WASHINGTON (CN) – Hazardous materials have escaped their packaging in an aircraft more than once, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Federal Aviation Administration. The less hazardous materials in smaller containers can travel by air.
Twenty spills per year over the last 10 years were “serious,” according to a PHMSA assessment. “Serious” includes a death or serious injury, evacuation of more than 25 people, or closure of a major transportation artery. The agencies are considering changing the HazMat regulations to improve the situation.
The spills are most often of toxic, corrosive or flammable liquids that have leaked from double packaging due to aircraft vibration or pressure changes. The agencies want better performance testing of the packaging, which is used when liquid and solid hazardous waste are packed into one outer container. The agencies also want the responsibilities of the shippers to be more clearly spelled out in the regulations.
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