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Richmond receives additional $39M to replace aging natural gas pipes

This award is the largest award in the country and adds to the $10 million awarded to Richmond in April of 2023.

Trevor Dickerson

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Today, the City of Richmond was awarded $39 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). This award is the largest award in the country and adds to the $10 million awarded to Richmond in April of 2023. The grant funds will strengthen the region’s natural gas distribution system, managed by the Department of Public Utilities, and improve the city’s environmental responsiveness by accelerating the modernization of gas pipelines that will keep citizens safe and energy costs down.

City of Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney accepted the grant award, as he thanked the Biden-Harris administration and our federal partners, DOT and PHMSA, as well as our representatives in Congress – Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan. Mayor Stoney says, “These grant funds are hugely important as we continue to mitigate safety risks from legacy natural gas distribution pipes, particularly in underserved communities. Investments like this show a collective commitment to the safety and well-being of our communities. My administration has focused on equity since day one, which is why I’m proud Richmond can continue the work of providing access to reliable and affordable energy without further burdening ratepayers.”

Presenting the award was Massoud Tahamtani, PHMSA’s Deputy Associate Administrator. He remarked that, “This first-of-its-kind infrastructure grant program is both making communities safer and helping those rural and urban communities most in need, save money on their energy bills. We are helping communities that are still relying on pipes from the 1800s modernize their systems and reduce emissions of harmful pollution.”

The combined grant funds ($49 million) will repair, rehabilitate, or replace nearly 50 miles of pipe, resulting in a significant reduction in methane pollution emissions.

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law authorized the Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure Safety and Modernization (NGDISM) grant program, which provided nearly $1 billion in funding over the course of five years to modernize community-owned natural gas distribution pipes and help to keep communities across the country safe from dangers associated with pipeline leaks. This current grant funding is part of $392 million in grants to support 130 projects aimed at fixing aging natural gas pipelines, helping reduce air pollution and reducing costs for ratepayers in 26 states.

More information about the City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities’ gas division can be found here.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.