U.S. Department of Transportation Awards $12.8 Million in Hazardous Materials Planning and Training Grants

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today announced grants to states, territories and Native American tribes totaling almost $12.8 million for planning and training to improve response to hazardous materials transportation incidents.

The funds were made available by the DOT's Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA).

"The President's top transportation priority is safety," said Secretary Mineta. "RSPA's grants help our firefighters, police and other first responders protect our citizens by assuring that they are ready to respond to hazmat incidents."

The grant awards, under the Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) program, support the development of emergency response strategies tailored to regional needs. The grants are funded through registration fees paid by shippers and carriers of certain hazardous materials.

More than one million emergency responders, as well as 1,700 local emergency planning committees from across the nation, have received training and support under HMEP since the program began in 1993.

Other federal agencies participate in the program by assisting DOT in developing hazardous materials curriculum guidelines. These agencies include the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Departments of Energy, Labor, and Health and Human Services.

The six largest grants were awarded to California, $964,316; Texas, $668,460; Illinois, $612,982; Ohio, $510,751; New York, $470,968; and Florida, $453,407. See the list below for the fiscal year 2002 grant amounts to states, territories and Native American tribes.

RSPA has public responsibilities for safe and secure movement of hazardous materials to industry and consumers by all transportation modes, including the nation=s pipelines; rapid response to emergencies by government agencies; training for transportation safety professionals; and applying science and technology to meet national transportation needs.

For additional information, visit http://www.rspa.dot.gov/ (click on HAZMAT Safety) or contact JamesMitchell@rspa.dot.gov or Gordon.Delcambre@rspa.dot.gov.

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