DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the fiscal year 2015 notices of funding opportunity for more than $1.6 billion in preparedness grant programs on Thursday, April 2.
“The FY 2015 homeland security grants demonstrate the department’s continued commitment to strengthening our nation’s ability to prepare and respond to a wide variety of emergencies,” said Johnson in a statement. “These grant programs reflect the department’s strong partnerships across all levels of government and the private sector in order to ensure we remain vigilant in an ever-changing threat environment.”
According to the DHS, the grant guidance will focus on the United States’ highest risk areas. For example, the Urban Area Security Initiative grants for fiscal 2015 will provide funding to 28 high-threat, high-density urban areas. “This represents congressional intent to limit FY 2015 UASI funding to those urban areas that represent up to 85 [percent] of the nationwide risk,” the department reported.
Based on feedback from state, local, tribal and territorial governments, Johnson has increased the period of performance for grant awards from two years to three years for fiscal 2015 grant programs, with the exception of Assistance to Firefighters Grants and the Emergency Management Performance Grant.
As provided by the DHS, preparedness grant program allocations for fiscal year 2015 include:
Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) — provides more than $1 billion for states and urban areas to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to and recover from acts of terrorism and other threats.
Since the 9/11 Act, FEMA has required states to ensure that at least 25 percent of the total funds awarded to them under SHSP and UASI are dedicated toward law enforcement terrorism prevention activities (LETPA). The total LETPA allocation can be satisfied from SHSP, UASI or both. In addition, states must obligate at least 80 percent of the funds awarded under SHSP and UASI to local or tribal units of government within 45 days of receipt of the funds.
Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program (THSGP) — provides $10 million to eligible tribal nations to implement preparedness initiatives to help strengthen the nation against risk associated with potential terrorist attacks and other hazards.
Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) — provides $13 million to support target hardening and other physical security enhancements for nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack and located within one of the FY 2015 UASI-eligible urban areas.
Intercity Passenger Rail - Amtrak (IPR) Program — provides more than $10 million to protect critical surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and increase the resilience of the Amtrak rail system.
Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) — provides more than $100 million to help protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism, enhance maritime domain awareness, improve port-wide maritime security risk management, and maintain or re-establish maritime security mitigation protocols that support port recovery and resiliency capabilities.
Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) — provides more than $87 million to owners and operators of transit systems to protect critical surface transportation and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of transit infrastructure.
Intercity Bus Security Grant Program (IBSGP) — provides $3 million to owners and operators of intercity bus systems to protect critical surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of transit infrastructure.
All preparedness Notices of Funding Opportunity can be found at www.grants.gov. There are some key changes to DHS grant programs this year including a 36-month period of performance and compliance with the requirements at 2 C.F.R. Part 200. Please see the Notice of Funding Opportunity — Key Changes — for each grant program.
The Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) applications, announced on March 25, 2015, are due no later than April 24, 2015. All other preparedness grant applications — excluding Fire Grant programs — are due no later than May 19, 2015. Final submissions must be made through the Non-Disaster Grants system located at https://portal.fema.gov.