(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray today announced $2.35 million in U.S. Department of Homeland Security grants for Washington state. The grants, which Murray helped to Secure through the Buffer Zone Protection Program, are intended to help states protect critical infrastructure and key resources. Senator Murray is a member of the Senate Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee and the HELP Subcommittee on Bioterrorism Preparedness and Public Health.

"This funding will help us safeguard our communities and will help us avoid economic losses by protecting important infrastructure and resources from potential attack," Murray said. "I am pleased to have helped secure this funding to give Washington state the resources necessary to protect the safety of our residents and the security of our economy."

The following areas of infrastructure and resources are eligible to receive funding under the grant award:

  • Banking and Finance - Major financial centers such as primary data storage and processing facilities, major stock exchanges and major banking centers.

  • Chemical and HAZMAT - Manufacturing plants and storage and stockpile supply areas (sites that, if attacked, could cause death or serious injury to 50,000 or more).

  • Commercial Assets - Soft targets, including shopping malls greater than one million square feet and major public gathering places, such as sports stadiums and arenas with seating for 10,000 or more, convention centers, and theme parks. Electricity - Key electric substations and grid assets.

  • Oil and Natural Gas - Select petroleum refineries.

  • Nuclear Power Plants.

  • Government Facilities - Office buildings, laboratories and research centers, processing centers, and national icons.

  • Transportation - Mass transit systems and rail bridges over major waterways that, if destroyed, would cause significant economic loss.

The specific sites and their locations are sensitive; DHS will provide each state with information regarding the identity and location of specific sites in their respective states.

"It's critical that we work closely with our prevention, preparedness and response communities to ensure the safety of our residents. This program, and this funding, help us a great deal in those efforts," Murray said.