The official creation of two new agencies at the Department of Transportation (DOT) has been announced by Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.
The Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) were authorized November 30, 2004, when President Bush signed the Norman Y Mineta Research and Special Programs Improvement Act.
As part of the reorganization, the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) will cease operations February 20, 2005.
All RSPA programs have moved to one of the two new agencies or the Office of the Secretary.
RITA will be dedicated to the advancement of the department’s priorities for innovation and research in transportation technologies and concepts. PHMSA will oversee the safety of the more than 800,000 daily shipments of hazardous materials in the United States and the 64 percent of the nation’s energy that is transported by pipelines, according to DOT information.
RITA will be composed of staff from RSPA’s Office of Innovation, Research and Education, and include the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge MA and the Transportation Safety Institute in Oklahoma City OK. RITA also will house the Secretary’s Office of Intermodalism and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Staff from the former RSPA Office of Hazardous Materials Safety and Office of Pipeline Safety will form PHMSA.