Tuesday, March 24, 2020
PHMSA continues to monitor the effects the COVID-19 outbreak is having on regulated hazardous materials entities. As a result, PHMSA decided to temporarily halt enforcement actions against shippers and carriers that are unable to comply with training requirements included in the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). The Notice is limited to recurrent training requirements and does not apply to all other HMR obligations or applicable laws for hazardous materials offers and carriers.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) understands that many offerors and carriers of hazardous materials may be experiencing difficulty in either obtaining or providing recurrent training as required by the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR, 49 CFR Parts 171-180) due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.
PHMSA gives notice that it will not take enforcement action against any offeror or carrier who is unable to provide recurrent training consistent with HMR training requirements. This enforcement discretion is in response to unprecedented changes in business practices related
to the COVID-19 outbreak and is intended to minimize disruptions in the supply-chain. This enforcement discretion will be exercised by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, PHMSA, and the United States Coast Guard.
PHMSA does want to take this opportunity to remind employers that the HMR does not require training to be provided in a traditional classroom setting or through on the job training. Any method of training delivery-, including web based, self-paced computer instruction, remotely delivered classroom instruction, on the job training, or some combination of those methods that cover the required elements in 49 CFR 172 Subpart H are acceptable. PHMSA encourages the utilization of any of these training methods to provide hazmat employees with appropriate recurrent training even if testing is not possible.
This notice is limited to the recurrent training requirements found in 49 CFR 172. 704( c )(2). Offerors and carriers must comply with all other obligations under the HMR and other applicable laws. This notice will remain in effect for 90 days from the date of issuance.
Issued March 23, 2020, in Washington D.C.
William S. Schoonover
for Hazardous Materials Safety