NACD Comments on PHMSA Enhanced Enforcement Authority

Jul 23, 2013, 09:46 ET from National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD)

ARLINGTON, Va., July 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) filed comments yesterday in response to PHMSA's proposed rule on Enhanced Enforcement Procedures regarding opening of hazardous materials packages suspected of being out of compliance.


In the comments, NACD commends PHMSA for proposing to further clarify procedures related to the agency's enhanced inspection, investigation, and enforcement authority.

PHMSA proposes to clarify that inspectors will use "appropriate alternatives" before opening or stopping the transportation of packages containing perishable hazardous materials and to establish a policy that inspectors will not intentionally open packages containing perishable hazardous materials unless a "compelling safety need exists."  NACD's Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Jennifer Gibson writes, "NACD believes that inspectors should use the enhanced enforcement authority as sparingly as possible and supports this clarification."

NACD also supports the proposal that would also require PHMSA to "take reasonable measures" to notify affected parties of reasons for package openings, removals from transportation, and relocations to facilities for examination; the results of preliminary investigations; any apparent violations; and any further action that might be warranted. The more information that involved parties receive, the better they can communicate about potential delays up and down the supply chain.

Finally, PHMSA proposes to add a requirement that inspectors use appropriate safety and handling equipment. NACD also supports this measure. For example, if an inspector opens a package, it is essential that he/she have the proper equipment to close that package.

In addition, Gibson stated, "NACD recommends that PHMSA extend the proposed procedures regarding the treatment of perishable hazardous materials to cover temperature-sensitive materials as well. Chemical distributors frequently transport materials that may not be completely perishable, but that are temperature-sensitive. For example, if a shipment of such a material is detained and thereby exposed to extreme temperatures for a period of time, the properties of that material can change and make the product less effective. Instances such as this could have substantial negative economic impacts on both chemical distributors, who may need to replace the materials, and their customers, who would be subject to additional delays in receiving the necessary substances to make their products."

NACD and its over 400 member companies are vital to the chemical supply chain providing products to over 750,000 end users. They make a delivery every seven seconds while maintaining a safety record that is more than twice as good as all manufacturing combined. NACD members are leaders in health, safety, security, and environmental performance through implementation of Responsible Distribution, a third-party verified management practice established in 1991 as a condition of membership. For additional information on our members, their safety record or NACD, visit NACD at

Contact: Lucinda Schofer
(703) 527-NACD(6223)

SOURCE National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD)