Diamond Pipeline LLC, a joint venture between Plains All American Pipeline and Valero, gave $1 million to 130 first responder organizations to supplement training and equipment needs of fire, police and EMS responders along the pipeline route. On Feb. 1, Diamond Pipeline announced the donations were handed out in 2017.
“We understand the critical role first responders serve in supporting U.S. infrastructure like the Diamond Pipeline,” said Brandon Smith of Plains All American. “With the Diamond Pipeline First Responder Grant Program, responders received additional training and equipment to respond safely to the hazards they may encounter in the service of their community.”
The average grant amount was for between $7,000 and $10,000, and the amount sometimes represented a department’s annual budget. All qualifying organizations that applied received grant money or in-kind help.
“Our priority is keeping our community safe,” said Dale Seiter, president of White Bluff-Rye Hill Volunteer Fire Department in Sebastian County. “The Diamond Pipeline First Responder Grant allows us to purchase much-needed equipment that will help our firefighters achieve that goal.”
Crude oil started flowing through the $925 million Diamond Pipeline in December 2017. The 20-inch pipeline can handle up to 200,000 barrels per day of crude oil, transported from the Cushing, Okla., storage complex to the Valero Memphis (Tenn.) Refinery that produces gasoline, diesel and jet fuel for Arkansas residents and other states in the region. More than 2,200 people helped to build the 440-mile pipeline that spans 22 counties in three states. The Diamond Pipeline has 15 full-time employees and is expected to generate $11 million annually in tax revenue along the pipeline route.