The Office of Hazardous Materials Safety develops and recommends regulatory changes governing the multimodal transportation of hazardous materials. It develops long and short-term plans, schedules for hazardous materials regulatory actions and carries them out in accordance with the plan. When proposed regulations apply exclusively to a single mode, the HMS Office develops and coordinates those regulations with the appropriate DOT Operating Administration before issuance.
The Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety responds to requests for interpretation of regulations, inconsistency rulings, and non-preemption determinations. The Administrator also conducts public hearings in conjunction with regulatory changes, issues special permits where appropriate (upon concurring with concerned DOT Operating Administrations), and makes final determinations regarding registration approvals and reconsideration petitions.
It is the duty of this Office to develop regulatory policy options and initiatives based on social, economic, technological, environmental, and safety impacts of regulatory, legislative, or program activities involving hazardous materials transportation. This Office participates fully in policy determinations and implements guidance for approved policies within the purview of its delegated authority.