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MAP-21 Hazmat Progress Report

Posted on 9/16/2014 by James Griffin

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.
 
With respect to returning stopped or opened packages to the supply chain, DOT feels the current rules already address these concerns.
 
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 and November of 2013, but has yet to complete the program or report their results to Congress.
 
Wetlines
 
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.
 
DOT Action: In 2013, the Government Accountability Office completed its report on wetlines. DOT expects to issue final rules on wetlines safety in early 2015.
 
Expert Hazmat Shipper Training
 
Be confident your site is prepared for compliance with the latest domestic and international hazmat shipping regulations! The Complete Multimodal Hazmat Workshops are presented nationwide and year-round and address the rules your team must know to keep your shipments safe, avoid penalties as high as $75,000 per day/violation, and ensure successful DOT inspections.

Tags: DOT, hazmat shipping, MAP 21, new rules, PHMSA

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