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Hazardous Materials

Laws, rules, regulations, orders, and standards relating to the safety of highway transportation of hazardous materials should be nationally uniform.  There are certain areas where the federal government should have exclusive jurisdiction of regulations governing hazardous materials transportation.  State governments should share concurrent jurisdiction with the federal government in regulating the routing of hazardous materials.

States or localities that believe federal standards are deficient should be encouraged to petition to revise such federal standards rather than acting unilaterally to regulate hazardous materials in transportation.  There may be instances when a state or locality should be allowed to adopt or continue to enforce a law, rule, regulation, order, or standard until such time as the federal government adopts a rule, regulation, order, or standard covering the same subject matter, and when the state or local requirement:

  1. Is necessary to reduce or eliminate a local safety hazard;
  2. Is not incompatible with any federal law, rule, regulation, order, or standard; and 
  3. Does not create an undue burden on interstate commerce.

All motor carriers should be required to register with the federal government as a prerequisite to transporting hazardous materials.  There should be a federal requirement that motor carriers train, test, and certify drivers of hazardous materials vehicles, for safety and to forestall state and local requirements for testing and licensing of such drivers.

TCA supports the creation of a federal fund to address the needs of state and local personnel who respond to hazardous materials accidents and incidents.  Fees established would be broad-based and funded by all carrier modes, manufacturers, and shippers of hazardous materials.  The fees shall be reasonable and graduated to reflect the differing risks among hazardous materials.  All monies collected from these fees would be used solely for the training and equipping of hazardous materials response personnel and would be specifically directed to replace state and local hazardous materials fees, permits, and registrations.  State and/or local acceptance of Federal funds would preclude those jurisdictions from assessing like fees. 

A driver of hazardous materials vehicles should be considered qualified based on knowledge, training, and experience.  There should not be a special age requirement for such drivers in less-than-truck-load service.  Any experience requirement should be based on a time period.  Reports of accidents involving such drivers should not require detailed background information about the driver on a routine basis.  Such details should be requested by government as needed. 

Efforts to control pollution resulting from hazardous wastes should not be detrimental to the trucking industry.

TCA supports regulations to encourage re-use and recycling of hazardous wastes generated by the trucking industry.

Criteria for placing hazardous materials vehicles out of service should be applicable only to motor vehicles that are subject to placarding, and only if there is a violation of hazardous materials requirements that would result in an imminently hazardous situation in the event of spill or leakage of the hazardous materials. 

Amended June 21, 1995