Does your business produce or use any dangerous materials? If so, then you are required by federal law to dispose of it properly. Hazardous waste transportation services provide collection and removal of toxic streams according to the regulations set forth in the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA). Depending on the laws of your state and/or city, in addition to the HMTA, you may have to follow even stricter requirements.
In 1975 President Gerald Ford signed the HMTA into law. This act unifies existing regulations concerning dangerous materials and helps prevent spills and illegal dumping. The act’s purpose is to help ensure the safety of persons, property, and the environment. The protection of people’s welfare is a priority when it comes to dealing with certain dangerous waste.
There are four key provisions that govern and enforce these regulations. They are as follows:
1. Procedures and policies
2. Material designation and labeling
3. Packaging requirements
4. Operational rules
The provisions are vital to the safe and successful movement and disposal of such dangerous items. The violation of any one of the provisions can result in civil or criminal penalties. Special permits can be obtained to allow for one or more of the provisions to not be enforced.
Special permits and exclusions allow for the authorization of a variance to the regulations. Keep in mind that these permits have a deadline. After two years a renewal must be applied for but permits cannot be held for four successive years. There are certain safety standards that must be met before being granted a permit. And then the public gets a chance to review and commit on the ruling.
HMTA is important and necessary for you to comply with. An estimated 500,000 shipments of hazardous waste is made in the United States every day. About half of all those shipments include items that are either corrosive or flammable. There are approximately 2,700 other chemicals that are considered dangerous for being radioactive, infectious, oxidizing, or explosive. Accidents involving these materials can result in injury, death, and can decimate the environment.
The HMTA is also part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Emergency Management Plan along with eight other laws.
Hazardous waste transportation services can take care of any number of dangerous materials, including gas and gas cylinders, pharmaceutical refuse, medical items, lab packs, batteries, light bulbs, and mercury.
It is important to remember that every party that plays a role in the movement of these items is regulated by the HMTA. The primary liability is with whoever is the originator of the shipment. So, if the company that provides your hazardous waste transportation services does not meet the standards set by federal law, then you could be held liable for any accident that takes place. For your protection, as well as the protection of the public and the environment, do your due diligence when hiring a firm.