US Pipeline Regulator Awards $15 Million Grants to Improve Safety

(Reuters) — The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) on Wednesday awarded $14.8 million in grants for pipeline safety training and technological research.

The grants, authorized under the 2020 Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act, add to the $64.4 million of funding in August for the safety of pipeline and underground natural gas storage operations.

The funds will support projects spanning from safety training and educational initiatives to advancements in safety tech, with damage prevention centers, community organizations, non-profits and six universities standing to benefit.

The largest share of $5.8 million has been allocated to support training for incident response related to transportation of gas or hazardous liquids transportation through pipelines.

This is followed by $4.3 million for research on carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and older, higher risk pipelines, $2.6 million for damage prevention by states, and $2 million for technical assistance.

The world's largest pipeline system would need every level of government and the non-profit sector working together to mitigate risk, said PHMSA Deputy Administrator Tristan Brown.

Last month, PHMSA also proposed new rules to improve safety on the country's gas distribution pipelines through the improvement of emergency response plans, integrity management plans and operation manuals.

The updated regulations came in response to the Massachusetts gas explosions in 2018, linked to a utility, which killed one person and injured 22 others.

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