Newark - U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today announced the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), through the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA), has awarded $939,884 to New Jersey for the state's pipeline safety program.

"Pipelines are a vital part of our state's infrastructure and the consequences of not maintaing them can be devastating," said Senator Lautenberg, Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation with jurisdiction over pipeline safety. "This funding makes an important federal investment in our state's pipeline safety program to ensure that natural gas and other materials are transported safely. It will also provide our first responders with the resources they need to contain accidents quickly and safely."

"Our pipelines help guarantee our state has access to the energy resources it needs, but they are also a potential hazard. We need to ensure they're modern, safe, and that our first responders can efficiently respond to any accident immediately. This is important for our environment and for our families health," said Senator Menendez.

This grant supports pipeline safety programs in New Jersey to ensure safe transportation of natural gas, petroleum and other hazardous materials by pipeline. This funding will reimburse up to 80 percent of the state's costs of carrying out the program, including the cost of personnel and equipment.

In May, the Commerce Committee approved the "Pipeline Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2011," which was introduced by Senator Lautenberg and cosponsored by Senator Menendez. The legislation would help mitigate pipeline risks nationwide and would reauthorize and strengthen the authority of PHMSA through fiscal year 2014. For more information, please visit: