In response to delays caused by recent terrorist events, the U. S. Department of Transportation‘s Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) has extended to Feb. 1, 2002, the comment period for its proposal on the applicability of its hazardous materials regulation to hazardous materials loading, unloading and storage. The initial closing date for submitting comments was Nov. 30, 2001. The reason for the delay, stated by Ellen Engerman, RSPA Administrator, is that ""mail operations have been significantly disturbed in recent weeks due to terrorist activities." Further evidence of slow or halted mail is also being experienced in the private sector. Utility bills, monthly payments and regular payables are also running late and are sometimes lost. While this slowness is not expected to end soon, confirming payment receipts and increased collection calls will help to identify payments that need to be resubmitted.