Hazardous Materials Transportation: Vulnerability to Terrorists, Federal Activities, and Options to Reduce Risks [October 15, 2001] [open pdf - 52KB]
"In the wrong hands, hazardous materials (hazmat) in transportation pose a major threat to national security, property, and life. There are over 800,000 shipments each day of these materials-over 90% of which occur via the highway mode. The sheer number and volume of shipments, the numerous routes used, and the logistics and infrastructure involved create many points of exposure. Although an array of measures can be taken to promote security, the vulnerabilities cannot be eliminated. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has taken numerous actions to increase the sensitivity of industry and the state enforcement community to the vulnerabilities associated with hazmat transportation. DOT is asking that additional safety precautions and inspections be conducted and that the hazmat industry should review its security measures and strengthen them as appropriate. Other options to reduce risk or to increase preparedness include: requiring additional background checks on drivers obtaining hazmat endorsements on their commercial drivers licenses; requiring DOT to issue regulations requiring high hazard hazmat carriers and shippers to develop and implement security plans and procedures; increasing funding for the Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Grant Program; and amending the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act to clarify the role of the DOT in promoting the security of hazmat shipments."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21050