The U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced on May 24th that the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has begun accepting applications for its new Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure Safety and Modernization Grant program. The program offers around $200 million over the course of 5 years. The grant has been made possible because of the President Biden Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill signed on November 15th, 2021
There have been a lot of dangerous incidents related to gas leaks in the past due to the conventional use of cast iron pipes. Over the last decade, serious pipeline accidents in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Texas, Michigan, Alabama, New York, and New Jersey have involved legacy cast iron. The program offers nearly $200 million in grants annually over the next five years to improve the safety of high-risk, leak-prone natural gas distribution infrastructure and create good-paying jobs, benefiting underserved communities in rural and urban areas.
The funding opportunity announced is open to all municipal or community-owned utilities (excluding for-profit entities) seeking assistance in repairing, rehabilitating, or replacing high-risk, leak-prone natural gas distribution infrastructure. Funds can also be used to acquire equipment that will assist in reducing natural gas distribution pipeline incidents and fatalities and avoid economic loss from leaks.
Final award selections will consider a project’s economic benefit to disadvantaged rural or urban communities, the quality and number of applications received, the dollar amounts requested, and other factors listed in the Notice of Funding Opportunity.
The complete statement can be read here.