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PUCO offices at 180 E. Broad Street, Columbus, will be closed on June 5, 2020. Visit us online or contact the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826).

Hazardous materials training & planning grants program

Please note the following important changes to the 2020 Hazardous Materials Training Grant program.

  • The application period opens on March 1, 2020 and closes on May 31, 2020. All applications received outside of this period will be returned.
  • The grant agreement must be signed and submitted with the other parts of the application.
  • Grant activities must be completed by June 30, 2021.
  • All reimbursement requests must be submitted by September 30, 2021.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) awards grants for the training of public safety and emergency services personnel in the proper techniques for the management of hazardous materials spills and releases that occur during transportation. If political subdivisions contract with outside consultants or institutions to conduct the training programs or planning activities for them, the political subdivision is charged with the responsibility of ascertaining the qualifications and accountability of the consultants or institutions.

Types of funding

  • Courses involving hazardous materials training on various levels, including first response awareness, operations and technician, highway response specialist, incident command and tank car specialist.
  • Intermodal hazardous materials training.
  • Incident response exercise.
  • Rail hazardous materials response training, including rail/highway incident response training.
  • Hazardous materials planning and survey studies.

The grant agreement

All applicants will submit a signed grant agreement as a part of the application. If the grant is approved, the PUCO chairperson will sign the grant agreement and a fully-executed copy will be provided to the grant recipient.

The grant recipient commits to minimum, the following conditions:

  1. Use grant funds only for activities delineated in the grant application and authorized in the grant agreement;
  2. PUCO hazardous materials training grant funds may not be used to offset payroll costs for students attending training or events funded through a PUCO hazardous materials training grant;
  3. Requests for reimbursement will be submitted on required reports of activities and expenditures;
  4. Comply with state and federal equal employment opportunity and hiring practices; and
  5. Implement the program in compliance with all conditions set forth in the grant agreement.

Approval of grants

The PUCO retains the right to approve, modify or deny grant applications based upon the needs of the applicants and the total amount of funds available. The PUCO may approve grants conditioned on stipulations that applicants must agree to fulfill.  For example, the PUCO may agree to fund a portion of the training costs, with the stipulation that the applicant provides matching funds necessary to fully fund the training course.

Travel, food, lodging, per diem costs and payroll offsets

In general travel, food, lodging and other per diem costs will not be funded for trainees or participants. Travel costs for course instructors will be considered for funding but must be reasonable and comply with US Government Services Administration per diem rates. Special circumstances may be taken into consideration but will require justification.

PUCO hazardous material training grant funds may not be used to offset payroll costs for students attending training or events funded through the grants.

Joint applications and train the trainer courses

Two or more political subdivisions may apply for a grant to fund one joint training program. Joint applications are encouraged for smaller political subdivisions of close proximity that may anticipate a joint response to hazardous materials spills or releases. Joint training programs may be cost effective for such applicants. Another cost effective use of grant funds is “train the trainer” courses.

How to apply

Complete application forms and submit during the application period (March 1 - May 31).

Reimbursement of costs

Once the Commission approves a grant, the grant applicant performs the training and submits bills to the PUCO for reimbursement. Reimbursements for the 2019 grant must be received no later than September 30, 2020 using this form.

Cleveland State University

Cleveland State University (CSU) receives specific statutory grant funds for hazardous materials training courses.  Training courses are conducted in Cleveland and at other locations within the state. Applicants may contact CSU before applying for a PUCO grant to determine if CSU can provide the proposed training.

Please write or call:

Cleveland State University
Center for Emergency Preparedness
1717 Euclid Ave, UR 244
Cleveland, OH  44115
(216) 687-5497


Contact the PUCO Hazardous Materials Grants Coordinator via email or (614) 644-6298 with questions.