let me explain the difference between this year and last year a little more clearly.

The critical assets are those which have, from an economic standpoint and other standpoint, a regional or national significance. A major dam, for example, that if something were to happen to would have a catastrophic impact. That's an example of a piece of critical infrastructure.

Last year, we counted, in doing the urban area allocations, more than just the critical assets. We counted all kinds of assets. This is what I refer to as beans -- office buildings, monuments, and things of that sort. And when we looked at that again, we said, aren't these really just different ways of expressing what the population is. In other words, when you talk about office buildings and apartment buildings and things of that sort, what does that tell you that's different than what you were when you look at population, you look at commuting population, you look at tourism, because it's not as if we separately evaluate the risk for each individual apartment building, and then we total them up in some trillion calculation function. And that's what I mean by a Secretary's prerogative to sometimes inject common sense into the process.

So we said, let's make it simple. Let's look at key indicators like population, density, commuting population, tourism, which captures the essence of what all this bean counting was and really focus on what we care about, which is people. And then only look at the infrastructure that truly has an extraordinary significance to the nation. And although it's a classified list of -- I don't think if anybody looked at it, it would surprise you the kinds of things that are on it. It's the kind of thing you would expect to be on it.

And I think this is a -- it doesn't -- I think we don't lose anything by screening out some of those individual little items, but I think it becomes a lot simpler and easier to understand, which is a very positive value.

Question: Thank you. You said earlier on how you accepted that constructive -- you've accepted constructive criticism, and of course, you recall the criticism by the local Washington area leaders, what the reductions that they had last year from the previous year in terms of homeland security grants. Are you accepting their criticism for the 2000 round of grants?

Secretary Chertoff: Well, I mean by constructive criticism is, the mere fact that someone is unhappy with the amount of money they get is not a basis on which we change the decision, because if that were the basis on which we change a decision, there wouldn't be enough money to satisfy everybody. But when someone had a criticism on the analytic approach we took, they either said we didn't weigh something heavily enough, or there was an aspect that we didn't consider, or as in the case of the flexibility of personnel, that there were values served by funding personnel that couldn't be served in some other way. We listened to that. We built that into the process.

Now I hope this is going to wind up with results that are going to -- may not make everybody happy, because everybody wants everything, but will at least be understandable and seem to be fair and reasoned. And I think that's the best you can do in any kind of grant program, because understandably, everybody -- you know, every community is responsible for itself. But we have to look at all the communities and balance them.

Question: Would you come back to New York and New Jersey again? You mentioned the tunnels and bridge. Does this indicate -- and we -- obviously, there was a story about a plot that might have targeted one of the tunnels. Does this indicate a special focus on those pieces of infrastructure, A? And B, what feedback about the lumping of New York and New Jersey have you gotten from Ray Kelly and Mike Bloomberg?

Secretary Chertoff: Well, first of all, the tunnel and bridge reflect simply the fact that I was trying to come up with an easily understood example of why, when you evaluate risk, you can't evaluate the risk in New York as different than the risk in Northern New Jersey. And having spent countless hours stuck in the tunnels or on the bridge, it comes to mind as kind of a graphic example.

I really want to dispel the lumping. This is no different than last year in the sense that we will -- the money will go to individual areas. What it simply reflects is that you have to look at the risk as a totality based on the area. You know, when we first last year did some regionalization with respect to, for example, L.A.-Long Beach, because they're right next to each other, there was a little bit of apprehensiveness about what that meant. But at the end, I think the communities were very happy with the way it came out.

I don't think you can read into this any prediction of what the ultimate amount of money is going to be, because it's going to depend upon what the particular proposals are. I think that the -- there's a -- certainly, more than half of the money is in the top tier, and I would think that that maximizes the possibility of communities doing better than they did last year. But the actual results have to await the particular proposals.

Question: Can you just follow the Bloomberg and Kelly --

Secretary Chertoff: You know, I've talked to the -- I've talked to Commissioner Kelly. Actually, I have a call into Mayor Bloomberg. I think -- my conversations with public officials, I don't like to talk about them.

Question: Just trying to understand, so when the announcement is made -- you said sometime this summer, maybe May -- between New York and New Jersey, are they going to know if they got a cut or a bonus? Or is it going to be a lump sum?

Secretary Chertoff: No, I'm going to try to be -- I'm obviously not clear this morning. Money is going to go to New York; money is going to go to New Jersey. It has to under the law, because it goes through the state. This is really nothing more than saying and deciding what tier we would put communities in. We treated New York and New Jersey as a single entity for risk purposes, to put them in the top tier. Not that they are in the top tier. The money they get is based upon the particular programs they want to fund. We recognize that those programs have to come through a political jurisdiction.

So at the end, New York will get an award of X million dollars, which will cover the programs it has, New Jersey will get an award of Y million dollars, which will cover the programs it has. We anticipate that the communities will continue to work together to coordinate, because obviously if -- I'm going to go back to the tunnel example -- if someone -- if both duplicate efforts to do something with respect to the George Washington Bridge, that's kind of silly. They ought to find some way to allocate that among themselves.

But this is not a change in the fact that we will make the awards to the individual cities, because that's what the law requires. It was nothing more than recognizing that for purposes of risk tiering, we had to treat this as a single area.

Question: Sir, it does sound like you're setting New York City up for a cut, though.

Secretary Chertoff: No, I know you would like me to tell you that. That is simply not true.

Question: Then don't.

Secretary Chertoff: There is nothing -- there is nothing about this that suggests New York is going to get a cut. I mean, I want to -- I want to put the final nail in the coffin on this, because this strikes me as a manufactured complaint. Last year, we gave money to New York and money to New Jersey. But if you look at the risk, the risk is combined. This year, we'll give money to New York and New Jersey. What that money is going to be is going to depend on the individual programs. What I'm not conceding is that somehow we have put a fence around New York and New Jersey when you've said somehow, there's only this much money that's going to go to this area, and they're going to have to fight it out. That's not the way we're going to do it.

We're going to look at all the proposals, and we're going to evaluate them. And if New York has great proposals, and that results in more money, and if New Jersey has great proposals and that results in more money, that's going to be great for both of them.

So this is -- this is not a zero-sum game with respect to those jurisdictions, any more than you could start to say, well, you know, how much is Manhattan getting versus Brooklyn. I mean, are we going to start going into that, or Inwood is getting this much amount of money, but Greenwich Village is only getting that much amount of money.

The money is going to go to the political jurisdictions, and -- but in deciding which jurisdictions should be in the top tier, we consider New York, New Jersey in a -- sharing the same risk for purposes of putting them both in the top tier.

Question: Thank you, sir.

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