The Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for all aspects hazardous materials transportation. Unlike many other agencies, DOT regulations cannot be superseded by more stringent state regulations.

  • Within DOT the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is responsible for classifications, documentation, packaging, labeling, marking, placarding, and other internationally harmonized regulations (HMR) necessary for hazardous materials transportation.  Importantly, no explosives may be transported without approval by the DOT.  PHMSA also administers the hazardous materials registration program.  These requirements are found in 49 CFR Parts 106, 107, 110, and Parts 171 through 180.
  • PHMSA is primarily responsible for enforcement of these standards by involving shippers and package manufacturers.  DOT's modal administrations are primarily responsible for enforcement of the HMR by respective carriers.  Since shipments of hazardous materials are often transported intermodally, PHMSA and DOT's modal administrations are authorized to pursue enforcment into each other's primary area of enforcement responsibility.
  • Since 94 percent of hazardous materials and virtually all explosives are transported via motor carrier, the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for driving, routing, parking, and attendance rules for explosives transportation.  These regulations are found in 49 CFR Part 397.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for securing the United States against terrorist attack.

  • Within DHS, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is charged to ensure the security of all modes of transportation.  TSA works in coordination with DOT to achieve its mission when hazardous materials are transported.  TSA is responsible for transportation worker security clearances and for standards to secure sensitive transportation-related information.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for the regulation of hazardous material in waterfront facilities.  It has enforcement authority over transportation of explosive materials on U.S. waterways.  The Coast Guard's explosives regulations are found in 33 CFR, Parts 6 and 126 and 46 CFR, Parts 146, 147, and 148.

The Department of Commerce, Export Administration regulates international commerce of explosive materials. These regulations are found in 15 CFR.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for regulating the transportation of hazardous waste.  Shipments of all hazardous waste materials must be accompanied by a Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest.  Regulations governing the use of the manifest are found at 40 CFR Parts 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265 and 271.