The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) plans to award $32.4 million in grants to states, territories, and tribes to support first responders and strengthen local efforts to respond to hazardous materials incidents, the agency announced.
“First responders are at the forefront of community and environmental safety,” said Tristan Brown, PHMSA deputy administrator. “These grants will provide local emergency responders with the necessary training and resources they need to respond to hazardous materials transportation incidents.”
PHMSA will award 81 grants for six different hazardous materials safety grant programs across the country. This year’s awards signify a 14% increase in the number of grantees receiving awards and a 12.5% increase in total grant funding. This includes approximately:
- $24.2 million for Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grants for states, territories, and tribes to aid in the development, implementation, and improvement of emergency plans for local and tribal communities and first-responder hazardous materials training.
- $3.8 million in Hazardous Materials Instructor Training grants to support the training of hazardous materials instructors that train hazardous materials employees.
- $1.7 million in Supplemental Public Sector Training grants to support non-profit organizations that train hazardous materials instructors to conduct first responder trainings.
- $1.2 million in Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training grants to support the training of volunteer or remote emergency responders to respond to incidents involving hazardous materials shipments by rail.
- $1 million in Community Safety grants to support projects that enhance the capabilities of communities to respond to hazardous materials emergencies and the training of state and local enforcement personnel responsible for enforcing the safe transport of hazardous materials.
- $414,000 in Hazardous Materials State Inspection grants to cover costs for state-run hazardous materials shipper inspections to include personnel, travel, equipment, supplies, and training for hazardous materials inspectors.
Last year, PHMSA awarded 71 grants totaling $28.7 million that aided communities’ preparedness and response for hazardous materials transportation emergencies. This included developing or updating emergency response plans, commodity flow studies, and training thousands of emergency responders nationwide.
PHMSA’s Fiscal Year 2022 priority is directed toward ensuring that underserved communities are prepared and trained to respond to hazardous materials transportation emergencies. This includes community response planning and training for fire, law-enforcement, and public safety access point personnel.