The Moving Ahead for Progress
in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) is a 2012 Federal law that amended and renewed many of the US DOT’s hazmat shipping programs. The bill directs the DOT to study, report on, and create new regulations to address many issues. Recently, the DOT reported
to Congress on its progress.
Penalties and Enforcement
The MAP-21 law includes a number of changes to the way US DOT enforces the hazardous materials regulations:
- Raised the maximum civil penalty for basic violations of the hazardous material regulations from $50,000 per day per violation to $75,000,
- Authorized the Secretary of Transportation to sanction persons who ‘obstruct’ hazmat inspections, and
- Authorized the DOT to shut down businesses that fail to pay penalties assessed for violations of hazmat safety law and regulation.
Action: The increased civil penalties went into effect immediately on July 6, 2012. Last month, the DOT finalized regulations
to enact the other new authorities.
Improve Hazmat Incident/Accident Data Collection
Under MAP-21, DOT must assess the way it collects, analyzes, and reports hazmat incident data and to develop a plan to improve its system.
DOT Action: DOT submitted an Assessment Report & Action Plan on September 4, 2013.
Clarify Enhanced Enforcement Authority
The law instructs DOT to establish a training standard for hazmat inspectors and investigators and modified inspectors’ authority to stop and open noncompliant packages in transport. DOT must also address how inspectors will return stopped or opened packages to cycle of transportation, or remove them from the supply chain.
DOT Action: The DOT did not establish new training standards for hazmat investigators/inspectors. DOT stated that its 2008 Joint Operations Manual is sufficient to direct personnel on their responsibilities.
Improve the Special Permits and Approval Program
MAP-21 requires DOT to update its process for approving and issuing special permits by taking the following steps:
LionNews will report on any more progress made toward incorporating special permits into the HMR when information is available.
Pilot Program on e-Shipping Papers
The law authorizes the DOT to conduct pilot projects to evaluate whether a paperless hazard communication system is feasible.
DOT Action: DOT issued two public notices and requests for information in July
of 2013, but has yet to complete the program or report their results to Congress.
Lastly, MAP-21 requires a study on the safety of flammable liquid residues in the external piping of cargo tank vehicles (called wetlines). The law prohibited PHMSA from issuing a final rule regarding wetlines before a study was completed.
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