Enforcement Discretion to November for Carriers Transporting Disinfectants

Carriers Transporting Disinfectants

PHMSA extends enforcement notice allowing fleets to provide employee protection and stay government compliant

Imagine your significant other asks you to go to the grocery store to pick up disinfecting spray. With your mask on, you walk down the cleaning aisle to choose one of the likely dozen options, but found the entire shelf empty. It is mid-July.

Now, imagine I was a fleet looking for these products to help keep my employees and clients safe during this pandemic.

Workplaces such as package sorting facilities, airport ramps, stations, and delivery vehicles often lack ready access to soap and water, resulting in an urgent need for sanitizing and disinfecting products.

How does this affect transportation companies?

Companies have been exploring alternate ways to transport materials to locations in their network so they can continue to provide this essential resource in a safe manner.

According to a recent announcement, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) “is aware of the challenges that transportation companies are facing in providing personnel with necessary materials, such as hand sanitizers, that provide for protection of their health and safety and comply with government guidelines.”

Given that these companies frequently have their own effective transportation distribution networks in place, focused relief from certain requirements of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) has supported the efficient and streamlined movement of needed materials in this time of emergency.

How is the PHMSA helping the shortage of disinfectants?

The PHMSA has given notice that it will continue to show discretion towards any carriers transporting sanitizing and disinfecting materials on a motor vehicle for the purposes of protecting the health and safety of employees of the carrier.

According to the announcement, transport of these products must also be in accordance with PHMSA’s April 20, 2020 Notice of Enforcement Discretion.

The extended enforcement discretion will continue through October 31, 2020.

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