Boston’s hazmat daytime ban extended

| May 24, 2010

The City of Boston is working under a 45-day extension of its daytime ban on trucks carrying hazardous materials.

The federal government had just lifted the ban May 17 after city officials repeatedly failed to justify the ban as required by law. City officials had asked the government for a nine-month extension.

Trucks hauling hazardous materials through Boston will be allowed to drive through only between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m., which continues a restriction the city put in place in 2006.

Boston’s de facto daytime ban on hazardous material hauling within the city limits ends today, May 17.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration made its ruling Nov. 16 in response to requests for a ruling from the American Trucking Associations and the Massachusetts Department of Highways. Enforcement was delayed until now to allow time for Boston officials to comply with federal requirements.

Federal law preempts certain highway routing requirements Boston instituted in 2006 because the city failed to comply with FMCSA’s standards for establishing or modifying a hazmat route, the agency said. Boston instituted the ban because of the change in administration of the city’s hazmat permitting system.

The revisions at issue were implemented in the building of the Big Dig, or the Central Artery Tunnel, which moved underground a portion of Interstate 93 through Boston.