September 11, 2020

NM Delegation Secures Funding To Increase Pipeline Safety Across New Mexico

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), along with U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) has awarded a total of $1,246,218 to the New Mexico Pipeline Safety Bureau, New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and New Mexico State Public Regulation Commission. As a major energy producer, New Mexico is home to a large network of pipelines, along with other modes of energy transportation, and this funding will support public safety in New Mexico by investing in the state’s pipeline, road, and rail safety programs and prevent leaks and accidents. 

“For communities who live near oil and gas facilities, pipeline safety can be a question of life or death,” said Udall. “That’s why in the most recent reauthorization of the pipeline safety legislation I pushed for strong safeguards that protect communities from dangerous methane leaks that also exacerbate climate change. Funding like this is also critical to protecting public health and the environment. I will keep fighting to make sure that we do all we can to protect New Mexicans from pipeline accidents.”

"I am proud to support this critical federal funding to ensure pipelines, roads, and rail infrastructure serving New Mexico's oil and gas industry are all up to the highest standards of safety. We must invest in infrastructure improvements like this to prevent leaks and accidents, and support efficient transportation for our state's important energy industry. I will keep doing everything I can to secure forward-looking economic investments in every corner of our state," said Heinrich.

“As a major energy producer, New Mexico must have strong infrastructure that keeps residents and our environment safe. Alongside the New Mexico delegation, I’m proud to announce these important grants to invest in pipeline, road, and rail safety programs and bolster public safety,” said Luján

"Our communities deserve to be safe from the environmental hazards posed by energy extraction and exports, but at times, the industry has prioritized profits over the health and safety of our families. This funding will ensure that communities surrounding pipelines in our state  have the necessary infrastructure to keep New Mexicans safe and reduce the likelihood of major accidents," said Haaland.

“As New Mexico’s energy industry continues to navigate the challenges brought on by COVID-19, it is critical we find ways to work together in order to remain a net energy exporter.  I’m pleased to announce DOT investments in the New Mexico Pipeline Safety Bureau, New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management,and New Mexico State Public Regulation Commission, which will help to ensure the safe production and transport of oil and gas in our state,” said Torres Small.

New Mexico Pipeline Safety Bureau will use this funding to ensure public safety in communities surrounding pipelines 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. Additionally, the Bureau will use the awarded One Call Grant to improve the states’ damage prevention program.

New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will use the funding to support emergency planning programs and training activities to ensure safe transportation of energy products by rail or road. 

New Mexico State Public Regulation Commission will use the funding to support state-wide pipeline safety training programs.

The full breakdown of the $1,246,218 in grants is below:

- New Mexico Pipeline Safety Bureau: $941,734

- New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management: $204,484

- New Mexico State Public Regulation Commission: $100,000