TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has released more than $42 million in federal funding to help protect transit systems in northern New Jersey, New York City and Connecticut.
NJ Transit, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Connecticut Department of Transportation and Amtrak are eligible for a share of the money, said U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-Harding, who announced the release of the funds on Tuesday.
The discretionary funding, provided through the Rail and Transit Security Grants Program, is specifically allocated for preventing and detecting explosive devices and chemical, biological or radiological agents. It was included in the current year's homeland security appropriations bill.
New Jersey lawmakers have criticized the Bush administration for not providing more homeland security money for high-risk areas like northern New Jersey, with its large port, oil refineries and chemical plants.
"It is imperative that homeland security funds are directed to where the risk is greatest and critical infrastructure must be protected against terrorists," Frelinghuysen said in a written statement. "Secretary Chertoff deserves praise for putting these funds where they are needed the most."