Hurricane Response: DOT Halts Some Enforcements

With Hurricane Fiona battering Puerto Rico and Hurricane Ian hitting Florida and other eastern seaboard states, the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration waived or halted some hazmat enforcements.

This, the agency says, was done to work with other agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard to hasten disaster response and recovery efforts.

Also Read: 3 More Tips for Handling Cyclones and Typhoons

On Puerto Rico, Waiver Order 22 will allow local officials to diesel and essential fuels on the island. Likewise, Waiver Order 23 will help with the safe removal, disposal or transport of diesel, oil or other hazardous martials.

PHMSA also issued a Stay of Enforcement to liquefied natural gas facilities, as well as natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline operators that could potentially be affected by Hurricane Ian. The document alerts operators that the agency will temporarily halt its enforcement of compliance with operator qualification requirements but does not relieve operators of their safety responsibility to use trained, non-impaired workers to perform operation and maintenance tasks.

PHMSA will be working with operators to discuss and potentially delay or reschedule planned inspections of pipeline systems and facilities impacted by the storm.

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