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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

USDOT unveils new hazardous materials safety grant


The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced late last week the availability of $1 million in grant funding for training and outreach programs that help communities prepare for transportation incidents involving hazardous materials.

The new "Community Safety Grants" program was created by the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) that Congress passed late last year. The funding may also be used to improve training for state and local personnel who enforce hazardous material regulations, according to a PHMSA press release.

The anticipated start date for the FY2016 grant program is Sept. 30. Applicants are required to apply electronically through Applications are due July 1.

"Enhancing the safe transport of hazardous materials by rail is one of the department’s top priorities," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Community Safety Grants will focus on training state and local personnel responsible for enforcing its safe transportation, and fills a critical gap in funding. This new grant program offers another tool in their toolbox."