DOT eases requirements for security plans

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Courtesy of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

On March 9, 2010, the Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) narrowed its list of hazardous materials, or hazmats, that require security plans when transported in commerce. The new rule is effective on Oct. 1, 2010.

Currently, persons offering certain hazmats for transport in commerce must develop and implement security plans. PHMSA revised security plan requirements to align them with the Transportation Security Administration's Highway Security Sensitive Hazardous Materials program. The agency believed the changes would harmonize its security plan requirements with those of 'high-consequence dangerous goods,' for which enhanced security measures are recommended under the United Nations' Model Regulations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods.

Examples might be a highway-route controlled quantity of a Class 7 (radioactive) material; more than 25 kg of a Division 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3 (explosive) material; more than 1 liter per package of a material poisonous by inhalation in Hazard Zone A; a shipment in a bulk packaging with a capacity equal to or greater than 13,248 liters for liquids or gases or greater than 13.24 cu. meters for solids; a shipment in other than a bulk packaging of 2,268 kg gross weight or more of one class of hazardous materials that require placarding; a select agent or toxin regulated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or a select agent or toxin regulated by the Department of Agriculture; or a shipment that requires placarding.

A security plan must include an assessment of possible transportation security risks and appropriate measures to address such threats. At a minimum, the security plan must address personnel security, unauthorized access and en-route security. For personnel security, the plan must include measures to confirm information provided by job applicants for positions involving access to and handling of the hazmats covered by the plan. For unauthorized access, the plan must include measures to address the risk of unauthorized persons gaining access to materials or transport conveyances being prepared for transportation. For en-route security, the plan must include measures to address security risks anticipated during transportation, including the security of shipments temporarily stored en route to their destinations.

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