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Do I Need DOT Hazmat Training to Sign the Haz Waste Manifest?

Posted on November 12, 2019 by Roseanne Bottone

Is DOT hazmat training required to sign the hazardous waste manifest? Yes!

To understand why, it helps to know the terminology first.

The DOT regulates the safe transportation of hazardous materials. Included within the definition of hazardous materials are hazardous wastes. The DOT defines a hazardous waste as “any material that is subject to the Hazardous Waste Manifest Requirements of the US Environmental Protection Agency specified in 40 CFR part 262.”

Therefore, a RCRA hazardous waste requiring the use of a manifest is regulated as a DOT hazardous material.
 
At 49 CFR 172.200, the DOT says, “…[E]ach person who offers a hazardous material for transportation shall describe the hazardous material on the shipping paper in the manner required by this subpart.”

The Manifest is Dually Regulated

The DOT specifically refers to hazardous waste at 49 CFR 172.205 and requires the use of EPA form 8700-22 as the shipping paper (i.e., the “manifest”). The DOT directs the shipper to follow the EPA’s rules at 40 CFR 262.20 to fill out and manage the manifest.
 
At a minimum, the DOT requires shipping papers to show the basic description of a material (i.e., the UN identification number, proper shipping name, hazard class and packing group); the number and type of packages; and the total quantity shipped. The manifest has room for these items in columns 9b, 10, and 11/12 respectively.

The Shippers’ Certification

What does a signature on a manifest mean? It’s much more than handing over custody to the driver. In addition to certifying the generator is meeting the applicable conditions found at 40 CFR 262.27 (e.g., they have a waste minimization plan in place and have chosen the best TSDF), the DOT part of the statement is as follows:
 
“I hereby declare that the contents of this consignment are fully and accurately  described above by the proper shipping name, and are classified, packaged, marked and labeled/placarded, and are in all respects in proper condition for transport according to applicable international and national governmental regulations…”
 
In order to certify this is true, the signer must be fully trained in DOT hazmat regulations. US DOT requires hazmat employees – anyone whose actions can directly affect transportation safety – to be trained. The elements of training include general awareness, function-specific and security awareness training. (Some hazmat employees also need safety training and cargo security plan training).

Filling out and signing shipping papers most certainly affects transportation safety and is considered a function-specific element. [See 49 CFR 172, Subpart H]

In a letter of interpretation addressed to Lion Technology founder Bill Taggart, PHMSA puts it like this: 

“Since the employee certifies that the materials are properly classified, described, packaged, marked and labeled and in proper condition for shipment, the employee must receive function-specific training that ensures they are knowledgeable in those areas and can determine that a shipment is in compliance with the requirements of the HMR, in addition to general awareness/familiarization [training].”

Read the full letter. 

Online RCRA and DOT Hazmat Training

Get the training you need to properly identify, store, and ship your hazardous waste at Lion.com.

Lion makes it easy to keep your hazardous waste and hazmat shipping certifications current. Find out what’s new for generators and hazmat shippers and develop the in-depth expertise you need to ensure compliance.

For experienced managers and employees, Lion offers the following online refresher courses:

Recurrent Hazmat Ground Shipper Certification (HMT 340)
RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Refresher (RCRA 310)

For those new to hazmat or hazardous waste regulations, our initial courses provide comprehensive training to identify regulated materials and wastes and take the right steps to ensure compliance.

Hazmat Ground Shipper Certification (HMT 300)
RCRA Hazardous Waste Management (RCRA 300)  

US DOT requires complete training for hazmat employees once every three years (49 CFR 172.704).
US EPA requires annual training for hazardous waste personnel (40 CFR 262.17).