Regulation, enforcement and safety community gathered to discuss and address the unique challenges of the hazmat industry.
Approximately 200 representatives from hazmat and hazmat-related industries attended the Cooperative Hazardous Materials Enforcement Development (COHMED) Conference, an annual one-of-kind, week-long event where federal, state and local agencies responsible for regulating and enforcing the safe transportation of hazardous materials (hazmat) participated in advanced-level technical sessions and in-depth training workshops.
The COHMED Conference took place on Jan. 26-30, 2015, in Long Beach, California, and is an outreach activity of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).
“This intergovernmental/industry partnership has been a vital venue for participants to share information about hazmat transportation issues and services,” said COHMED Chair Sgt. Bradley Wagner with the Nebraska State Patrol.
Representatives from federal, provincial and state agencies, hazardous materials specialists and instructors, enforcement personnel, emergency planning managers, first responders, trucking companies, academics, interest groups and private industry attended the conference to receive advanced training on highly specialized topics, present and discuss concerns related to regulations and enforcement, and share perspectives and provide input into future changes and regulations.
“Hazardous materials present unique challenges to enforcement personnel and emergency responders,” said CVSA President Capt. William Reese of the Idaho State Police. “Proactive preparation is fundamental to the safe handling, inspecting and transporting of hazardous materials.”
The 2015 COHMED Conference featured informative and collaborative sessions on some of the most important topics related to the hazmat industry, such as:
- Training in cargo tank certification
- Regulatory updates from Transport Canada, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
- Training on lithium battery regulations and crude oil regulations
- Training on CVSA’s Out-of-Service (OOS) Violations for Hazardous Materials and a CVSA Level VI Refresher Course
- Training on Canadian cargo tank regulations
- Advance training on Class 8 materials
- Modular Emergency Response Radiological Transportation Training (MERRTT)
The 2016 COHMED Conference is scheduled for Jan. 25-29, 2016, in San Antonio, Texas.
COHMED was initiated in 1986 by the states, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), which is now known as the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). COHMED is comprised of federal, state and local agencies, and industry from the United States and Canada. COHMED works cooperatively with other federal and state agencies, enforcement personnel, emergency planning managers, responders, academic institutions, interest groups and private industry.