RSPA Clarifies HazMat Definitions

The U. S. Department of Transportation’s Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) has clarified hazmat rules, reiterating that these materials apply to a carrier’s possession from pickup through delivery including loading or unloading. In an announcement appearing in the October 30 Federal Register, RSPA said it does not intend to usurp the jurisdiction of other government agencies but

The U. S. Department of Transportation’s Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) has clarified hazmat rules, reiterating that these materials apply to a carrier’s possession from pickup through delivery including loading or unloading.

In an announcement appearing in the October 30 Federal Register, RSPA said it does not intend to usurp the jurisdiction of other government agencies but hopes to reduce confusion among federal, state and local agencies concerning hazmat transportation. As more government agencies are becoming involved in hazmat regulations, RSPA believes it necessary to clarify rules, agency officials said.

RSPA now defines "pre-transportation function" as any function ‘required to assure the safe transportation of a hazardous material in commerce’ such as loading packages or containerized hazmat into a vehicle or loading bulk materials.

"Loading incidental to movement" is defined as ‘loading of packaged or containerized hazmat into a vehicle by carrier personnel or in the presence of carrier personnel.’ "Storage incidental to movement" is storage of a transport vehicle, freight container or package containing hazmat between the time a carrier takes physical possession until the hazmat is delivered to the destination.

More information is in the Oct. 30 Federal Register.

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