Hazardous Materials Transportation
The safe transportation of hazardous materials is regulated by the US Department of Transportation (DOT), the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, among others.
The administrative unit within DOT responsible for oversight of hazardous materials, known as hazmat, is the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). The stated goals of PHMSA are:
- Safety: To reduce the risk of harm to people due to the transportation of hazardous materials by pipelines and other modes.
- Environmental Stewardship: To reduce the risk of harm to the environment due to the transportation of oil and hazardous materials by pipeline and other modes.
- Reliability: To help maintain and improve the reliability of systems that deliver energy products and other hazardous materials.
- Global Connectivity: To harmonize and standardize the requirements for pipeline and hazardous materials transportation internationally, to facilitate efficient and safe transportation through ports of entry and through the supply chain.
- Preparedness and Response: To reduce the consequences (harm to people, environment, and economy) after a pipeline or hazmat failure has occurred.
Regulatory citations and standards
The Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) regulate the safe and secure transportation of hazardous materials in commerce.
Overview of requirements
From 49 CFR 171.1:
"Federal hazardous materials transportation law (49 U.S.C. 5101 et seq. ) directs the Secretary of Transportation to establish regulations for the safe and secure transportation of hazardous materials in commerce, as the Secretary considers appropriate. The Secretary is authorized to apply these regulations to persons who transport hazardous materials in commerce."
Transporting work-related hazardous materials in your personal vehicle is not recommended.
When you prepare, mark, label, certify packages or sign shipping papers, including hazardous waste manifests and air waybills, for transportation by a non-governmental agency (e.g., waste contractor, FedEx, UPS), you are in commerce and the regulations apply.
This includes people who sign hazardous waste manifests.
The training requirements can be found in 49 CFR 172 subpart H
They require training in the following subject areas:
(1) General awareness/familiarization
(2) Function-specific training.
(3) Safety training.
(4) Security awareness training.
(5) In-depth security plan training
"A hazmat employee shall receive the training required by this subpart at least once every three years."
Training records must include:
(1) The hazmat employee's name;
(2) The most recent training completion date of the hazmat employee's training;
(3) A description, copy, or the location of the training materials used to meet the requirements in paragraph (a) of this section;
(4) The name and address of the person providing the training; and
(5) Certification that the hazmat employee has been trained and tested
Transportation of materials not offered in commerce
Some materials not offered in commerce and transported by governmental agencies for official purposes are exempt from DOT hazardous materials provisions. It is still necessary to ensure safety during transport and proper communication to first responders in the event of an accident. Procedures for these activities must provide a level of safety equivalent to that provided under the hazardous materials regulations. This includes training, packaging, marking, labeling and documentation. DOT provisions are a good best practices standard even when not required.
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Links to campus training resources
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2009 State of Wisconsin Hazardous Materials Training - Shipping & Signing Manifests (10:22 video) UW System
This publication was prepared for environmental, health and safety staff at University of Wisconsin System campuses, to assist in finding resources and information for regulatory compliance. It is not intended to render legal advice.
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