Online Help Associations Provide Trucking Information

July 1, 2000
The transportation industry has many resources for information, but the Internet is proving to be a major supplier. Keeping a steady flow of data online

The transportation industry has many resources for information, but the Internet is proving to be a major supplier. Keeping a steady flow of data online are the industry's associations, which have always been a major asset when a carrier needs help, particularly on governmental issues, training, and hazardous materials.

Following are just a few of the many sites that offer information. Furthermore, if the specific subject can't be found on a site, most of them have links to other sites appropriate to the query. The Chemical Educational Foundation (CEF) has redesigned its web site so that many of its product stewardship materials are listed, including publications and training information. For example, a product stewardship bulletin covers Department of Transportation (DOT) training requirements. The bulletins are designed to be distributed to employees as part of in-house DOT training seminars.

CEF allied associations include Chemical Manufacturers Association, Chemical Specialties Manufacturers Association, National Association of chemical Distributors, National Paint & Coatings Association, and Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers association. CEF, based in Arlington, Virginia, was formed to expand and extend the chemical distribution industry's product stewardship outreach efforts to customers, the public, emergency responders, and local communities.

The web site links to CEF sponsors and allied organizations that can offer additional product stewardship information. On the list are The Adhesive and Sealant Council, American Petroleum Institute, Chlorine Chemistry Council, Mexican Chemical Industry Association, and many others.

There's even a new e-commerce/shopping cart function with a secure order form. CEF publications and training programs can be ordered through the service.

As part of its goal to serve communities, the web site has materials for school children and their teachers that discuss chemical safety and chemicals in everyday life. There is also an effort to promote chemistry in order to spark children to pursue a career in the chemical industry. On pages entitled: "You Be the Chemist," teachers and others involved with children can find interactive courses for the classroom. Students can hypothesize about chemical substances, collect and analyze data, and share their findings.

For further educational references, there are links to the American Chemical Society Kids and Chemistry, Bill Nye, The Science Guy, Chem-4-Kids, American Chemical Society Education Programs, National Science Teachers Association, and The Science Place. The Conference on Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA), Springfield, Virginia, keeps its members up to date on information related to the regulatory activities and affairs that affect hazardous materials transportation.

Although the web site contains a members-only entry section, others have access to a generous list of vendors where products and services for the hazardous materials industry can be obtained. Direct links are provided for consulting, emergency response, labels and placards, packaging, package testing laboratories, publications and forms, software, testing services, training, and transportation. Other sections on the site available to all visitors include news releases, annual forum information, and a list of the board of directors. American Trucking Associations has collaborated with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create the web site, Green Truck. It is an Internet-based compliance resource center and contains the environmental compliance information needed by the trucking industry. The web site is part of EPA's effort to help the regulated community to locate and read the laws and regulations that bind them, according to ATA information. "From underground storage tanks to diesel smoke testing, we've got your answers," a section reminds site visitors. Topic buttons lead to discussions on air/fuel, prevention, reference, spills, storage tanks, and waste.

Examples of subjects are technical fact sheets, regulatory information, contacts, bibliographies, notebooks, and links to related web sites.

Arranged much like the ATA's site,, the Green Truck pages cover many environmental issues. One of the topics on the home page is pressure wash/power wash discharges covered under the Clean Water Act. A list of whom to call for water-protection and wellhead information in various states can be found on a point-and-click map.

On the air and fuel page, coverage of court cases involving environmental challenges to industry is posted. There are discussions of alternative fuels and state tests for heavy duty diesel truck emissions.

The prevention section considers EPA incentives for small businesses to come forward with environmental violations and advice to purchasing agents to choose goods that do not cause excessive harm to the environment. Other topics are oil spill prevention, control, and counter measures.

For frequent Internet users, the reference page contains several links for further research. On the list are other compliance centers, environmental professional's homepage, DOT, Endangered Species Act, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, EPA regional headquarters' web site, environmental abbreviations and acronyms, and state environmental web links.

The trucking and tank cleaning industries are profiled on this page in studies by the EPA. Even more help is a list of contacts such as the Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Agencies, EPA contacts for the transportation industry, spill notification contacts, and storm water contacts. More information on spills is available on the spills page.

The storage section has information on safe fuel handling practices and checklists for voluntary self-evaluation of underground storage tanks in complying with federal regulations. The checklist is free, not copyrighted, and easily modified to a facility's particular need.

Finally the waste information page contains topics on an EPA feasibility study for electronic Internet reporting on manifests. Correct disposal for used oil and antifreeze is among the topics on the page. State solid and hazardous waste contacts also are listed. Another web site filled with information about hazardous materials is the Hazardous Materials Advisory Council (HMAC) site. The Washington DC organization serves as a non-profit education association devoted to promoting regulatory compliance and safety for hazardous materials transportation.

HMAC provides information about its public training programs that focus on regulatory compliance. Students can register for the courses online by clicking on the location and dates of choice and follow instructions. The association offers scholarship registrations to basic training courses for individuals involved in public emergency response or enforcement when the organizations they serve lack sufficient funds for training.

Classes are offered continually throughout the year at various locations in the United States. The courses meet applicable initial and recurrent training requirements specified by Subpart H of Part 172 of the DOT's hazmat regulations (49CFR), according to the web site information.

A members-only section covers regulatory issues, including HMAC comments to DOT, HMAC member publications, a membership directory, HMAC meeting minutes, and immediate access to international papers.