The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) has been awarded a grant of more than $600,000 by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to enhance the state's emergency response capabilities when dealing with hazardous materials related to transportation incidents.

Of the $600,000 grant, Massac County will receive $5995. Massac County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Brian Horn says the grant is a part of the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) grant, which Massac EMA applies for every three years.

Horn said Massac EMA had applied for the grant, listing the money would be used for GIS software as well as for mapping. Horn said the grant would be good for three years.

The purpose of a Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) grant is to protect life, property and the environment, which are at possible risk when transporting hazardous material in intrastate, interstate and foreign commerce.

These funds will help IEMA and its sub-applicants perform hazardous materials response duties and aid in the development, implementation and improvement of emergency plans for local communities and training for emergency responders to help communities prepare for a potential hazardous materials transportation incident.

The state application was submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation for consideration in the spring of 2019.

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