Hazardous Materials & Dangerous Goods Transport

Aaron assists clients with regulatory issues associated with the transport of hazardous materials or dangerous goods under the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) and their international counterparts.  Examples of his work in this area are provided below. Outcomes in individual matters may vary significantly, depending on the facts involved and other factors.

Regulatory Counseling

Aaron advises clients on compliance with the regulations for hazardous materials and dangerous goods transport including the requirements for classifying materials, packaging, marking, labeling, placarding, shipping papers, emergency response information, security planning, registration, and personnel training. His work has covered virtually all types of hazardous materials and dangerous goods, all modes of transportation—road, air, rail, and sea—and transport both in the U.S. and around the world.

Compliance System Development

Aaron assists companies in developing training programs and other internal systems to ensure that products and/or wastes are properly shipped. For example, he helped a nationwide retailer prepare a personnel training program, a security plan, and a practical guide for ensuring that its numerous shipments with varying combinations and amounts of products satisfied applicable regulatory requirements.

Enforcement Action Defense

Aaron has favorably resolved numerous enforcement actions brought by the DOT Office of Hazardous Materials Enforcement and other agencies with HMR enforcement authority, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). In many instances, he has convinced the authorities that the activities in question did not represent actual regulatory violations, did not warrant penalties, or warranted substantial reductions in proposed penalties.

Special Permits and Competent Authority Approvals

For a reverse logistics company, he prepared a successful application to DOT for a special permit to streamline the requirements for complex and diverse shipments of products containing lithium batteries. For a manufacturer that had previously obtained an emergency special permit to facilitate a product recall, he helped draft a successful application for modifications to improve the system for collection and recycling/disposal of the products.

Letters of Interpretation Applications

On many occasions, Aaron has sought and obtained favorable interpretations of applicable rules from both DOT and international dangerous goods regulators. Such interpretations have taken the form of verbal opinions and/or formal letters from the relevant authorities.

Preemption Determinations

Aaron has developed and pursued arguments that certain state rules for transport of hazardous wastes are preempted by the HMR, in one case submitting an application to DOT for a formal preemption determination.