DHSES Announces $1 Million in Funding for Hazardous Materials Teams

ALBANY, NY (10/19/2011)(readMedia)-- The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) today announced the availability of $1 million in funding to develop regional Hazardous Materials (HazMat) teams across New York State.

"The targeted HazMat grant funds are another dimension of our comprehensive State Homeland Security Strategy. Preparedness and response capabilities can be strengthened by collaborating on a regional level," said Acting DHSES Commissioner James Sherry. "We are working closely with the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) to enhance these regional capabilities to better protect the citizens we serve."

The HazMat Grant Program focuses on the development of regional partnerships to enhance hazardous materials response capabilities statewide. Since the grant was launched in 2008, 20 regional partnerships have received $2.5 million cumulatively to enhance their partnerships' capabilities. Funding for the 2011 initiative is made available through the federal FY2011 State Homeland Security Grant Program.

HazMat teams respond to many types of incidents, including those involving poisons, flammable liquids, and gases. The threat of terrorism has placed higher expectations on the state's HazMat Teams, which continually prepare for terrorism-related incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive agents. Support provided through the HazMat Grant Program allows teams to better protect New Yorkers by working together regionally to improve that state's terrorism preparedness capabilities.

Building on the progress made in 2008-2010, the core objectives for 2011 HazMat Grant Program include:

  • Development and enhancement of regional HazMat partnerships;
  • Advancement of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)/HazMat response and decontamination capabilities;
  • Increasing the National Incident Management System typing-standing of New York State HazMat teams.

Due to the regional focus of the grant program, individual HazMat Teams are not eligible to apply – instead, two or more HazMat teams in the state must pair together. The "submitting partner" must be a local, publicly-funded HazMat team, while "participating partners" can include both public and/or private HazMat teams. The application request cap is $125,000 and funds can be used to support equipment acquisition, planning, training, and exercise activities. Applications must be filed with DHSES by December 21, 2011.

In conjunction with the commencement of the 2011 HazMat Grant Program application period, DHSES is hosting the fifth annual HazMat Leadership Forum, October 21-22, in Lake Placid, NY. This event brings together HazMat team leaders from across the State to reinforce relationships, develop strategies for future regional efforts, and identify "best practices" and "lessons learned" within the State's HazMat community.

"The Hazardous Materials Leadership Forum has proven to be an outstanding opportunity for information exchange between the state and local HazMat experts," said Acting State Fire Administrator Bryant Stevens, who also serves as Director of OFPC. "The feedback and participant comments received from past forums have been beneficial to the enhancement of future grant programs, training, and other associated HazMat activities."

For more information, go to: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/grants/hazmat.cfm.