The Cooperative Hazardous Materials Enforcement Development (COHMED) Program is an outreach activity of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. It works to foster coordination, cooperation, and communication between federal, state and local agencies having regulatory and enforcement responsibility for the safe transportation of hazardous materials and the industry that they regulate.
COHMED was initiated jointly in 1986 by the states, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), now the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). COHMED is comprised of Federal, state and local agencies, and industry from the U.S. and Canada. COHMED is committed to
- improving hazardous materials transportation safety,
- providing technical assistance, training and information for the development of federal, state, and local enforcement programs, and
- fostering national uniformity in regulation and enforcement.
COHMED is an intergovernmental/industry partnership serving as a focal point for information sharing on hazardous materials transportation issues and delivery of services. Through education and training, the states and local governments are provided with information and resources to enhance existing programs and develop new ones to improve hazardous materials safety.
Hazardous materials present unique challenges to enforcement personnel and emergency responders. Effective preparedness and mitigation are fundamental to the reduction of exposure to the population and response forces. To improve preparedness and response capabilities to hazardous materials emergencies, COHMED cooperates with other federal and state agencies, enforcement personnel, emergency planning managers, responders, academic institutions, interest groups, and private industry.
Hazardous materials present unique challenges to enforcement personnel and emergency responders. COHMED provides advanced hazardous materials training that regulatory and enforcement officers need. The topics covered go significantly beyond the basic hazardous materials training the officers attend for certification purposes. Many jurisdictions send their hazardous materials specialists and/or instructors to COHMED. It's also a great opportunity to meet industry partners, network, build better working relationships, and provide input into future changes and regulations.
- Focuses training towards both law enforcement and industry.
- International training classes help industry on ways to comply with regulations while traveling into Canada.
- Provides a conduit for industry to present concerns/perspective about the enforcement of the regulations.
- Offers hands on class experience thanks to companies providing equipment during the training.