Hazardous Materials Driver Anti-Terrorism Tips

August 01, 2003

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued the following recommendations for Hazmat Drivers for when the National Threat Level is raised to Code Orange. They are good recommendations, however, to follow all of the time.

On the Road:

  • Be alert when driving. Look for vehicles following you, especially if there are 3 or more people in the car. If you believe you are being followed, call your dispatcher or 911 immediately.
  • When leaving your facility, be aware of any possible surveillance of your facility or your truck.
  • Don't discuss your cargo, destination, or trip specifics with people you don't know or on open channels.
  • When stopped at a traffic light or in traffic, be aware of anyone approaching your vehicle.
  • Make sure you have communication devices to contact your dispatcher and emergency officials. Carry a back-up if possible.

Stopping at Facilities:

  • Leave your truck in a secure parking lot or truck stop if possible; if not, be certain someone can watch your vehicle.
  • Never leave your vehicle running with the keys in it; shut off the engine and lock the doors.
  • If possible, don't stop in unsafe or high-crime areas.
  • Use seals or other methods to prevent and identify tampering.
  • Don't preload hazardous materials shipments without adequate security.

Protecting Your Vehicle:

  • Use an engine kill switch
  • Use tractor and trailer brake locking devices
  • Check your electronic tracking system regularly and notify your dispatcher when it's not working or tampering may have occurred.
  • If you drop a trailer, use a fifth wheel lock whenever possible.
  • Perform a quick walk-around to check your vehicle for foreign objects after all stops.

Hazmat Security Training is mandatory for all hazmat employees. In-depth security training is required for all facilities required to have written hazmat security plans. Environmental Resource Center offers hazmat security training as a part of our DOT hazardous materials training courses offered nationwide, online, or at your site. We also offer on-site in-depth security training.

Hazardous Waste Inspection Checklist

The North Dakota Division of Waste Management has developed a weekly inspection log sheet that meets the requirements of its Hazardous Waste Management Rules. The Department does not require use of this particular sheet when a facility conducts weekly inspections of hazardous waste in storage. A generator may develop their own log sheet that meets the requirements of sections 33-24-03-12 and 33-24-05-93 NDAC. A copy of the state's checklist can be downloaded here. And, if you would like to know what the inspector is looking for at your site, download the state's inspection checklist.

Hazardous Waste Quiz

Test your knowledge of the hazardous waste rules by taking this quiz. If you don't get 100% correct, it could be a sign that you need some training. To learn how to manage hazardous waste in a way that meets state and federal regulations, attend the most effective and up-to-date hazardous waste training from Environmental Resource Center.

Bakery Company to Pay $5.25 Million Penalty For Ozone Protection Violations and Phase Out CFCs

The Department of Justice and EPA have announced a settlement that resolves significant ozone-depletion violations that occurred in the United States. With this settlement, the United States has taken a major step in protecting the ozone layer worldwide by eliminating from the earth's atmosphere harmful refrigerants, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that leak from industrial appliances and have been a major cause of the depletion of the earth's ozone layer in recent years. The ozone layer protects humans and animals from damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. Excessive exposure to UV radiation can cause cataracts, skin cancer, and other ailments.

The lodging of the consent decree settles violations of Title VI of the Clean Air Act by Earthgrains Baking Companies, Metz Baking Company, Earthgrains Refrigerated Dough Products, L.P., and Coopersmith, Inc. (collectively Earthgrains). Sara Lee Corporation purchased these companies, which were incorporated into the Sara Lee Bakery Group, during the government's investigation. At the time of the purchase, Earthgrains was the second largest bakery company in the nation.

The settlement requires Earthgrains to pay a $5.25 million civil penalty for having committed the largest ever corporate-wide violations of stratospheric ozone protection regulations. In addition, Earthgrains must convert all of its industrial process refrigeration appliances to refrigerant systems that do not deplete the ozone layer. EPA estimates that the injunctive relief will cost in excess of $5 million dollars.

The United States' complaint alleges that Earthgrains' large industrial process appliances at 57 of its 67 facilities leaked refrigerants in excess of the 35% annualized leak rate permitted by the relevant regulation, and that Earthgrains failed to make prompt, proper repairs. More than 300 large refrigerant-containing appliances, several containing 1000 pounds or more of refrigerant each, were involved in the investigation.

This case follows other precedent-setting settlements with violators of the stratospheric ozone protection provisions of the Clean Air Act, and is the second corporate-wide case against an industrial baker. In the fall of 2000, Meyer's Bakeries, Inc. settled its corporate-wide violations by paying a civil penalty of $3.5 million and converting all its appliances to non-ozone-depleting refrigerants. In the summer of 2001, Air Liquide, a producer of industrial gases, settled its corporate-wide violations of these leak detection and repair requirements by paying a $4.5 million penalty and spending $500,000 on environmentally beneficial projects, in addition to converting its refrigerant systems to non-ozone-depleting systems.

EPA Seeks Penalties From Three US-to-Canada Transporters of Hazardous Wastes

EPA is seeking penalties totaling $22,880 from three companies it claims violated environmental laws regulating the transport and export of hazardous wastes from the United States to Canada.

In three complaints filed June 30 and July 1, EPA’s New England office claims Onyx Industries of Anjou, Quebec, Canada; Dart Trucking Co. of Canfield, Ohio; and Ameritech Environmental Services of Eliot, Maine violated the Universal Hazardous Waste Manifest regulations of the Resource and Conservation Recovery Act on numerous occasions, while transporting hazardous wastes from the United States into Canada .

The regulations regarding hazardous waste manifests are intended to track the movement of these wastes from generators to disposal sites, and to create clear lines of accountability among all participants to ensure that these wastes are properly managed during transportation. The three cases are targeted to those transporters with the most egregious records of violations.

EPA is seeking $7,040 from Onyx Industries; $8,360 from Dart Trucking; and $7,480 from Ameritech Environmental Services.

According to EPA’s complaints, Dart Trucking accepted hazardous wastes for transport without ensuring that a Massachusetts-based generator had properly completed and signed numerous manifests. Dart Tucking also failed to properly indicate on several manifests its acknowledgment of receipt of hazardous waste shipments from the generator prior to transport. All three companies failed to properly complete numerous manifests when leaving the jurisdiction of the United States and entering Canada at the U.S./Canadian border in Vermont.

EPA and American Chemistry Council Announce $2 Million in Grants to Develop Advanced Pollution Exposure Models

To better protect human health and the environment, EPA and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) will provide $2 million over the next three years for research grants to develop innovative statistical methods and models of human exposure to pollutants.

Human health and ecological risk assessments are key elements in EPA policy development, and a risk assessment's quality is directly related to the caliber of the models used to extrapolate laboratory data to humans or to track movement of pollutants through the environment. Dr. Paul Gilman, Assistant Administrator of EPA's Office of Research and Development, has directed the Agency to continuously update and refine the science that underpins EPA's assessment work. In 2003, EPA, as part of its Science to Achieve Results grant program, and the American Chemistry Council, through its Long-Range Research Initiative, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop joint Requests for Applications (RFAs) in research areas of mutual interest. This request for applications is the first joint effort under the agreement and should fund five to ten grants. Examples of the types of research to be funded are: modeling of pollutant exposure by demographics such as age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or urban versus rural location; modeling of multi-pathway exposures by linking information about contaminant source, transport, and human interactions with their environment; analysis of biological and behavioral factors that contribute to individual differences in exposure to pollutants.

Additional information about the RFA is available at: http://es.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/partners/acc/2003envstat_acc.html. For more information about the EPA/ACC partnership, go to: http://es.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/partners/acc/.

EPA Enforcement Taps Public for Environmental Project Ideas

EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance is inviting the public to submit ideas to EPA for potential Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs). SEPs are environmentally beneficial projects that are voluntarily undertaken by a defendant in settlement of an enforcement action with the EPA. Inclusion of a potential project in the SEP Idea Library does not mean that it will automatically be included in a particular settlement. The SEP Idea Library will be piloted for one year, beginning in August 2003. Information on how to submit ideas for potential projects is available online at http://www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/programs/seps/index.html.