From the U.S. Department of Transportation:
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) today announced that 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands will receive nearly $44 million in Pipeline Safety Base grants and 23 communities around the country will share nearly $1 million in Technical Assistance Grants to augment state and local pipeline safety efforts.
Ohio is getting $1,055,554.
“We need partners across the country to help us in our efforts to ensure pipeline safety,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “These two grant programs fund important safety programs for states, communities and non-profit organizations to help raise awareness of pipeline safety and ensure proper inspection of pipelines.”
Pipeline Safety Base grants provide state pipeline regulators up to 80 percent of operating costs per year, based on PHMSA’s assessment of the program’s performance. State inspectors are responsible for more than 90 percent of the nation’s intrastate transmission and distribution pipelines. Participating states provide more than 300 additional inspectors, effectively tripling the number of inspectors on the ground ensuring compliance with pipeline safety regulations. The state pipeline regulators receiving the grants must sign an agreement to inspect pipelines on PHMSA’s behalf.
Technical Assistance Grants (TAG) are awarded to communities and non-profit organizations to increase pipeline safety and encourage public involvement in decision making. These grants will allow recipients to develop customized programs to enhance and promote pipeline safety programs. Examples include conducting scientific analyses of locally-focused pipeline safety issues and providing gas leak detection equipment for emergency responders. Grant recipients have also proposed to develop web-based programs and printed materials that deliver the pipeline safety message to a wider, more diverse audience. Others will provide training that keeps first responders and gas workers safe, like the Leak City training facility in Athens, Ala. Visit the program descriptions to learn more about how TAG recipients will use the funds.
“TAG recipients are on the frontline of pipeline safety in their communities,” said PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman. “These grants are an extremely valuable resource for our local and non-governmental partners.”
PHMSA began issuing TAGs in 2009, and by 2011 had awarded more than $3 million to 70 recipients. Grantees may receive up to $50,000 based on the merit of their application.
TAG recipients are required to provide a report to PHMSA within one year chronicling completion of the work as outlined in their grant agreement.
Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.