DOT Announces $19.9 Million in First Responder Grants to Help Protect Communities

phmsa logoWASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) has announced that grants totaling $19.9 million will go to states, territories and Native American tribes to improve the nation’s response to hazardous materials transportation incidents.

Since 1993, more than 2.5 million emergency responders around the country have received training assistance using PHMSA grants.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said DOT grants improve planning, training, and preparedness for hazmat response teams, firefighters, police, and other first responders.

PHMSA’s Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) grants program allows recipients to design and implement planning and training programs according to the need. For this grant cycle, HMEP applicants were encouraged to allocate funding towards activities such as:

  • Developing or revising emergency plans and training activities to account for bulk transportation of energy products by rail and over the road;
  • Ensuring that state, Federal, and local emergency planning and preparedness is established, integrated, and mutually supportive; and
  • Increasing the availability of hazardous materials training to accommodate volunteer organizations.

Grants from PHMSA are funded by annual user registration fees paid by shippers and carriers of certain hazardous materials in commerce.

During grant period 2013-14, HMEP grants funded more than 91,000 first responders in initial or refresher hazardous materials response training, over 1,300 new or revised hazardous materials emergency response plans, and over 950 hazardous materials exercises.