More than 200 individuals involved in the regulation, enforcement and safety of transporting hazardous materials and dangerous goods attended the Cooperative Hazardous Materials Enforcement Development (COHMED) Conference, Jan. 29-Feb. 2, 2018, in Garden Grove, California.
Hosted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), the COHMED Conference is an annual five-day event designed specifically to provide specialized technical training and instruction to the federal, state, provincial, territorial and local agencies responsible for regulating and enforcing the safe transportation of hazardous materials (hazmat) and dangerous goods, along with industry stakeholders.
Representatives from local, state provincial, territorial and federal agencies, hazardous materials specialists and instructors, enforcement personnel, emergency planning managers, manufacturers of hazardous materials, first responders, trucking companies and associations, interest groups and private industry attended the COHMED Conference to receive proactive and progressive training on highly specialized issues; discuss and address concerns related to hazmat and dangerous goods regulations and enforcement; share perspectives; and provide input into future changes and regulations.
“Transportation of hazardous materials presents unique challenges,” said CVSA President Capt. Christopher Turner of the Kansas Highway Patrol. “At CVSA’s annual COHMED Conference, qualified experts provide technical training and education to individuals representing state jurisdictions and local governments to give them the tools necessary to enhance existing programs and develop new ones to improve hazardous materials safety.
Attendees at the conference received regulatory updates from Transport Canada, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The 2018 COHMED Conference also featured informative and collaborative sessions on some of the most important topics related to the hazmat community, such as:
- The Global Harmonization System
- Online Resources for Hazardous Materials Inspectors
- Canadian vs. U.S. Cylinders
- Fireworks Enforcement
- Toxicology of Class 9 Materials
- Chemistry 101
- Intermediate Bulk Containers and Portable Tanks
- Regulated Medical Waste
- Modular Emergency Response Radiological Transportation Training
During the general session, COHMED Chair Donna McLean, director of the Canadian Transport Emergency Centre, presented the Industry Appreciation Award to Guy Dalton with Linde North America Inc. In addition, each year, the chair has the distinct honor of selecting an individual who exemplifies excellence in hazmat transportation safety to receive the Chairman’s Award. This year, McLean selected Jim Boehringer, co-owner of J.E.B. Environmental Services. Also, COHMED leadership industry liaisons, Brian Kucharski with US Ecology and Melanie Levac from the Canadian Propane Association, presented COHMED Vice Chair Phillip Haskins with the Law Enforcement Appreciation Award.
CVSA also offers regional training courses throughout the country – giving hazmat specialists who were unable to attend the COHMED Conference with an opportunity to receive high-level hazmat training, closer to home. For dates and locations for this year’s COHMED training courses, visit our Training section.
Next year’s COHMED Conference is scheduled for Jan. 28-Feb. 1, 2019, in San Antonio, Texas.