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Interpretation Response #10-0205 ([U. S. Department of Energy] [Ms. Anjali Shaykher Zutshi])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: U. S. Department of Energy

Individual Name: Ms. Anjali Shaykher Zutshi

Location State: DC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

December 29, 2010



Ms. Anjali Shaykher Zutshi

General Attorney

National Nuclear Security Administration

U. S. Department of Energy

1000 Independence Ave. S.W. (NA-3.1)

Washington, D.C. 20585

Ref. No.: 10-0205

Dear Ms. Zutshi:

This responds to your e-mail requesting guidance on Part 172, Subpart I, of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically you ask questions regarding overlapping security plan requirements that are applicable to both shippers and carriers. Your questions are restated and answered as follows:

Q1. Does PHMSA expect a carrier to do a threat assessment on the shipper"s facility and a shipper to do a threat assessment on the carrier"s route?

A1. No. In the situation you describe, the carrier is responsible for assessing risk for transportation activities which it controls, as is the offeror.

Q2. What methodology should be used when conducting risk assessments?

A2. The security plan must include an assessment of transportation security risks. For an example of the methodology that should be used when conducting risk assessments, we direct you to the "Risk Management Self-Evaluation Framework (RMSEF)" on our website. The framework illustrates how risk management methodology can be used to identify points in the transportation process where security procedures should be enhanced within the context of an overall risk management strategy. The RMSEF is posted on our website at the following URL:

Other risk assessment tools are equally valid. We do not require persons subject to the security plan requirement to use a specific risk assessment tool to meet the risk assessment requirement.

Q3. Do they rely on national threat levels?

A3. The security plan provisions in Subpart I of Part 172 of the HMR require each person who offers for transportation or transport certain hazardous materials in commerce to implement a security plan. The security plan must include an assessment of possible transportation security risks and appropriate measures to address the assessed risks. The security plan requirements are not directly tied to the national threat level. However, specific measures put into place by the plan may vary commensurate with the level of threat at a particular time. The security plan must, at a minimum, address personnel security, unauthorized access, and en route security.

I hope this information is helpful. If we can be of further assistance, please contact us.


Ben Supko

Acting Chief, Standards Development Branch

Standards and Rulemaking Division




Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.800 Purpose and applicability