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PHMSA issues three hazardous materials training grants

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World Pipelines,

The US Department of Transportation's (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA) announced it is issuing three separate hazardous materials training related grants totalling US$23 870 045. The grants are part of PHMSA's comprehensive approach to improving the safe transportation of hazardous materials across the country.

"The Department's hazardous materials grants allow recipients to design and implement planning and training programs that meet their specific needs," said US Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. "Improving the response capabilities of our emergency responders is an integral part of our strong national safety programme."

PHMSA is issuing US$20 470 045 in Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) grants to provide funding to states, territories and Native American tribes to enhance the abilities of their emergency response personnel in protecting themselves and the public when responding to hazardous materials related transportation incidents.

Additionally, PHMSA is issuing US$2 400 000 in Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training (ALERT) grants. The grants offer resources to non-profit organisations to train volunteer or remote emergency responders to safely respond to rail accidents involving highly flammable crude oil and ethanol products. Recipients include the Center for Rural Development (US$950 000), the University of Findlay (US$950 000), and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (US$500 000).

Finally, PHMSA selected the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance to receive US$1 million as part of its Community Safety Training grant programme. The grant allows community organisations to help train state and local personnel responsible for enforcing the safe transportation of hazardous materials.

State, local and tribal emergency officials are almost always the first to respond to hazardous materials incidents," said Drue Pearce, PHMSA's Acting Administrator. "These grants are another important resource PHMSA offers communities and response officials to educate, plan and stay prepared for transportation incidents, including those involving high hazard flammable trains.

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