DOT REVISING SHIP RULES ON EXPLOSIVES

DOT REVISING SHIP RULES ON EXPLOSIVES

A proposal from two Transportation Department agencies will eliminate two separate sets of federal regulations on the handling, stowage and transport of explosives on vessels.

Provisions on the carriage of military explosives in one section of government rules would be combined with provisions in another section that apply to transporting commercial explosives on ships.A notice from the Coast Guard said: "The only significant distinction between 'military' and other explosives is in their end use; the existence of two essentially overlapping sets of regulations is of historical, rather than technical or legal, origin."

The Research and Special Programs Administration noted that historically, greater emphasis has been placed on the segregation of military explosives. However, since non-military explosives are potentially as hazardous as military explosives, the Coast Guard and the RSPA believe their safety requirements should be consistent with those for military explosives.

The proposal would make the regulations regarding handling, fire, electrical safety, stowage, segregation and transport the same for both types of explosives.

Requirements governing the transport of explosives would be made consistent with the international code.

Another revision would apply the rules for handling explosives on vessels in port to all vessels on which any type of explosive - not just military explosives - is loaded, handled or unloaded.

Comments are due July 16.