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Hazardous Materials Guidance

This listing is provided as part of the Hazardous Material Safety Office's ongoing efforts to provide easy access to commonly used guidance.

Agency Guidance

The Office of Hazardous Materials Enforcement has issued a variety of manuals and policy statements to explain how it implements the enforcement program.
Federal Hazmat Transportation Law: An Overview
This guide summarizes federal hazmat transportation law, including regulatory authorities, scope, and enforcement procedures.
Enforcement Operations Manual
This manual is an instrument of program management issued solely for the guidance of Office of Hazardous Materials Enforcement personnel.
SBREFA Statement
PHMSA's Enforcement programs are committed to fair treatment of all small businesses.
Hazmat Operational Guidance and Policies
OHME functions under the protocols, procedures and methods set forth in its Operations Manual and Policies.
Enforcement Program and Team Policies
OHME has implemented a number of enforcement programs and inspection teams, which have their own guidance documents.

Memoranda of Understanding (MOU)

Letters of Interpretation are issued to individuals, companies, or trade associations responding to requests for clarification of the HRM. They are straight forward explanations of the regulation text and do not impose new requirements or obligations.
Letters of Interpretation
PHMSA provides review and interpretation of regulations upon request. View by date, regulation, or search term.

Information, Brochures, and Training Materials
Available files, reports, documents, and publications. Glossary, FAQs, and more.
Training Publications and Training Modules
These publications cover specific regulatory requirements (such as marking, labeling, placarding, carrier responsibilities, etc.).
Safety Advisory Notices
Federal Register notices concerning safety issues that pose an imminent hazard to the public.
Safety Alerts
Brochures or pamphlets intended to notify a specific audience of a safety hazard
Safe Travel
Guidance on how to safely pack and transport batteries, battery-powered devices, and other personal items when traveling by air
Security Information and Guidance
Enhancing hazardous materials transportation safety and security.

The Risk Management online tools are intended to help the regulated community identify and assess risks using generally accepted risk management principles and practices. A specific feedback page also allows comments, questions, and recommendations.
Risk Management
Identifying and managing risks of transportation of hazmat in commerce.

PHMSA produces and distributes the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) for use by firefighters, police, and other emergency services personnel who may be the first to arrive at the scene of a transportation incident involving a hazardous material. It is primarily a guide to aid first responders in quickly identifying the specific or generic classification of materials involved in an indicent and protecting themselves and the general public during the initial response phase of an incident. The ERG is updated every three to four years to accommodate new products and technology. Part of the update process includes soliciting feedback from stakeholders through a Federal Register notice concerning the necessary updates.
Emergency Response Guidebook
...Helps You Find Emergency Procedures Quickly

DOT Guidance for the Safe Transport of Medical Oxygen
This guidance was developed in the aftermath of a bus accident during Hurricane Rita in 2005. The guidance explains current regulatory requirements applicable to the transportation of medical oxygen on buses and trains and includes recommendations for handling oxygen cylinders.
RAM Regulations Review
This review provides guidance on the Department of Transportation (DOT) Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) contained in Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR) Parts 171-185, which govern the packaging and shipment of radioactive material.