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August 4, 2017

Maine PUC to receive grant to help keep Maine’s pipelines safe

Maine Public Utilities Commission will receive more than $300,000 in funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation to pay for pipeline safety inspections.

The funding is through the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

PHMSA's grants program supports state pipeline safety programs by reimbursing a portion of each state's total program expenses for a given calendar year based on their performance. State pipeline safety programs assure public safety through inspecting and enforcing the pipeline safety regulations, conducting incident investigations and taking corrective actions to assure the safety and integrity of pipelines under their safety authority.

State pipeline safety programs currently employ approximately 328 inspectors who are responsible for inspecting over 80% of the nation's intrastate transmission and distribution pipelines through certifications and agreements with PHMSA.

The award was announced by U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, chairwoman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, and Angus King, I-Maine, a member of the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

"Pipelines are a safe and efficient method for transporting the energy needed by homes and businesses in communities across our state," Collins and King said in a joint statement. "By investing in robust oversight to prevent accidents, this grant will help ensure that our environment remains pristine and residents and businesses have access to low-cost energy."

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