Amata Welcomes DOT Emergency Preparedness Grant
Washington, D.C. – Thursday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata welcomed federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The $67,148 Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) grant is directed to American Samoa Department of Homeland Security from the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
“Federal funding is important to many of the services that we rely on, in this case preparedness and handling materials safely,” said Aumua Amata. “Thank you to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Acting Director Alfonzo Pete Galea’i, and all those working on these efforts at American Samoa Homeland Security.”
(File photo) Congresswoman Amata and Secretary Chao at the Capitol
Congress created the HMEP Grant Program to allow recipients to design and implement planning and training programs based on their individual needs. The program uses a discretionary formula for States and Territories. That formula is based on census data, the number of hazmat incidents, the severity of hazmat incidents, and the estimated costs of incidents. PHMSA will be releasing Year 2 funding for the FY 2019–2021 grant cycle to all 50 States and two U.S. territories to continue conducting planning and training projects. HMEP applicants allocate grant funds towards activities such as: Developing or revising emergency plans and training activities to account for bulk transportation of energy products; Conducting commodity flow studies to determine the frequency and quantity of hazmat shipments being transported through local communities; Training emergency responders to respond appropriately to incidents involving bulk shipments of energy products as well as other hazmat.
PHMSA is issuing $20.1 million nationally in HMEP grants to states, territories, and Native American tribes to enhance local ability to respond to any hazardous materials transportation incidents. The grants assist States, Territories, and Tribes in performing response duties and aid in the development, implementation, and improvement of emergency plans for local communities and training for emergency responders. The HMEP grant program allows flexibility in implementing planning and training programs to address differing needs for each location. Well-trained first responders play a critical role in mitigating or responding to any such incident.