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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

U.S. DOT Announces Over $30 Million in Grants to Support Firefighters, Local Hazardous Materials Safety Planning and Response Efforts

Friday, September 29, 2023

PHMSA 09-23

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced today that it is awarding over $30 million to support first responders and strengthen local efforts to respond to hazardous materials incidents. 

“Firefighters and other local public servants are the everyday first-responder heroes that we rely on to immediately run to the emergency,” said PHMSA Deputy Administrator Tristan Brown. “These grants provide our emergency responders the resources they need to train and effectively respond to hazardous materials incidents.”

PHMSA is awarding grants to states, territories, tribes and non-profits through six of its grant programs. This includes approximately: 

  • $22 million for Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grants for states, territories, and tribes to train first responders on hazardous materials response and to support the development, implementation, and improvement of emergency plans for local and tribal communities. 
  • $4.7 million in Hazardous Materials Instructor Training grants to support the training of hazardous materials instructors that train employees working with hazardous materials and first responders.
  • $1.3 million in Supplemental Public Sector Training grants to support non-profit organizations that train hazardous materials instructors conducting first responder trainings.
  • $1.2 million in Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training grants to support the training of volunteer or remote emergency responders’ response to incidents involving hazardous materials shipments by rail.
  • $1 million in Community Safety grants to enhance the capabilities of communities to respond to hazardous materials emergencies and the training of state and local enforcement personnel responsible for enforcing the safe transport of hazardous materials. 
  • $290,000 in Hazardous Materials State Inspection grants to cover costs for state-run hazardous materials shipper inspections to include personnel, travel, equipment, supplies, and training for hazardous materials inspectors.  

One of PHMSA’s Fiscal Year 2023 priorities is ensuring that underserved communities are prepared and trained to respond to hazardous materials transportation emergencies. This includes community response planning and training for fire, law-enforcement, and public safety access point personnel. PHMSA has done this by increasing outreach to communities and Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) and having grantees address working with underserved communities in their grant applications. This effort helps carry out President Biden’s Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government (86 FR 7009).

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration develops and enforces regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the nation's 3.3-million-mile pipeline transportation system and the nearly 1.2 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air. Please visit for more information.