By Doug Graham, CHMM Sr. Compliance Advisor & Training Manager
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is modifying current security plan requirements applicable to shippers and carriers of hazardous material.
Based on an evaluation of the security threats associated with specific types and quantities of hazardous materials, the final rule narrows the list of materials subject to security plan requirements. The final rule also clarifies certain requirements related to security plan components, training, and documentation.
In a qualitative risk evaluation, DOT considered the following factors when deciding how the new security planning requirements would better address actual terrorism threats: (1) Physical and chemical properties of the material or class of materials and how those properties could contribute to a security incident; (2) quantities shipped and mode of transport; (3) past terrorist use; (4) potential use; and (5) availability.
In this "new look" at which materials pose significant risk, DOT explained that , "One of the most significant security vulnerabilities involves the potential for an individual or group to take control of a conveyance containing a high-risk material and move it to a site where the material could cause maximum physical or psychological damage. For some hazardous materials, the primary security threat involves theft or highjacking of raw materials for use in developing explosive devices or weapons".
So, based upon this fresh analysis and the need for clarification to the original rule, the following is a summary of the regulatory changes to the security planning rule that are slated to go into effect on October 1 of 2010:
- Firstly, the list of materials being either offered or transported, which would trigger the requirement for developing a security plan has changed. The list, found in 49 CFR 172.800(b) currently identifies seven categories, including placardable quantities. The new list identifies sixteen very specific categories of hazardous materials, most of which have threshold quantities.
- Secondly, the required components of a written security plan under 49 CFR 172.802 have been clarified and expanded. Hi-lights include:
- clarification that the plan must address risks associated only to those materials identified in 172.800(b);
- there must be a senior management official identified who is responsible for development and implementation of the plan;
- the plan must identify security duties for each position or department responsible for implementing all or part of the plan;
- the plan must describe the process for notifying employees when plan elements are to be implemented; and
- the plan must be in writing, retained (paper or electronic), available to employees responsible for implementing it, updated as necessary, reviewed annually, and made available to the DOT for inspection, upon request.
- And lastly, the security training requirements under 172.704 have been clarified.
In summary, it is anticipated that many employers who currently require security plans solely due to offering placardable quantities of common hazardous material will no longer need them. Additionally, those who will still require security plans under the new rule will need to make major revisions to their plans, procedures, and recordkeeping.
To see the complete revised rule change as published in the March 9, 2010 Federal Register, go to: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-4778.htm