Beveridge & Diamond
 

Hazardous Materials Transportation

Overview

Maintaining the proper flow of products, raw materials, intermediates, wastes, and other materials between sites is vital to the operation and success of virtually all businesses. We have helped companies in a wide range of industries ensure that the movement of such materials is in accordance with the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), as well as corresponding international rules such as the Technical Instructions of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code issued by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).  Major clients in this area include a variety of manufacturers, retailers, cargo carriers, and related trade associations. A summary of representative matters is provided below.

Representative Matters

Counseling.  We advise clients in all aspects of compliance with the regulations for the domestic and international transport of hazardous materials and dangerous goods and track related developments, including the requirements for classifying materials, packaging, marking, labeling, placarding, shipping papers, emergency response information, security planning, registration, and personnel training.  

Developing Compliance Systems.  The Firm assists clients in evaluating, assessing or creating plans and programs that are either required under the regulations or designed to facilitate compliance under the regulations. For example, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. helped a nationwide retailer prepare a personnel training program, a security plan, and a system for ensuring that its numerous shipments with varying combinations and amounts of products either qualify for exceptions or satisfy applicable regulatory requirements. Similarly, we worked with the compliance officers of a major overnight transport company to evaluate and improve their compliance plans and to understand new security requirements for the purposes of DOT and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) compliance.   

Responding to Enforcement Actions.  We have represented numerous clients in the trucking, cargo airline, manufacturing and consumer retailing sectors in responding to and/or defending Notices of Violations (NOVs) and enforcement actions brought by the DOT Office of Hazardous Materials Enforcement or other agencies charged with enforcement authority under the HMR, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). For example, Beveridge & Diamond has obtained dismissals of NOVs in numerous actions brought against manufacturers, transporters and retailers in situations involving the shipment of hazardous materials by ground and air modes of transportation; by way of further example, it has successfully defended administrative enforcement actions related to goods entering the United States from abroad; state and federal claims arising out of major hazmat spills requiring response and remediation measures; and enforcement actions involving releases, alleged improper marking, labeling, packaging, shipping papers, security plans, and personnel training relative to both air and ground transport. 

Applying for Special Permits and Approvals.  We prepared an application to DOT for a special permit to streamline the requirements for a family of products with multiple hazards, varying quantities of hazardous materials and a range of different packaging arrangements.  

Applying for Letters of Interpretation.  The Firm obtained letters of interpretation from DOT on technical issues of hazardous materials classification under the HMR. 

Applying for Preemption Determinations.  We submitted an application to DOT for a determination that State rules for transport of certain used electronic products are preempted by the HMR.

Other Transportation-Related Matters

We also provide assistance to clients on a number of other transportation-related issues, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules for hazardous waste transportation (including imports and exports), DHS security requirements, various international treaties that affect movement of materials between countries (e.g., the “Basel Convention” for transboundary shipment of hazardous wastes, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Decision on recyclable materials and related bilateral agreements, and the Chemical Weapons Convention), and domestic and foreign rules relating to international shipments of toxic chemicals (e.g., under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the European Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)).