DOT And Security Regulations On The Horizon

Four issues to watch

What does 2008 hold for DOT and security regulations? Here are a few things looming on the horizon.

Hours of Service
The hours of service regulations have been placed into a state of flux, with a federal court tossing out the 11-hour driving and 34-hour reset portions. In the meantime, DOT has asked for this to be put off so that they can address the court’s concerns. Until DOT actually changes the rules or officially addresses this, we are to treat the hours of service rules as if nothing has changed. GAWDA will inform everyone as soon as the rules are officially updated.

Shipping Paper and Cylinder Decals
As of January 1, the following entries are removed from the Hazardous Materials Table 172.101 and will revert back to the appropriate Compressed gas, n.o.s. descriptions:

  • Carbon Dioxide and Nitrous Oxide Mixtures UN1015
  • Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen Mixtures,
  • Compressed UN1014
  • Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen Mixtures, Compressed UN2600
  • Rare Gases Mixtures, Compressed UN1979
  • Rare Gases and Oxygen Mixtures, Compressed UN1980
  • Rare Gases and Nitrogen Mixtures, Compressed UN1981

An example of this change that will affect many of our distributors is the rare gas mixture. This is typically a mixture of helium and argon. The new description will be “Compressed gas, n.o.s. (Argon, Helium), 2.2, UN1956,” or an alternate method that is allowed now and required by 2013 is “UN1956, Compressed gas, n.o.s. (Argon, Helium).” Distributors will need new cylinder decals and will need to change the shipping paper (Hazardous Materials Manifest) and computer descriptions by January 1, 2008. Please review the June 2007 Traffic Bulletin for more details.

Uniform Registration Fees
You should have been notified by now that you are required to register and pay a fee based on your number of commercial motor vehicles (trucks and trailers). This is a new registration in addition to the MCS-150 (which gives the USDOT number for your vehicles) and the hazardous materials registration that you are required to complete and pay a fee if you ship or transport certain amounts of hazardous materials.

Department of Homeland Security
A new regulatory section, 6 CFR Part 27, became effective on June 8, 2007. Appendix A (which has not been finalized as of press time) is a list of chemicals of concern. If you have any of these chemicals at your location in amounts at or above the threshold quantities on the list, then you will be required to register at www.dhs.gov/chemicalsecurity. You will complete an online questionnaire listing your facility information and who will be the Authorizer, Submitter and Preparer. Print the completed form, sign it and mail it to DHS. They will send you usernames and passwords that you will use to access the Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) to complete the Top-Screen evaluation and submit it to DHS.

After the CSAT Top Screen is evaluated by DHS, and if your location is determined to be a “high risk” facility, you will be requested to complete a Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA) that is used to determine which risk level you are in. Depending on the results of the SVA, certain facilities will be asked to generate a Site Security Plan (SSP) to address security gaps. The SSP is a tool to facilitate the collection of security measures, activities and systems. DHS will use the SSP to determine whether or not a covered facility is managing its risks according to its tier level. Because Appendix A has not been finalized, you are advised to wait for the finalized list.

This will be a difficult program, but not impossible. I am here to help you with this.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association
Meet the Author
GAWDA DOT & Security Consultant Michael Dodd is president of MLD Safety Associates in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Members can reach him at (573) 785-5111 and at MLDSafety@hotmail.com.