ND first responders get $500,000 federal boost to train for hazmat emergencies

WASHINGTON (Valley News Live) The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration has awarded a $516,715 grant to the State of North Dakota.

The funding, part of PHMSA’s 2017 Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Grant program, will be used to mitigate the risk of hazmat emergencies.

U.S. Senator John Hoeven is a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee. He says, “It’s important that we have planning and preparation in place so that we can quickly respond in the event of a hazmat emergency.”

He added, “North Dakota can use today’s funding for a variety of emergency preparedness efforts, including training hazmat emergency responders, developing or updating emergency plans and analyzing potential hazmat exposure risks.”

U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp says the funding, which will be provided through the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services, will help communities across the state prepare for emergency incidents involving hazardous materials.

Eligible applicants for this funding include emergency managers, fire departments, police departments, local ambulance services, counties, cities, and non-profit organizations serving local responders.

“Our brave first responders play a critical role in responding to hazardous materials incidents – and we owe it to them to make sure they have the resources they need to be prepared for emergencies,” said Heitkamp.

“This federal funding will help make sure that when dealing with incidents involving hazardous materials like crude oil – from train derailments to truck accidents – our first responders are at the ready with the tools and resources they need. These funds build on my work in the U.S. Senate on my RESPONSE Act, which is now law, to fight for the robust training and tools our first responders need to handle crude-by-rail emergencies to help keep our communities strong and safe.”