Grants provide HazMat training for crude oil, ethanol incidents

By U.S. Department of Transportatoin | October 02, 2015

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has announced grants totaling $5.9 million to provide hazardous materials training for volunteer or remote emergency responders.

The Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training grants will go to three non-profit organizations which will provide training for incidents involving shipments of crude oil, ethanol and other flammable liquids by rail.

The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 (P.L. 113-235) allowed PHMSA to use money recovered from prior year Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grants to fund the ALERT grants.

“Safety is our top priority and the ALERT grants will help first responders, especially volunteer firefighters in rural or remote parts of the country, prepare for and respond to incidents involving flammable liquids,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “It’s critical that first responders have the information and training they need to respond to these types of incidents, and is one of more than a dozen actions the Department has taken in recent months to strengthen the safe transportation of crude oil, ethanol and other flammable liquids by rail.”

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.

“Nearly 25,000 additional firefighters, police and other first responders are expected to benefit from this one-year realignment of hazmat training grants,” said PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez.

ALERT grants were awarded to: University of Findlay (Ohio) All Hazards and Training Center ($611,491); International Association of Fire Chiefs, Fairfax, Virgiinia., $2.65 million; and Center for Rural Development, Somerset, Kentucky, $2,67 million.