our September Newsletter we commented about HM-232:
- Hazardous Materials: Security Requirements for Offerors and Transporters
of Hazardous Materials.
regulation places some severe burdens on shippers, forwarders, and
carriers and has attracted more comments than we personally can
recall over many years."
Well, the comments
kept pouring into U.S.D.O.T./RSPA. Most of the comments recognized
the value of security programs in light of 9/11/01terrorist attacks
in New York and Washington. RSPA is attempting to address security
concerns in the transportation and distribution of dangerous goods.
They are valid concerns.
RSPA has not issued
a final rule as of October 7. The main issues are.....
D.O.T. Hazmat Registration Numbers:
RSPA has proposed that
the Hazmat registration numbers be placed on shipping papers. However,
there is no requirement for all hazmat shippers and carriers to
be registered so some shipping papers would have the registration
number while others would not. How would enforcement personnel know
who needed a number and who didn't? Overseas exporters are not required
to register at the present time. What about the one-time shipper
trying to send a can of paint to his cousin overseas? This requirement,
estimated by the DGAC to cost $416, 000, 000 nation-wide to re-program
computerized systems, would do nothing to advance hazmat/dangerous
goods security. Remember the Y2K problems with computers?
RSPA is proposing that
all shipments of dangerous goods be required to have shipping papers
(bills of lading) indicating the name and address of the shipper
and the consignee. While not a problem, and certainly no changes
are required for air and ocean shipments, no one seemed to give
any thought to truckers hauling tanks of gasoline or home heating
oil or fertilizer whereby a dispatcher instructs the driver to deliver
partial loads at multiple stops such as gas stations, homes, businesses,
and farms. And, what about the distributor who wants to protect
his client's identity from his supplier? There may be some good
valid business reasons to not let everyone know who your customers
are. Even transportation companies such as UPS and FEDEX have significant
problems with this part of the proposal.
Security Programs for Shippers,
Forwarders, Carriers, Storage Facilities, and Sub-Contractors:
A good rule but RSPA
has surely under-estimated the costs. RSPA estimates that after
the final rule is published it should take companies about 30 hours
to conjure up and implement an adequate security program at a cost
of $20.00 per hour and a total cost of $600.00 for the creative
"Woe is me", your editor,
who will be stuck with that "creative" job at R-A Specialists. I
can recall that some of my teachers in high school and college at
one time or another remarked that I was a "slow reader" - bright,
accurate, creative, maybe, but slow. From that I can deduce that
what might take fast-reader, creative people at RSPA, or 3-M, or
DuPont, or Dow, or UPS, or Fedex, or Delta Airlines, 30 hours to
create surely will take me 45 or 60 hours....and another 10 or 12
hours to refine the program after I try it out the first time. If
I give up my fringe benefits and take a cut in pay it will still
cost our small company at least $1400-$1500 to create a security
program, based upon RSPA's estimate of $20.00 per hour.
RSPA estimates the
actual training cost per employee per hour would be $10.00. Almost
all of the commenters stated that they pay far more than $10 per
hour to their employees. Add mandatory taxes, insurance, and fringe
benefits to the tune of 30-35% and even that $15 employee, if anyone
has any, and the cost rises to $20.25 per hour. We checked with
a local trucker and the cost per hour is more like $28.00 per hour.
If you consider that the employee being trained must be replaced
in the work force with an overtime employee that training cost quickly
rises to about $60.00 per hour.
The time frame for
completing the training from creation to completion would not appear
to be realistic either. DOT/RSPA is proposing that all employees
must be trained within 90 days after the final rule is enacted.
That is likely to be a tall order for large companies.
Clearly RSPA will have
to go back to the drawing board.
Security Administration (TSA) as we attempt to finalize this newsletter,
is still an Administration within the Department of Transportation,
as is RSPA, the Research and Special Programs Administration. Ultimately,
TSA will be shifted over to the Homeland Security Department, a
new cabinet-level department within the executive branch of the
U.S. Government. That is, whenever Congress finally passes the legislation.
Your humble writer
senses overlapping jurisdictional issues looming on the horizon
- RSPA, other Federal Agencies, State and Local Governments vs.
TSA and Homeland Security. While the public views TSA's primary
responsibility at this time to be passenger and baggage screening
in the airline industry, its responsibilities do include passengers,
baggage, and freight via all modes of transportation
as well. Maybe we are too pessimistic.
Department of Commerce - National Telecommunications and Information
On September 3 the
NTIA issued a notice to request comments, Docket No. 020816197-2197-01,
dealing with Section 101 of the Electronic Signatures in Global
and National Commerce Act ("ESIGN"). At issue is the present exception
to the requirement for electronic signatures for hazardous materials,
pesticides, hazardous wastes and other dangerous or toxic substances.
The exemption exists in order to satisfy DOT/RSPA and EPA requirements
for "shipping papers" and written emergency response plans for emergency
Under Section 103,
which details the Exceptions, The Secretary of Commerce must evaluate
and report to Congress whether the exceptions should continue in
effect in order to protect consumers.
The report to Congress
must be submitted no later than June 30, 2003. NTIA requests public
comments be submitted by November 4, 2002.
The issues that we
feel that you should consider are DOT and EPA shipping paper and
hazardous waste requirements and emergency response information
for responders such as fire and police departments and EMS workers.
Hard copy documents are what these emergency workers depend upon
for fast, accurate responses to chemical accidents, spills, and
"ESIGN", without continuance
of the exceptions, would or could eliminate accessibility of hazard
information to transportation personnel and emergency responders.
Goods in Dangerous Times...
Is the theme for
the Dangerous Goods Advisory Council's Annual Conference and Exposition
on November 6-7-8, 2002 at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel in Tempe
Security for dangerous
goods in transportation and distribution and regulatory updates
will be the main topics of discussion. Domestic and international
risk assessments for dangerous goods and advances in technology
topics will be covered in the popular DGAC Breakout Sessions. These
sessions give us the opportunity to learn more about these important
issues in smaller groups that always attract active participation.
North American shippers
and forwarders should also consider attending the European Road
Transport of Dangerous Goods (ADR) training class that will be conducted
in conjunction with the Conference. The two-day class will be held
on November 4-5 at the same hotel as the Conference. Discounts are
available to participants in both events. These are the same classes
that our own trainers and consultants have been attending for the
last 5 or 6 years. We highly recommend this ADR Class.
For more information
about the Conference or the Training click on www.dgac.org
While there you should
also get information on membership in the Dangerous Goods Advisory
We hope to see you
at the training and the conference. Look us up and say hello. You
will recognize us from our DGAC Member Badges.