U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has announced $317,804 from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Hazardous Materials Emergency Grant Program (HMEP). This funding will go towards developing or revising emergency plans and training activities to account for bulk transportation of energy products by rail and over the road; conducting commodity flow studies to determine the frequency and quantity of hazardous materials shipments being transported through local communities; and training emergency responders to respond appropriately to incidents involving bulk shipments of energy products as well as other hazardous materials.
“Our state has experienced a crude-by-rail accident firsthand, and we realize the importance of making sure our first responders have the resources they need to prepare for and respond to these kinds of incidents,” Manchin said. “We were fortunate that many of our first responders had recently completed a training to help them better respond to these types of derailments, but we need to do more to protect our citizens from these accidents while also ensuring the flow of energy products to those who need them. This funding will allow us to respond more quickly to future incidents and better protect West Virginia communities.”
This grant funding allows emergency response personnel to maintain a safe environment for themselves and the public when responding to hazardous materials related emergencies. Well-trained first responders play a critical role in mitigating or responding to any hazardous materials incident. HMEP grants are part of PHMSA’s comprehensive approach to improving the safe transportation of crude oil and other hazardous material across the country.