Code of the District of Columbia

§ 8–1401. Findings and purposes.

The Council of the District of Columbia makes the following findings and supports the following purposes:

(1) Many shipments of hazardous materials are made in the District of Columbia (“District”);

(2) The District is 1 of the few states that has not adopted the federal regulations governing the transportation of hazardous materials and motor carrier safety;

(3) According to statistics compiled by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, there have been 30 incidents involving the unintentional release of hazardous materials in transport in the District since 1985, none of which have been required by law to be reported to the District government;

(4) There have been a growing number of incidents involving the transportation of hazardous materials on highways surrounding the District in recent months;

(5) According to the United States Department of Transportation, there is an insufficient number of federal inspectors available to inspect vehicles transporting hazardous materials, causing many vehicles to go uninspected unless the states have regulations enabling them to carry out inspections;

(6) The District does not have a procedure for inspecting the safety of commercial motor vehicles that transport hazardous materials in the city, nor for monitoring the condition of the operators of those vehicles;

(7) Until the District adopts a system consistent with the federal motor carrier safety regulations that govern commercial motor vehicles, including those transporting hazardous materials, the District is ineligible to receive at least $225,000 per year in federal grant assistance for implementing the regulations;

(8) Other costs to the District associated with enforcing this chapter should be the responsibility of those who transport hazardous materials in the District;

(9) The Hazardous Materials Study Commission will no longer be necessary since the Commission’s mandate will be executed through the implementation of this chapter; and

(10) Residents of and visitors to the District should be protected from the serious risks associated with improper transportation of hazardous materials, overworked operators, and unsuitable maintenance of commercial motor vehicles, including vehicles transporting hazardous materials.