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Interpretation Response #06-0132

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date: 06-26-2006
Company Name: Motor Carrier Compliance & Safety Co    Individual Name: Mr. Jay Muratore
Location state: OH    Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Jun 26, 2006


Mr. Jay Muratore                 Reference No. 06-0132
Motor Carrier Compliance & Safety Co.
104 W. Water Street
Oak Harbor, OH 43449

Dear Mr. Muratore:

This responds to your May 30, 2006 letter requesting clarification of the security plan requirements in the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). You provided a sample of a risk assessment template you provide to your clients and seek clarification on whether it conforms to the HMR requirements.

The requirement to develop and implement a security plan applies to persons who offer for transportation or transport the hazardous materials specified in § 172.800 of the HMR. Each security plan must include an assessment of possible transportation security risks for shipments of the listed hazardous materials and appropriate measures to address those risks. At a minimum, each security plan must address personnel security, unauthorized access and en route security.

The HMR set forth general requirements for a security plan’s components rather than a prescriptive list of specific items that must be included. The HMR set a performance standard providing shippers and carriers with the flexibility necessary to develop security plans addressing their individual circumstances and operational environment. Accordingly, each security plan will differ because it will be based on a shipper’s or a carrier’s individualized assessment of the security risks associated with the specific hazardous materials it ships or transports and its unique circumstances and operational environment. For companies with more than one facility where a hazardous material listed in § 172.800 is offered for transportation in commerce, each facility should have a security plan tailored to the specific hazardous materials handled at the facility, the physical characteristics of the facility, and the operational procedures in place at the facility. A facility may utilize a security plan template developed by its corporate leadership for all facilities owned by the corporation or an industry association or other third-party with security planning expertise. However, each facility must adapt such templates to ensure its security plan addresses any security vulnerabilities unique to that facility.

The sample risk assessment template you provided does not appear to be sufficient for purposes of developing a security plan that fully conforms to the HMR requirements. For example, typically, a risk assessment will include a listing of the specific materials handled by the facility or carrier and an evaluation of the security risks associated with each material. Since security risks will vary for different materials, this is a critical component. Your template does not appear to include this step. Similarly, a risk assessment should include detailed information about the scope of a facility’s operations, including quantities of materials transported and baseline security and safety programs already in place at the facility. Your template does not appear to include this step.

To assist the industry in complying with the security plan requirements, PHMSA developed a security plan template to illustrate how risk management methodology could be used to identify areas in the transportation process where security procedures should be enhanced within the context of an overall risk management strategy. The security template is posted in the docket and on the PHMSA website at

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact us if you require additional assistance.



Susan Gorsky
Regulations Officer
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
§ 172.802 Components of a security plan