U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced grants totaling $20.1 million to states, territories, and Native American tribes for planning and training to improve the nation’s response to hazardous materials transportation incidents.
“Hazardous materials are transported throughout our nation every day, and most shipments arrive without incident,” said Secretary Foxx. “But we have to be prepared for those rare instances when something goes wrong, and these grants do just that, by funding training and drills for our first responders so they can protect our families and communities.”
Since 1993, more than 2.8 million emergency responders across the country have received training assistance using Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) grants.
Grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) are funded by annual user fees paid by shippers and carriers of certain hazmat.
“These grants fund activities and training that provide emergency responders with the tools and knowledge to act quickly during the first few crucial moments of a hazmat incident,” said PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman.
From 2011-12, HMEP grants funded training for more than 98,400 first responders in initial or refresher hazmat response courses, over 1,300 new or revised hazmat emergency response plans, and approximately 1,060 hazmat exercises.
All 50 states, five U.S. territories, and six Native American tribes received HMEP grant funding this year.