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November 2001 Newsletter
Regular Edition!
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We still find it difficult to get into the mood to sit down and compose a newsletter...

AA 587:
Just as we were ready to transmit this newsletter to our Webmaster on November 12, a bulletin came over our radio that American Airlines Flight 587 from JFK, New York to Santo Domingo had crashed during its takeoff at about 9:15 A.M. New York time. 260 passengers and crewmembers were on board that flight. Five of the passengers were infants. At this early stage the cause of the accident would appear to be mechanical or perhaps a structural problem.

As we were finishing up the original version of this month's newsletter approximately 500 identifiable bodies have been recovered and there are still approximately 4800 people missing in the rubble that was once the Twin Towers - New York's famous World Trade Center. Foreign visitors and undocumented workers with no local family ties could cause that number to rise if we can ever get an accurate listing. We are still unsure of the final death toll.

At the Pentagon in Washington D.C. 125 employees and 64 people on American Airlines flight 67 died. United Flight 93 had 45 persons on board, including 5 hijackers. That flight crashed in southwestern Pennsylvania. 157 passengers and crew died in the two aircraft that attacked the World Trade Center.

We salute the 40 brave passengers and crew members of United Flight 93, the Newark to San Francisco flight that was diverted towards Washington D.C. Those heroic people surely prevented a much greater tragedy by attacking the hijackers and causing the aircraft to crash in an unpopulated area in Somerset County, Pa. Their courage shall guide the rest of us if we ever are unfortunate enough to be in a similar circumstance - fight back!

The November HMAC Annual Conference in New Orleans was a very successful and productive meeting with many interesting speakers and very effective "break-out" sessions dealing with safety audits and training techniques. Because of the September 11 attacks security issues constantly surfaced and were included in one form or another in almost all of the presentations. It also became topics of group get-to-getters during breaks, lunch, dinners, and the usual cocktail hour. We enjoyed the benefit of exchanging ideas and approaches concerning training and handling dangerous goods.

The Keynote Presentation was by DOT's Research and Special Programs Administration's new Administrator, Ellen G. Engleman. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 21, 2001, ten days after the 9-11 attack. The D.O.T.'s press release at that time:

"Ellen G. Engleman was sworn in today as the new administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA). Engleman was confirmed by the Senate on Sept. 21." "Ellen's immense skill in strategic planning and business development will make her a welcomed addition to the department's leadership team,

" U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said. "RSPA will greatly benefit from her ability to educate, communicate and develop successful partnerships that are sure to significantly increase the agency's visibility among the transportation community."

"Engleman's career includes almost 20 years of experience in public and governmental affairs, public policy and administration. Prior to her appointment she served as president and chief executive officer of Electricore, Inc., a non-profit research and development consortium responsible for developing advanced transportation and energy technologies through federal private and public partnerships."

The press release did not do her justice. She is an outstanding communicator who supports aggressive enforcement and a team approach with no jurisdictional disputes between the DOT Modes and other administrations and agencies within the U.S. Government.

Ms. Engleman already has a marvelous grasp of issues. She prefers technology type solutions, a worldwide emphasis on transportation security, a tracking system for trucks, and driver security issues in the issuance of CDL's. She also favors the establishment of an "800" 24 hour phone contact to report stolen trucks.

For more information concerning technology solutions go to:

Editorial comment: Drivers beware - security issues such as unlocked cabs and cargo compartments, valid CDL's with proper endorsements, and training records, will be big issues in the immediate future.

HMAC President Alan Roberts provided an informative look at what lessons we have all gained from the investigation of hazmat accidents and incidents.

In the breakout sessions Donna Edminster of Rhodia, Inc. showed us how to accomplish compliance through internal safety audits and John O'Connell, the Director of the DOT's Office of Hazardous Materials Enforcement explained the tact taken by DOT when they audit a shipper, forwarder, or carrier. He provided some very interesting statistics concerning compliance audits and, not surprisingly, pretty much agreed with similar statistics issued by at least two European Countries.

The other breakout session dealt with training. Ed Sprenkle of the Air Line Pilot's Association (ALPA) presented a very interesting perspective from the pilot's point of view and their safety initiatives. Vaughn Arthur of HMAC gave an impressive presentation concerning job-related training, and Harold Reed of STS Training stole the show with a hilarious presentation on how to make training interesting.

Ed Bonekemper, RSPA's Assistant Chief Counsel, gave an interesting speech on RSPA initiatives. On the immediate horizon will be increasing civil penalties from a maximum of $27500 to $100,000. More stringent training requirements will surely be put into effect.

But, perhaps the most interesting comments made by Mr. Bonekemper with his remarkably clear, attorney's voice, concerned "knowing violations", which he clarified to mean "know, or should have known". He went on to explain that a carrier cannot ignore "reasonable care" and must apply a reasonable inquiry and be alert to prior mistakes on the part of shippers.

For very important information about "knowing violations" and "reasonable care" you should check out the following RSPA/DOT link: http://hazmat.dot.gov/rules/ost01_10380.htm

We should all be aware that the stock answer "Its not my job" is no longer satisfactory. You should read the DOT comments at the above address if you are involved in transporting dangerous goods.

Those attendees who had to leave a little early because of travel connections missed out on part or all of an outstanding joint presentation by Linda Hume-Sastre of Transport Canada and Bob Richard, the International Standards Coordinator for RSPA/U.S. D.O.T. In addition to their great presentation they donated additional hours to explain present and future regulations, and proposed new initiatives that will be affecting Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Ms. Hume-Sastre had jokingly opened the presentation by calling it the "Linda and Bob Show". We hope that our dedicated colleagues at HMAC book the "Linda and Bob Show" for at least the next 20 years.

In our July 2001 Newsletter we had mentioned that we were pleased to revisit New Orleans with its magnificent restaurants and rich history. It took an immense effort in self-control to refrain from sampling all of the restaurants and sadly, we really had no time to do any sightseeing. Of course, my family will never believe that line!

The 2002 HMAC/Pira International Global Dangerous Goods Conference, "Obstacles to the Transport of Dangerous Goods: How are We Overcoming Them?" will be held April 4 and 5 in Antwerp, Belgium. This event is the perfect platform for our European friends to voice opinions and to gain a vast amount of knowledge concerning the safe transportation of dangerous goods.

For our visitors to this website who ship or transport dangerous goods but are not members of HMAC you should visit http://www.hmac.org


During the early evening of September 28 a volunteer fire department chief received an emergency call to a cargo facility in Farmingdale, NY when employees complained of sickening fumes that seeped from a "cardboard" box. According to our local paper it turned out to be a "run-of-the-mill" spill of a non-toxic material, a flavoring extract that was not flammable. The fumes sent 20 people in ambulances to a local hospital. Most were complaining of nausea. Another 8 employees were treated at the scene. According to the fire chief, the material was not toxic but because it was so concentrated it sickened the employees. This is precisely why IATA used ID 8027 for aromatic and flavouring extracts, liquid and solid, for many years. In more recent years ICAO (and D.O.T. and IATA) adopted UN 3334, Aviation Regulated Liquid, N.O.S. and UN 3335, Aviation Regulated Solid, N.O.S. to cover these so-called "non-regulated" substances that can cause so much discomfort or annoyance to crew members and passengers.




Your HAZMAT quiz for November, 2001:
Just roll your mouse over the for the answer!

We have used up a lot of space with this newsletter so this month's quiz will consist of six questions...

  1. Who is Manfred von Richthofen?

  2. Which major U.S. airport had a major security breach when a passenger got through the screening process with 7 knives, a can of mace, and a stun gun?

  3. What is the name of the security subcontractor involved in question number 2?

  4. What major airport originated the two aircraft that attacked New York's World Trade Center?

  5. What is the name of the security subcontractor involved in question number 4?

  6. What is the name of the security subcontractor recently awarded contracts at Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) to provide security for Delta and Southwest?

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