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Hazardous Materials Shipments

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) of the US Department of Transportation operates in a dynamic and challenging environment. The scope and complexity of our safety mission will continue to grow, requiring that we fundamentally rethink how we will use data, information, and technology to achieve our safety goals.

PHMSA's mission is to protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials that are essential to our daily lives. To do this, the agency establishes national policy, sets and enforces standards, educates, and conducts research to prevent incidents. We also prepare the public and first responders to reduce consequences if an incident does occur.

A Message from the PHMSA Deputy Administrator:

Hazardous materials are a vital component to our economy and essential to our everyday lives.

To put things in perspective, hazmat shipments account for 12% of all freight tonnage shipped within the United States. That equates to roughly 3.3 billion tons of hazardous materials shipped every year, worth an estimated $1.9 trillion. All in all, there are around 1 million shipments of hazardous materials every day in the U.S. and PHMSA plays a critical role in making sure that our country continues to transport them safely.

It's not clear to me what counts as a shipment -- but there sure are a lot of them!!

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I wonder, and will now search, how they define a "hazardous" material. we all have seen those diamond shaped metallic labels on trucks and train cars.

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