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Security Threat Assessments for Hazmat Drivers

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Congressional rept.

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The Transportation Security Administration TSA is gradually implementing Section 1012 of the USA PATRIOT Act P.L. 107-56. This provision seeks to reduce some of the security risks associated with hazardous materials hazmat transportation by requiring a security threat assessment of drivers with a hazmat endorsement on their commercial drivers license CDL. This process, which includes immigration and database checks, may deter a terrorist from obtaining or keeping such an endorsement nevertheless, the hazmat transportation system remains vulnerable to attack. Members of Congress are overseeing implementation of TSAs program, reviewing its financial impacts, and deciding whether to explicitly require in law a comparable review of Canadian- and Mexican-domiciled drivers transporting specified hazmats into the United States. During 2004, TSA screened 2.7 million drivers with a hazmat endorsement by comparing their names to those on databases. These checks generated more than 100 leads that were sent to the FBI. TSA recognizes that the reliability of this process will be improved by incorporating a fingerprint-based criminal background check. For each of the next 5 years, TSA will put roughly 15 of the drivers with, or seeking, a hazmat endorsement through a more comprehensive threat assessment process, including a fingerprint-based records review. TSA and the states have faced many challenges in the development and implementation of this initiative. The complete program was originally planned to start in 2003, however, it has been delayed several times. Starting January 31, 2005, TSA will not permit a state to issue a new hazmat endorsement with a CDL until a determination has been made that an applicant does not pose a security threat. Starting May 31, 2005, this TSA rule also applies to drivers seeking either to renew a CDL with this endorsement, or, in some cases, to transfer hisher license from one state to another.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Miscellaneous Materials
  • Surface Transportation and Equipment
  • Civil Defense
  • Unconventional Warfare

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