August 24, 2017 3:15 PM, EDT

Safety Organizations Split $4 Million Federal Grant for Hazmat Training

Six safety groups were awarded more than $4 million for training programs to enhance the ability to respond to emergencies involving hazardous materials, a federal transportation agency announced this week.

The groups splitting the grant are:

• International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Corporation for Re-Employment and Safety Training

• International Chemical Workers Union Council

• Sustainable Workplace Alliance

• Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service

• Short Line Safety Institute

• International Association of Firefighters

The grants issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration are for the education and training of public and private sector instructors who are tasked with managing emergency responses in states and municipalities.

“Well-trained first responders play a critical role in any hazardous materials incident, and this grant funding supports their efforts to protect their communities,” PHMSA acting Administrator Drue Pearce said in a statement Aug. 23.

“These grants are force multipliers in helping communities get more local first responders and employees prepared for transportation incidents involving hazardous materials,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said.

House funding leaders proposed providing PHMSA with $268 million in fiscal 2018. That would be $3.7 million above the fiscal 2017 level. Their Senate counterparts have proposed providing $272 million for the agency.