The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is making $1 million in grant funding available for training and outreach programs to help local communities prepare for transportation incidents involving hazardous materials, including crude oil and ethanol. The new grant program was created by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), which was passed on December 4, 2015.This funding can also be used to improve training for state and local personnel who enforce hazardous materials regulations.

State, local personnel will be trained

“Enhancing the safe transport of hazardous materials by rail is one of the Department’s top priorities,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx. “Community Safety Grants will focus on training state and local personnel responsible for enforcing its safe transportation, and fills a critical gap in funding. This new grant program offers another tool in their toolbox.”

DOT carries out many activities to improve hazardous materials safety, including stakeholder engagement, rulemakings, safety advisories and emergency orders,  ensuring the proper classification and packaging of hazardous materials, enforcement, emergency response training and information, and scientific research. Grants for emergency planning ensure emergency responders are informed and able to mitigate and manage a hazardous materials incident.

Where the money goes

“Last year, PHMSA awarded $20.2 million in grants to States, territories, and Native American Tribes to support emergency planning for incidents involving hazardous materials.  We also awarded $10.9 million in grants to non-profit organizations, including grants that provide training for volunteer or remote emergency responders," said  PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez. “Training and education are essential to ensure that local communities have the information they need to prepare for emergencies.” 

Most hazardous materials transportation emergency preparedness grants are funded by annual user registration fees paid by shippers and carriers of certain hazardous materials in commerce.  The $1 million for the Community Safety Grant was  authorized by Congress in the FAST Act and is supported with funds appropriated for hazardous materials safety. The anticipated start date for this FY 2016 grant program is September 30, 2016.

How to apply

Applicants for this funding opportunity are required to apply electronically through  The due date for application submission is July 1, 2016, by 5:00 PM Eastern Time.  For further information, contact the PHMSA Hazardous Materials Grants Division at