PHMSA awards over $30 million in grants for hazardous materials training

October 20, 2023

PHMSA commits more than $30 million to support emergency responders

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) revealed it’s dedicating over $30 million to bolster first responder preparations for hazardous materials incidents.

Detailed breakdown of grant allocation

PHMSA is directing these funds to states, territories, tribes, and non-profits across six different grant programs:

  • $22 million is set aside for Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grants. These are aimed at training first responders on hazardous materials response and aiding in the enhancement and execution of emergency plans for local and tribal communities.
  • $4.7 million will be used for Hazardous Materials Instructor Training grants. This supports the training of professionals who instruct employees working with hazardous materials and first responders.
  • $1.3 million is allocated for Supplemental Public Sector Training grants. These funds support non-profit organizations that train hazardous materials instructors conducting first responder trainings.
  • $1.2 million goes to Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training grants. The purpose is to enhance the training of volunteer or remote emergency responders dealing with hazardous materials incidents via rail.
  • $1 million is designated for Community Safety grants. This will boost community capabilities in responding to hazardous materials emergencies and also train state and local personnel responsible for ensuring the safe transport of these materials.
  • Lastly, $290,000 is for Hazardous Materials State Inspection grants, covering expenses related to state-run hazardous materials shipper inspections. This includes personnel, equipment, training, travel, and supplies for hazardous materials inspectors.

Focus on underserved communities

In Fiscal Year 2023, one of PHMSA’s top priorities is to ensure that underserved communities are aptly trained and prepared to handle hazardous materials transportation emergencies.

This includes crafting community response plans and providing training for fire, law-enforcement, and public safety personnel.

By increasing outreach efforts and encouraging grant applicants to focus on underserved communities, PHMSA aligns with President Biden’s Executive Order 13985, which emphasizes advancing racial equity and support for these communities.

FSJA Comment

The announcement from PHMSA regarding this significant allocation of funds underscores the growing emphasis on safety and preparedness in the face of hazardous materials incidents.

Firefighters and other first responders serve as the frontline defense in such emergencies.

By channeling resources into training and community outreach, not only do we equip these heroes with the tools they need, but we also work towards building a safer environment for every community, especially those that have traditionally been underserved.

It’s a commendable initiative that stands to benefit countless individuals and communities.

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