FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 14, 2006
Schumer Amendment To Create “Apollo Project” For Port Security Technology R&D Passes Senate
New Crash Program Doubles Funding for Research and Development in to Port Security Nuclear Scanning Technology
Five Years After 9/11, DHS Not Doing Nearly Enough to Beef Up Port Security in the United States and Around the World; Millions of Containers Enter the United States Uninspected
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the full Senate passed his amendment that would create an “Apollo Project” for port security and devote $70 million for a bold research and development program in to new nuclear screening technology. This would double funding currently allocated for port security research.
“We’ve had a lot of talk, but now we’ve got progress,” Schumer said. “Port security has been the neglected step-child of homeland security for far too long. We need to tackle the problem of securing our ports with the same effort and resources as when we raced to the moon. This funding would change the face of port security for years to come. The bottom line is this Administration had its chance. Programs to screen for nuclear materials are years delayed, funding for research and development has been squandered, and international security programs have been grossly mismanaged and underfunded.”
Schumer said the United States needs to make a real commitment to developing cutting-edge technology to detect and prevent nuclear threats to seaports. Schumer’s amendment will authorize DHS to distribute $70 million in competitive grants over two years for research and development of new technology. Currently, there is $35 million authorized that is supposed to fund development in to a whole list of port security technologies. All of the new funding will go solely to nuclear/radiological detection.
Schumer is one of the Senate leaders on port security and is member of the Senate’s port security caucus. Schumer also led the fight to block Dubai Ports World, a company owned by the Government of Dubai, from taking over major ports across the United States.