Hazardous Materials Transportation Act Law and Legal Definition
The Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA) of 1975 is the major transportation-related federal statute affecting Department of Energy (DOE).
The purpose of the act is to provide adequate protection against the risks to life and property inherent in the transportation of hazardous material in commerce by improving the regulatory and enforcement authority of the Secretary of Transportation.
The HMTA sets extensive guidelines for carriers of hazardous materials. They must classify, package, and label materials appropriately, use specific hazardous material placards for shipments, and have suitable shipping papers at all times. They must follow DOT rules, maintain rapid response plans for emergencies, undergo safety training programs, and comply with packaging standards. Under delegated authority from the secretary of the DOT, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) enforces motor carrier regulations, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) enforces rail carrier regulations, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enforces air carrier regulations, and the U.S. Coast Guard enforces maritime shipping regulations.