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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

DOT Issues Nearly $2.5 Million in Grants to State Entities, Local Communities, and Non-Profit Organizations to Spur Involvement in Pipeline Safety Efforts

Friday, September 29, 2017

PHMSA 18-17
Friday, September 29, 2017
Contact: Mark Sanborn
Tel.: (202) 366-4831

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced today that it is issuing $2,488,497 in grants to state entities, local communities, and non-profit organizations to address pipeline safety challenges related to damage prevention and to promote more involvement in local pipeline safety initiatives and awareness efforts.  The grants are being awarded to governmental entities and organizations spread across 24 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

“The grants we’re issuing today are more than just about protecting pipelines or promoting awareness, it’s about saving lives,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.  “States and localities know best what their unique challenges are and these grants will help them develop specific solutions to meet their individual pipeline safety needs.”

Of the grants issued today, PHMSA is awarding $1,499,939 in State Damage Prevention (SDP) program grants to 16 states and Puerto Rico.  Awarded annually, the grants are used to strengthen efforts in addressing pipeline failures attributed to activities such as excavation damage, one of the leading causes of pipeline accidents resulting in fatality or injury. The grants are also used to assist in establishing damage prevention programs where they do not currently exist. 

Since 2006, excavation damage has resulted in over 33 human fatalities, 144 injuries, and over $249 million in property damage nationwide.  PHMSA has awarded more than $13.6 million in SDP grants to 40 state entities since 2008 to encourage states to continue implementing the nine elements of an effective damage prevention program, outlined in the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement and Safety Act of 2006.  Program elements include the use of effective communications, partnerships, fair and consistent enforcement, training, and technology to help minimize the possibility of negative consequences resulting from inadvertent contact with underground pipelines.  The complete breakdown of the SDP grant recipients and awarded amounts are in Table 1 listed below. 

To accompany its SDP grants, PHMSA awarded a total of $988,558 in pipeline safety grants for technical assistance to 12 local community and non-profit organizations.  PHMSA’s Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) program encourages local communities and non-profit organizations to help communities develop pipeline safety and education programs specific to their needs through technical assistance. 

The TAG awards provide funding for a broad range of activities, including improving or developing local pipeline emergency response capabilities, safe digging or damage prevention programs, pipeline safety information resources, community and pipeline awareness campaigns, and public participation in official proceedings that pertain to pipelines.

Since the TAG program’s inception in 2009, PHMSA has awarded more than $7 million to fund 166 individual technical assistance projects to help local communities and organizations address their pipeline safety needs. The complete breakdown of the TAG recipients and awarded amounts are in Table 2 listed below.

Table 1: FY 2017 State Damage Prevention Grant Funding

Grantee Amount
Colorado 811 $100,000
Connecticut Call Before You Dig, Inc. $97,920
Idaho Division of Building Safety $90,000
Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission $100,000
Kansas Corporation Commission $90,033
Louisiana Department of Natural Resources $80,000
Maryland Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Authority $99,950
Michigan Public Service Commission $97,104
Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety $100,000
Mississippi Public Service Commission $97,500
Missouri Public Service Commission $69,675
Nebraska State Fire Marshal $98,707
Nevada Public Utilities Commission $85,000
New Jersey Board of Public Utilities $100,000
New Mexico Pipeline Safety Bureau $67,550
New York 811 $30,000
Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and Public Works $96,500

Table 2: FY 2017 Technical Assistance Grant Funding

Grantee State Award
Alamo Improvement Association California $100,000
Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary Foundation Louisiana $100,000
Brookings County South Dakota $9,000
Center for Rural Development Kentucky $100,000
City of Vineyard Utah $82,459
County of Chester Pennsylvania $44,662
County of Delaware Pennsylvania $75,000
Louisiana State Police Louisiana $100,000
North Central Florida Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team Florida $98,000
Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission Texas $100,000
Pipeline Safety Trust Washington $79,437
West Central Texas Council of Governments Texas $100,000

More information about grants to states and communities offered by PHMSA’s pipeline safety program is available on the agency’s website.

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The mission of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is to protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials that are essential to our daily lives. PHMSA develops and enforces regulations for the safe operation of the nation's 2.7 million-mile pipeline transportation system and the nearly one million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air. Please visit http://phmsa.dot.gov or https://twitter.com/PHMSA_DOT for more information.

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