Officials Urge Hazmat Handlers to Be Cautious

| April 07, 2005

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued more security reminders for hazardous waste handlers, coinciding with the Research and Special Programs Administration assuming the lead rulemaking role for security of carriers hauling hazardous waste.

The FMCSA was among the federal agencies alerting the public to possible terrorism threats as the United States entered its war with Iraq.

The agency posted information on its website for industry, law enforcement and driver outreach. The driver outreach, listed as a hijacking brochure or poster, is titled “America Needs You.”

That guide provides driver tips for avoiding hijacking on the road and while stopped, as well as tips for protecting a truck. “If something doesn’t seem right, call the police, the FBI or your dispatcher,” the guide stated.

Its “Increased Risk Notice” asks hazmat companies, drivers and workers to review a list of core reminders because of “ongoing security threat.”

More information is available at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/security.

The RSPA has assumed the lead in rulemaking to address the security of hazmat shipments by motor carriers. The agency is one of nine major U.S. Department of Transportation agencies, and it will develop regulatory action in this area and establish its own docket number. More information is available at www.rspa.dot.gov/.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a fact sheet on Operation Liberty Shield March 17, a comprehensive plan to protect infrastructure while allowing goods and people to cross American borders.

It includes increased border surveillance, cargo screening and close working relationships between the government and hazmat handlers. The department suggested hazmat companies use employee identification checks and emphasize operator awareness.
More information is available at www.whitehouse.gov/homeland/.

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