Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Ranking Member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that the State of Maine has received a total of $1,091,211 to help keep the state pipeline system safe. This funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
“Following the heartbreaking explosion in Farmington two years ago, we must ensure that our pipelines are a safe and efficient method for transporting the energy needed by homes and businesses in communities across our state,” said Senator Collins. “These important investments in job training, oversight, and damage prevention efforts will help prevent future accidents like the Farmington explosion and ensure that Mainers have access to low-cost energy.”
The State of Maine will receive:
· $484,895 through the Hazardous Materials Instructor Training Grants Program to train instructors who then train private-sector hazardous materials employees.
· $347,305 through the Pipeline Safety State Base program to provide a reimbursement of up to 80 percent of operating costs for state programs charged with inspecting intrastate transmission and distribution pipelines that transport natural gas, crude oil, and other energy products within state boundaries.
· $210,080 through the Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Grants Program to develop or revise emergency plans and training activities to account for bulk transportation of energy products by rail and over the road; conduct commodity flow studies to determine the frequency and quantity of hazmat shipments being transported through local communities; and train emergency responders to respond appropriately to incidents involving bulk shipments of energy products as well as other hazmat.
· $48,931 through the One-Call Grants Program to improve various aspects of the states’ damage prevention programs, including one call notification systems, notification service quality, one call record retention, state investigations of excavation damage to pipelines, enforcement against violators of state law, improvements in underground facility-locating capabilities, training of involved personnel, and public outreach and education.
Created in 2004, PHMSA establishes national policy, sets and enforces standards, educates, and conducts research to prevent incidents. The agency also prepares the public and first responders to reduce consequences if an incident does occur.