DOT takes issue with DC hazmat proposal

A prohibition of hazardous materials shipments through a portion of Washington DC, as adopted recently by the District of Columbia Council, may violate provisions in the Constitution, according to information from the Department of Transportation (DOT).

DOT also said that the February 1 proposal may violate federal laws on interstate commerce, the transportation of hazardous materials, and the railroad industry.

Should this legislation be signed into law, DOT will review the bill to determine whether it is preempted by federal law, and also will continue to explore other options that might be available with regards to routes for transporting hazardous materials through the nation's capital.

The proposed DC law would require hazmat carriers to obtain a permit from the Washington DC Department of Transportation to transport hazmat products within two miles of the Washington Capitol and federal buildings.

Products expected to fall under the permit include Class 1 explosives, Class 2 flammable gasses, Class 2 poisonous gasses, and Class 6 poisonous materials.

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