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Press Release

The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (NDDES) now is taking applications for a grant program that bolsters state, tribal and local safety and efficiency in handling hazardous materials accidents and incidents. The funding, which is awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) Grant Program, is available to local responders to augment their hazardous materials safety programs and better protect all North Dakotans.

Some of the first responder organizations eligible to apply for HMEP grants include fire departments, police departments, local ambulance services, counties/cities or non-profit organizations that serve first responders. An applicant also must be part of an entity that responds to hazardous material incidents.

The HMEP grant program offers applicants a matching share for those that contribute a minimum of 20 percent to the total cost of a hazardous materials program project. Currently, North Dakota has more than $150,000 available in HMEP Grant funds, which was awarded by the U.S. DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration this month.

“With HMEP funding, local responder agencies can maintain and improve their operational skills, providing enhanced protection for their communities,” said Karen Hilfer, NDDES grants specialist. “Fire departments across North Dakota have utilized HMEP to sponsor training and exercises, enhancing their ability to respond to hazardous material accidents and spills.”

Applications are being accepted online through NDDES’s Grant Management System at: http://grants.des.nd.gov. The application deadline for this round of HMEP grants is April 28, 2023. Those who are awarded grants must then implement a hazardous materials safety program project completed within a one-year time period: Oct. 1, 2023 – Sept. 29, 2024.

Some previous HMEP grant recipients awarded through NDDES include:

  • Wells County – Received $7,500 for completion of a hazard assessment/gap analysis, which they used to update the county’s Hazardous Materials Response Plan.
  • West Fargo Fire Department – Received $9,244 to send three firefighters to a federal training center for Technician Level training.
  • Stark County – Received $9,495 to conduct a multi-jurisdictional full-scale exercise involving an oil tanker train derailment scenario.



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