HazMat gets new DOT agency

NPTC 2005 Conference

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta has announced the creation of two agencies—one of which will focus on HazMat and pipeline safety with the other to research transportation technologies.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) were authorized on Nov. 30, 2004 when President Bush signed the Norman Y. Mineta Research and Special Programs Improvement Act.

Specifically, PHMSA will oversee over 800,000 daily hazmat shipments and fuel that is transported by pipelines.

Officials from the former Research and Special Programs Administration’s (RSPA) Office of Hazardous Materials Safety and Office of Pipeline Safety will form PHMSA. RSPA will be disbanded as of next week so that a "better focused" PHMSA agency would emerge, a DOT official said.

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