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RSPA Extends Comment Period on Hazmat Proposal

THE COMMENT period has been extended on a proposed Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) rule regarding hazardous materials loading, unloading, and storage. The comment period has been extended until November 30, 2001. In addition, RSPA is conducting two public meetings on the subject: September 14 in Washington DC, and October 30 in Diamond Bar CA.

RSPA wants to establish when transportation actually begins, and to expand hazardous materials authority to federal, state, or local regulations that govern occupational safety and health and environmental protection.

The proposal defines transportation beginning when a carrier takes possession of a hazardous material, and continues until the carrier delivers the package containing the hazardous material to its destination as indicated on shipping papers.

RSPA recommends that standards be established for actions required in preparing hazardous materials for shipping, as well as for functions involved in the transportation itself. The proposal would distinguish functions that are subject to the hazardous materials rule and those that are not subject to the rule.

The proposal also includes the statutory criteria under which non-federal governments may be precluded from regulating in certain areas.

Written comments should be submitted to the Dockets Management System, Department of Transportation, Room PL 401, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington DC 20590-0001. Comments should identify Docket Number RSPA-98-4952 (HM-223) and be submitted in two copies. Comments can be e-mailed by accessing the Dockets Management System web site at “http://dms.dot.gov/<http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://dms.dot.gov/>” and following the instructions for submitting a document electronically.

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