The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration plans to award nearly $54.1 million in grants to support pipeline safety programs in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, the US Department of Transportation agency reported.
“These grants ensure state programs have the funding they need for resources, including personnel and equipment, to protect communities, carry out inspections, and enforce safety regulations that keep the entire pipeline network as safe as possible,” US Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx said.
PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez announced the grants before an audience of state inspectors and regulators as part of the annual National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives Board of Directors meeting in Tempe, Ariz., on Sept. 1.
“These grants extend the reach of PHMSA and our State partners into our communities,” she said. “[They] allow us to have a strong local presence that is vital to effectively monitor pipelines and help protect the public from pipeline incidents.”
PHMSA said the grants provide as much as 80% of operating costs for state pipeline regulatory agencies that agree to inspect intrastate pipelines on the federal agency’s behalf.
Participating states and territories account for 330 inspectors who are responsible for more than 80% of the nation’s intrastate natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline mileage, the DOT agency said. More than 2.6 million miles of pipelines transport oil and gas to homes and businesses throughout the country, it noted.
Final grant amounts are awarded based on state expenses and annual performance scores, PHMSA said.
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