RSPA DEFINES ôKNOWLEDGEö OF HAZMAT VIOLATIONS
The U.S. Transportation Department’s Research and Special Programs Administration is developing additional guidance to when a person knowingly accepts and transports illegal or mishandled hazardous materials shipments.
In a letter to the Transportation Secretary, Federal Express Corp. asked the DOT to further develop guidance of what constitutes “constructive knowledge” when a carrier accepts a hazardous shipment. FedEx said the lack of “essential criteria” for what pertains to'constructive knowledge prevents carriers from properly training their employees about hazardous cargo.
The DOT said a person “acts knowingly” when:
* The person has actual knowledge of the violation.
* A person using reasonable care would recognize the violation.
The definition of “knowingly” is contained in the 1990 Hazardous Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act.
“Because innumerable fact patterns may exist, it is not practicable to set forth a list of specific criteria to govern whether or not the carrier has sufficient constructive knowledge of the presence of hazardous materials within an undeclared or hidden shipment to find a knowing violation of the HMR (hazardous materials regulations),” RSPA said.
RSPA will hold a meeting about constructive knowledge of hazardous materials violations in Washington, June 19. For more information, contact Thomas Sherman of DOT’s Intermodal Hazardous Materials Programs, at (202) 366-5846.