U.S. DOT Security Plan Requirements


In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and other threats related to hazardous materials, the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) has revised its regulations related to the transportation of hazardous materials.  The DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations generally set requirements for the safe packaging and handling of hazardous materials for transportation and the effective communication of information about the materials to carriers, transportation workers, and emergency responders.  The recent revisions include a requirement to develop and implement plans to address security risks related to the transportation of hazardous materials in commerce (“Security Plan Requirements” or “SPRs”).  SPRs require each person who “offers for transportation in commerce” or “transports in commerce” one or more of the covered hazardous materials to develop and adhere to a security plan related to the transportation of those materials.  This plan must be in place by September 25, 2003; by December 22, 2003, each employee handling hazardous materials for an entity required to have a security plan must be trained concerning the plan and its implementation.

Security Plan Components

A DOT security plan must include a risk assessment of possible transportation security risks for applicable hazardous materials and appropriate measures to address those risks.  The security plan must be in writing and, at a minimum, address: (1) personnel security; (2) unauthorized access; and (3) en route security.

Personnel Security- The security plan must include measures to confirm information provided by job applicants hired for positions that involve access to and handling of the covered hazardous materials.  Information to be confirmed should include recent employment history, references, and citizenship status.

Unauthorized Access- The security plan must include measures to address the assessed risk that unauthorized persons may gain access to the covered hazardous materials or vehicles being prepared for transportation.

En route security- The security plan must include measures to address the assessed risks of covered hazardous materials en route from origin to destination, including shipments stored incidental to movement.

Security plans developed under other programs may be used to satisfy the DOT security plan requirements, provided the existing plan meets all SPRs.

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