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Defense Transportation: DOD has Taken Actions to Address Hazardous Material Transportation Issues but it is too Soon to Evaluate the Effectiveness of These Efforts
Commercial carriers transport over 3 billion tons of HAZMAT in commerce in the United States each year, transporting an estimated 1 million HAZMAT shipments per day. DOD relies heavily on commercial carriers to transport HAZMAT, using them to transport about 90 percent of the department's HAZMAT shipments. DOD uses the TPS program to transport certain sensitive materials including ammunition and classified materials that follow more stringent safety and security standards. House Report 113-446 accompanying a bill for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 directed DOD to report on the root causes of improper documentation and packaging of HAZMAT; the extent to which TPS is used for materials that could be transported using less costly means; and any needed corrective actions and a plan, with milestones, to address them. The House report also included a provision for GAO to review DOD's report. DOD issued its report in September 2015. This report examines the extent to which DOD (1) identified the root causes of improper documentation and packaging of HAZMAT shipments and any corrective actions taken since the report's issuance and (2) reported on the departments use of TPS carriers to transport shipments that could have been safely and securely transported using less costly alternatives. GAO examined DOD's HAZMAT data and found the data it examined sufficiently reliable for the purposes of the review.
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