The proactive Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation announced today that it is awarding $14.8 million in grants to fund projects and activities to improve pipeline safety.
According to its announcement, these grants will support important pipeline safety training and educational programs, as well as the advancement of pipeline safety technologies. Recipients include state pipeline safety programs; state One-Call and damage prevention centers; community and non-profit organizations; and six universities.
PHMSA Deputy Administrator Tristan Brown said that “to ensure the safety of the world’s largest pipeline system (the natural gas pipeline network alone is nearly 5,000,000-km) —we need every level of government and the non-profit sector working to mitigate risk.” “These grants," Brown continued, "will provide states, non-profits, first responders and academic institutions with the resources necessary to better protect the public.”
PHMSA is awarding grants for five of its programs across the country, including:
$1.1 million in One-Call Grants to provide funding to state agencies in promoting damage prevention, including changes with their state underground damage prevention laws, related compliance activities, training, and public education.
$1.5 million in State Damage Prevention Program Grants for states to establish or improve state programs designed to prevent damage to underground pipelines.
$2 million in Technical Assistance Grants to local communities and groups of individuals (not including for-profit entities) for technical assistance related to pipeline safety. Technical assistance is defined as engineering or other scientific analysis of pipeline safety issues.
$4.3 million of Competitive Academic Agreement Program (CAAP) funding to six collegiate institutions including Texas A&M University, University of Akron, Rutgers University, Arizona State University, Marquette University, and University of Miami. The CAAP grants will support research aimed at improving the safety of carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and particularly older, higher risk pipelines by improving pipeline coatings and advancing our understanding of the risks associated with geographic proximities to pipeline incidents.
$5.8 million in Pipeline Emergency Response Grants for incident response activities related to the transportation of gas or hazardous liquids by pipelines. This award is critical to ensuring the safe transportation of hazardous materials by training emergency responders to respond to pipeline incidents.
These grants were authorized by the bipartisan Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2020—enacted into law in December of 2020. This $14.8 million in funding is in addition to the $64.4 million that PHMSA awarded to support state-pipeline and underground natural gas storage safety operations earlier this year.