PIPELINE INSPECTION, PROTECTION, ENFORCEMENT, AND SAFETY ACT OF 2006 -- (House of Representatives - December 06, 2006)
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Mr. BARROW. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, I want to express my gratitude today to Chairman Young and Ranking Member Oberstar and to the chairman of the Subcommittee on Highways, Transit and Pipelines, Mr. Petri, and the ranking member, Mr. DeFazio, for working with me to include an amendment I offered in the committee's markup of this bill last summer. I also want to thank the International Association of Firefighters for supporting this amendment, and Jennifer Esposito with the Transportation Committee for her hard work on this bill and the amendment.
The amendment included in this legislation increases the emergency response grant program by $4 million a year to a total of $10 million a year. The amendment also requires training standards to make sure that emergency responders have the training they need to protect nearby people, property and the environment from the effects of accidents or incidents involving gas or hazardous liquid pipelines.
I have a letter of support for this amendment from the International Association of Firefighters, and I will include this letter in the RECORD.
Mr. Speaker, this is important legislation to make our communities safer, and it gives first responders the training and resources they need. I encourage all my colleagues to support it.
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
Washington, DC, July 19,2006.
Hon. JOHN BARROW,
DEAR REPRESENTATIVE BARROW: On behalf of the Nation's more than 270,000 professional fire fighters and emergency medical personnel, I applaud you for your efforts to improve emergency response to accidents involving gas or hazardous liquid pipelines. We strongly support your amendment to H.R. 5782, the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act, to require strong emergency responder training standards, as well as your amendment to provide additional funding for emergency response grants.
While the safety of emergency responders can never be fully guaranteed, the number of injuries resulting from gas or hazardous liquid accidents can be significantly reduced through appropriate training. While training is always necessary for new recruits, refresher training must also be provided on a continuing basis to ensure the ongoing safety of all first responders.
Furthermore, in responding to an incident involving hazardous materials, it is extremely important that emergency responders are not simply trained, but are trained at a level appropriate to their response. Unfortunately, the level of training currently provided in many States and localities is inadequate to prepare emergency responders to respond to an accident involving gas or other hazardous materials. Your amendments not only help provide adequate. funding to ensure that all emergency responders are trained, but ensure that responders are trained to contain any release from a safe distance, keep it from spreading, and prevent people, property and the environment from harmful exposures.
Thank you for your leadership on these vital issues. We appreciate your continued support of our Nation's first responders and look forward to working with you in the coming weeks to enhance hazardous materials emergency response.
Director, Governmental Affairs.
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