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PHMSA to Open in Transit Packagings

November 4th, 2013 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News

An issue that has been under consideration for an extended period, has been finalized. The issue concerns the safety for hazardous material packagings to be opened, inspected, and closed in accordance with appropriate closure instructions by Federal agents while in transit. PHMSA is addressing certain matters identified in the Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2012 related to the Department’s enhanced inspection, investigation, and enforcement authority. Specifically, PHMSA is amending the package opening provision to include procedures for an agent of the Secretary of Transportation to open packages of perishable hazardous materials. They must also provide notification to the responsible party that an agent has exercised a safety inspection or investigation authority. In addition, they are establishing equipment requirements for agents. The Department’s enhanced inspection, investigation, and enforcement procedures were previously established through notice and comment rulemaking and thoroughly address the hazardous material transportation matters identified by Congress. This final rule is required to codify changes to Federal hazardous materials transportation law and to ensure transparency and consistency for hazardous materials inspectors across all modes of transportation. As it affects only Agency 2 enforcement procedures, there are no additional compliance costs to industry associated with this final rule.

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