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The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) received $1.18 million through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) federal port security program to improve security initiatives at the Port of Baltimore’s public marine terminals.

The funding, which comes via the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will be used to improve cybersecurity, upgrade technology and update the security plan for the Port’s public terminals.

“It is critically important for the Port of Baltimore to continue to implement the latest security measures to ensure the safety and security of the people who work there and the cargo the Port handles,” said James J. White, Executive Director of MDOT MPA. “Creating a successful balance between productive cargo-handling and a strong security program is something we will continue to pursue.”

The first part of the grant will be used to improve cybersecurity initiatives, including data classification standards, to ensure sensitive information is not disclosed. Measures will also be put in place to strengthen incident response and recovery activities.

The second part of the grant will be used to improve and upgrade security measures at the primary entrance to the Dundalk Marine Terminal, including adding new software, enhancing physical security and upgrading communications and access control electronics.

The final part of the grant will be used to select a specialized company to perform security assessments at the Port’s six public marine terminals and update the MDOT MPA’s facility security plan, a federally required document overseen by the Coast Guard that describes security measures, policies and procedures at the public marine terminals.

The Coast Guard has awarded the MDOT MPA a top rating of “excellent” on annual security assessments of the Port’s public marine terminal for six consecutive years. The visual inspection includes reviews of access control procedures and makes certain that physical security fixtures, such as high-mast lighting and fencing, meet federal security standards. The MDOT MPA has moved forward in recent years with newer and stronger security initiatives, including cybersecurity, closed-circuit television and access controls.