Tuesday, November 4, 2008

PHMSA HAZMAT Security Rule Comments – 10-31-08

This week we have three additional comments from members of the Special Effects industry add their comments to the discussion of the issue of requiring any quantity of Division 1.4 explosive to have a transportation security plan. The current regulation sets a 1001 pound limit (a placarded amount) for requiring a security plan. Dennis A Yeager Comments Mr. Yeager, a motion picture special effects professional, opposes the requirement for security plans for ‘any quantity’ of the Division 1.4 explosives listed in the proposed rule. He feels that shippers will stop transporting the small quantities that Mr. Yeager uses in his job. Absolute Effects, Inc Comments Mr. Watkins, a special effects coordinator, echoes Mr. Yeager’s comments and adds “So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Kerner Optical, LLC Comments Mr. Wallace, Production Manager, also echoes Mr. Yeager’s comments and adds that state and local regulations and permits provide adequate protection for these devices. My Comments on Comments These three letters seem to be part of an organized letter writing campaign. This type campaign is seldom effective, especially since the industry is so limited in size. The letters last week provided more detailed arguments. This means that they will probably be more persuasive in the eyes of PHMSA. I find it interesting that all of the commentors have missed the most obvious argument. The quantities of Division 1.4 explosives that these companies are shipping are typically less than a placarded amount of material. This means that it will be difficult for terrorists to identify which vehicles are carrying this material. This, in and of itself provides a level of protection that is probably an adequate security procedure. This would obviate the requirement for a transportation security plan.

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