Senators Lobby for Pipeline, Crude-by-Rail Safety Funding

Sens. Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin announced Thursday they have secured more than $782,000 in federal grants to improve the state’s response to hazardous material transportation incidents and better protect communities and families.

The first grant gives nearly $200,000 allowing West Virginia to develop and revise emergency plans and training activities for incidents that could occur by transporting crude oil by rail or road. It also conducts commodity flow studies to determine the frequency and amount of hazardous materials transported through local communities. Finally, the grant trains emergency responders to react to incidents involving bulk shipments of crude oil.

West Virginia will also receive two 2015 State Base Pipeline Safety Grants totaling more than $580,000 for pipeline safety programs.

Both senators said the Feb. 16 Mount Carbon derailment was an impetus to securing these grants.

“Our state has experienced a crude-by rail accident firsthand and we realize the importance of making sure our first responders have the resources they need to prepare for and response to these kinds of incidents,” said Manchin, D-W.Va.

“As the Fayette County train derailment demonstrated, we must be prepared to respond to potential incidents resulting from the rise of energy shipment, said Capito, R-W.Va.

The grants, the senators said, will allow first responders to react quickly and effectively to disasters such as the Mount Carbon derailment.

By:  Daniel Tyson
Source: Register-Herald