Examples of Work
- Counseling. We advise clients in all aspects of compliance with the regulations for U.S. 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. We frequently assist 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, we 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 satisfy applicable regulatory requirements or qualify for regulatory exceptions.
- Responding to Investigations and Enforcement Actions. We have represented numerous clients across multiple industries in responding to inspections and enforcement actions brought by the DOT Office of Hazardous Materials Enforcement and other agencies charged with enforcement authority under the HMR, such as the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In many instances, we convinced the authorities that the activities in question did not represent actual regulatory violations or otherwise did not warrant penalties. In other cases, we secured substantial reductions in the penalties that were initially proposed by the relevant enforcement authorities.
- Obtaining Special Permits and Competent Authority Approvals. For a reverse logistics company, we 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, we helped draft a successful application for modifications to better reflect the planned system for handling the products over time.
- Applying for Letters of Interpretation. We have obtained formal letters of interpretation from DOT on a variety of technical issues regarding the application of the HMR. We also frequently obtain informal verbal opinions from both U.S. and international regulators on similar issues.
- 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.