Current DOT Hazmat Research Projects

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s Office of Hazardous Materials Safety led a virtual public research, development and technology forum on December 1, 2022. The forum focused on highlighting current research projects, current and future research initiatives, program strategies and priorities and gathering input from stakeholders.

The objectives from that forum were:

  • Inform stakeholders of OHMS’s RD&T current research projects along with future research initiatives and program priorities
  • Solicit stakeholder input and expertise to identify research gaps, share information, discuss potential opportunities and challenges, identify any hazmat transport related metrics that would support stakeholders, and discuss insight to stakeholders’ perspectives and initiatives.

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Following the program introduction, research project spotlights were from the Naval Research Laboratory; monitoring cylinders and tanks using distributed carbon nanomaterial sensing networks from MCET Technologies; Compact broadband leak detector for autonomous vehicles from Adelphi Technologies; and battery logistics integrated safety system from Energy Storage Safety Products International.

The second portion of the forum focused on obtaining stakeholder input on the direction of current and future research projects. To facilitate open dialogue among attendees, breakout sessions were held in which participants rotated between the following five topics: safety, equity, climate change and sustainability, emerging technology, and OHMS RD&T future direction and programming.

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Through these strategic discussions, the RD&T program received input on stakeholder initiatives and priorities as well as hazmat transport related challenges stakeholders face in their own industry/program of work.

A key takeaway from these sessions focused on the sharing of information between stakeholder groups in terms of applicable research overlap, initiative/program success such as equity programs, and soliciting peer reviews/feedback. Other key areas to note are the prioritization of diversification of decision-making, abiding by specific criteria and standards regarding future research projects, and prioritizing equity, climate change and sustainability efforts to understand the hazardous material footprint specifically in underserved communities.

This forum came on the heels of PHMSA’s October 2021 forum. That forum presented the results of recently completed projects as well as announced new project plans and got stakeholder input.

The 2021 forum took place over the course of four half-day sessions that included government and industry presentations covering the mitigation of climate risk, energy products, commodity flow analysis, packaging integrity, and emerging technologies.

Here’s a link to the 153-page final report from the 2021 forum.

Since its 2020 broad agency announcement, the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety has awarded these six research projects, costing more than $9.6 million to improve hazardous materials safety.

OHMS Awarded Research Projects

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