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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

PHMSA: Grant funding available for hazmat safety


The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) yesterday announced more than $25 million is available in grant funding through its pipeline and hazardous materials safety programs.

The grants can be used to fund projects that train first responders, strengthen safety programs, improve safety, reduce environmental impacts and educate the public on local safety initiatives. This includes projects that provide support to state inspectors for hazardous materials shipments and pipeline inspections, safety training and educational programs for emergency response, and innovative safety technology, PHMSA officials said in a press release.

"Whether it’s dealing with a pipeline rupture or a train derailment, training is essential to the safety of our first responders and the communities they serve," said PHMSA Deputy Administrator Tristan Brown. "These grant opportunities will help ensure first responders have what they need to address the unique challenges that exist in communities across the country."

The funding announcement comes in the aftermath of the Norfolk Southern Railway train derailment that occurred Feb. 3 in East Palestine, Ohio. Responders nationwide previously received training because of PHMSA's Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training grant program, including 2,500 responders in 137 locations in Ohio. Several of those trained emergency responders worked at the derailment site.

The notices of funding opportunities provide more details on eligibility and how each grant addresses pipeline and hazardous materials safety. PHMSA will work to maximize grant awards based on the applications received. Each official notice of funding opportunity is available here under Department of Transportation-PHMSA on the agency drop-down menu.