Friday, September 4, 2015

Federal Railroad Administration Offers States Competitive Grant Funding for Railroad Safety Improvements

On September 1, 2015, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a notice of funding availability offering states $10 million in competitive grants to enhance the safe transportation of flammable energy products. The notice specifies that multiple awards will be granted to eligible states that guarantee the maximum benefits possible from the funding available.

State applicants may limit their federal funding request to a maximum of $3 million per project and application. Projects must “directly relate to rail lines over which crude oil, ethanol, and/or natural gas are transported” and applicants must make a contribution of at least 20 percent to the financing project.

Applications will be considered only for two types of projects, such as grade crossing improvements and track enhancements, provided that applicants submit a project narrative including safety risks and challenges assessment as well as expected project outcomes, outputs, and activities.

As stated in the notice, this competitive fund grant provides an opportunity to “promote the safe transport of hazardous materials, with a special emphasis on the movement of energy products by rail, which has increased by well over 4,000 percent in the past 7 years alone, largely due to the increase in domestic crude oil production and its transport to market.”

The deadline for applications is scheduled for November 4, 2015.

Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow

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