The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced Oct. 2, that it is issuing $2,488,497 in grants to state entities, local communities, and non-profit organizations to address pipeline safety challenges related to damage prevention and to promote more involvement in local pipeline safety initiatives and awareness efforts.
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced Oct. 2, that it is issuing $2,488,497 in grants to state entities, local communities, and non-profit organizations to address pipeline safety challenges related to damage prevention and to promote more involvement in local pipeline safety initiatives and awareness efforts. The grants are being awarded to governmental entities and organizations spread across 24 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
“The grants we're issuing today are more than just about protecting pipelines or promoting awareness, it's about saving lives,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “States and localities know best what their unique challenges are and these grants will help them develop specific solutions to meet their individual pipeline safety needs.”
Of the grants issued today, PHMSA is awarding $1,499,939 in State Damage Prevention (SDP) program grants to 16 states and Puerto Rico. Awarded annually, the grants are used to strengthen efforts in addressing pipeline failures attributed to activities such as excavation damage. The grants are also used to assist in establishing damage prevention programs where they do not currently exist.
PHMSA has awarded more than $13.6 million in SDP grants to 40 state entities since 2008 to encourage states to continue implementing the nine elements of an effective damage prevention program, outlined in the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement and Safety Act of 2006. Program elements include the use of effective communications, partnerships, fair and consistent enforcement, training and technology to help minimize the possibility of negative consequences resulting from inadvertent contact with underground pipelines. The complete breakdown of the SDP grant recipients and awarded amounts can be found in Table 1 on the USDOT website.
To accompany its SDP grants, PHMSA awarded a total of $988,558 in pipeline safety grants for technical assistance to 12 local community and non-profit organizations. PHMSA's Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) program encourages local communities and non-profit organizations to help communities develop pipeline safety and education programs specific to their needs through technical assistance.
The TAG awards provide funding for a broad range of activities, including improving or developing local pipeline emergency response capabilities, safe digging or damage prevention programs, pipeline safety information resources, community and pipeline awareness campaigns and public participation in official proceedings that pertain to pipelines.
Since the TAG program's inception in 2009, PHMSA has awarded more than $7 million to fund 166 individual technical assistance projects to help local communities and organizations address their pipeline safety needs. The complete breakdown of the TAG recipients and awarded amounts are in Table 2 on the USDOT website.