Congress’ approval of a funding bill Friday included $1.2 billion to pay for dredging and other maintenance work at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Rep. Janice Hahn’s office (D-San Pedro) announced.
Hahn, who represents parts of Long Beach, called the funding “a major victory for our ports, allowing them to invest in dredging, maintenance and other improvements that will enable them to operate more efficiently and remain globally competitive.”
The funding comes from the Harbor Maintenance Fund and is meant to focus on cybersecurity provisions and the nation’s 10 most at-risk ports, including Los Angeles, Oakland, New York and Houston. The approved funding is $299 million more than President Barack Obama requested.
“The threat of a cyberattack on the networks that manage the flow of U.S. commerce at our ports is real and any disruption at our ports could do incredible harm to our economy,” said Hahn in a statement. We have ignored the cybersecurity of the networks managing our ports long enough and this legislation will finally begin to address this problem.”
Larger ports like the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will now receive a greater proportion of funding than they previously did, as a result of Hahn and other representatives of large port regions arguing that such ports donated more money, proportionately than other ports and received next to nothing in return.
“With this spending level made into law, we are one step closer to ensuring all the money collected at our ports is spent at our ports,” Hahn said in a statement.