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Most important in improving the level of compliance with the safety rules is an adequate governmental inspection, education, and enforcement effort. Without a meaningful program in this area, the hazardous materials regulations will continue to languish unknown and unobeyed. The American people have a right to expect-and get-more.

We appreciate the courtesy this subcommittee has extended to us. We will be glad to answer any questions you might have.

Mr. RANDALL. Thank you, Captain O'Donnell.

Let the record show that we are graced by the presence of our distinguished chairman, the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Brooks.

In this subcommittee, we divide the time under the 5-minute rule. If you will permit the chairman of the subcommittee to proceed for 5 minutes, then we will go ahead.

You have given us a very hard-hitting statement, Captain O'Donnell. The Chair is disturbed by this complete lack of publication of these exemptions. You say that there has been no publication of these exemptions in the Federal Register?

Captain O'DONNELL. That is correct, sir.

Mr. RANDALL. Captain, could you give us some examples of incidents involving hazardous materials? You may not be able to give them right off the top of your head. You say the majority of hazardous materials you believe are carried in violation of the regulations. What is an example--in addition to the two or three that were listed in your opening statement?

Captain O'DONNELL. Mr. Chairman, I will turn this question over to Capt. Jim Echols, who is our chairman for our Hazardous Materials Committee.

Captain ECHOLS. In all of our appearances before this subcommittee, we have stressed the fact, since the first time we were here, which I guess was in December 1971, that just walking through an airport freight dock and looking at the material that was assembled thereon face value alone, without having any large law book with youyou could look at a box and tell that it was a noncompliance.

I think the Pan Am incident was probably one of the big things that pointed this out. The 20-some people who handled this material from the west coast to the east coast, whose primary job was to handle this kind of material and know the regulations, sent it right on through without ever stopping it, questioning it, or any other delaying of this material. They just sent it right on through. Every bit of it was illegal on the face value of it.

We have recently been conducting another survey on the airlines. There is a large book here that contains notifications to the pilot in command of hazardous materials on board. We have something like 3,000 of them in the past 6 or 7 months. And just on the face value of looking at those, fully one-third of them are in direct violation of the Federal air regulations.

Mr. RANDALL. Where were all the inspectors?

Captain ECHOLS. That is what we wonder, because we do not feel that it is our job to point out the deficiencies each and every time they occur. I will say this: the particular airline that we ran the survey on probably has one of the better programs of trying to educate their people to handle this material-and they are fully one-third in violation.

We have pictures galore which we have taken on freight docks and in airplanes, just recently, where we see the same thing that we saw back in 1971, with almost no change. Arrows are upside-down, sideways, every way but the way they should be on a carton marked as peaches, but containing a flammable liquid. Just a haphazard total lack of knowledge of the system, or how to handle or ship these materials.

Mr. RANDALL. Your mention of flammable materials calls to my mind a comment you made, Captain O'Donnell, regarding inadequate firefighting equipment on airlines. I note here in one of your points that there is certainly a lack of adequate firefighting equipment to deal with this hazardous cargo.

Whose responsibiilty is that? Is it the responsibility of the inspectors to see that the aircraft are adequately equipped with extinguishers?

Captain O'Donnell. Yes, sir, but even more alarming than that— I would like to read a small paragraph into the record.

On January 8, 1975, the FAA issued a telegraphic alert to all the airline carriers on emergency action to be taken when hazardous materials fires occur in flight. I am quoting from it:

Investigation into a recent accident revealed that the smoke or fire caused by oxidizing agents and certain other chemicals could not be controlled by the existing emergency and smoke removal procedures. Pilots should, therefore, be warned that the possibility exists that they may be carrying cargo of oxidizing agents and certain other chemicals that, if ignited, could cause smoke or fire that could not be extinguished by existing emergency procedures; that any abnormal in-flight occurrence that could be linked to the dangerous articles in an inaccessible compartment or bin should be considered an unsafe condition requiring the immediate decision and action to land the airplane at the nearest suitable airport in point of time in which a safe landing can be made.

They tell us we have the equipment and chemicals on board the airplane that we cannot extinguish, and we are at 40,000 feet; but if it catches on fire, and we cannot get to it, land someplace.

I think that type of material does not belong in a passenger-carrying airplane. If I was the captain of a freighter, I would not let it onto my freighter airplane, either. But this is the decision of the captain to make. With the nonexistence of adequate regulations, I think the captain has a responsibility for his own life to reject that type of garbage being put on an airplane.

Mr. RANDALL. Thank you very much, Captain.

This was the accident involving nitric acid packed in sawdust-a perfect illustration of the dangers of this oxidizing material.

Captain O'DONNELL. It is a good illustration, but there are many, many others, sir.

Mr. BROOKS. I do not want to make any long comment, but I just want to say that I am delighted to be here and see you, Mr. Randall, and your subcommittee working on this problem which is a serious matter for this Nation and the FAA.

I have always said that the Renegotiation Board was the worst agency in the Government, but there are a lot of candidates. I would put the FAA as second worst.

I realize that there are a lot of other opinions; we would probably have to have a recount and do a poll on those evaluations.

MS. ABZUG. There is competition.

Mr. BROOKS. It is a highly competitive field. However, we will soon have a new Administrator at the FAA; he will have problems. They always have difficulty as to who runs it-who is the supervisor, whether it is the Department of Transportation or the Administrator of FAA. Between the two, it makes for a chain of command that leaves a lot of slack.

That is a problem that I have tried to get worked out with a lot of Presidents, but I have not been able to do it. I just hope that with a new Administrator maybe we can do better.

The problems with hazardous materials are pretty obvious; and the answers are really not too difficult. There has to be better packaging in this particular area, a little better inspection.

You captains are very fortunate; you have been flying this stuff around for many years. You have been testifying before this committee since I was 30 years old, I guess.

Captain O'DONNELL. Three years, sir.

Mr. BROOKS. But I am glad to see you all back. You haven't buckled under a bit. You are still fighting this fight for the public and for safety and that is important, and even more critical as more and more people fly, and as they dream up more and more exotic combustibles and hazardous materials.

I have carried everything but a live chicken on an airplane. We had hearings, you know, on the same subject some time ago, and I said someone could probably bring a live cobra on board an airplane and no one would say a thing about it. I thought I was kidding, but somebody wrote me about a year later, and that is what they had done. Captain O'DONNELL. In 1958, Mr. Chairman, I carried a 14-foot boa constrictor in a suitcase and didn't know about it until we had arrived in Boston when I was told it was taken off the airplane.

I don't like grass snakes; and needless to say, we were a little nervous when this came to light. This was a passenger-carrying airplane, and the snake was in the passenger compartment. Had I known it, I wouldn't have been at the airport, never mind on the airplane. Mr. BROOKS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. RANDALL. Ms. Abzug.

Ms. ABZUG. Thank you for your testimony this morning, Captain O'Donnell. One of the things that has concerned me and that has concerned a lot of Members of the Congress and the public as a whole has been the transportation by air of materials which are radioactive-plutonium, and the like.

The question that I want to ask you, in view of a number of serious aircraft problems in connection with the transportation of plutonium, is, do you feel that regulations adequately cover the situation which would safeguard the transportation by air of plutonium?

Captain ECHOLS. One of the severe problems with plutonium is that it is not a high-gamma emitter, and therefore the packaging for plutonium-whereas other materials require this large shielding and very heavy tankcars, almost, to transport them around-is basically put into 40-gallon drums welded together with some foam insulation inside and a stainless steel container. We have been very much against the carrying of this material by any aircraft-even military, unless it is on a nuclear strike.

The material itself is so fierce when loosed upon the environment. in its container from 30,000 feet, it just will not sustain that kind of handling.

I was encouraged to see that, after our long fight over these years, Representative Scheuer from New York has gotten the Atomic Energy Act amended to ban the carriage of this material by high-flying airplanes until such time as the new agency, ERDA-Energy Research and Development Administration-can come up and prove to Congress it can be done with safety.

Surprisingly enough, almost immediately this agency withdrew the shipping of this material by air, and, as far as I know at the present time has no time limit set for when they might prove to the world that these containers can actually withstand rough handling.

Ms. ABZUG. As I remember the amendment, it provided that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would not license any shipment by air transport of plutonium, provided that any plutonium in a form contained in a medical device designed for individual human application is not subject to this restriction; and that it would be in full force until the AEC determined that a safe container had been developed.

My question is, doesn't that provide the same kind of hazard? I am not so clear what has happened to that amendment since it was passed, but, taking into consideration that amendment, does the exception there which provides for transportation if it is for medical or research purposes apply?

In other words, this exempts also the amendment of Mr. Scheuer's, as I read it. It exempts medical and research materials that are radioactive, so that, if you are still carrying medical and research radioactive materials, doesn't that provide the same kind of hazard?

Captain ECHOLS. No question about it. We sympathize, as a matter of fact; pacemakers are powered by plutonium. We certainly find that that is a desirable way to save somebody's life. However, I think the thing that somebody is forgetting, along the line, is that plutonium has a half-life of something like 28.000 years. I hardly see the necessity to rush the materials by air. I do not believe there are too many manufacturers in the country that make pacemakers. I don't think you are talking about 2.000 manufacturers; it is probably limited. The nature of the material itself that people very seldom talk about is that it is highly flammable on its own. It is combustible almost when exposed to air. It is highly toxic; it is very poisonous: it is carcinogenic. It has been termed a satan-material. It absolutely has every adverse effect on humanity that you could think of.

The mere thought that, at JFK, where they have been having a big battle over this problem, somebody could fly over the middle of Manhattan with 40-or-so pounds of this material, when 1 micro-millimeter of that inhaled into the human lung causes cancer. It is not merely a chance of its causing cancer; it is a point that you have got it.

I think this takes some serious looking into as to how we should transport that material.

Mr. RANDALL. Thank you very much. The Chair will have a few additional questions.

I notice here that copies of these regulations are not available. You said in your second point that shippers, freight forwarders do not

even have a copy of the applicable regulations. Whose responsibility is that? Who has failed us there? They do not even pass the regulations out. Is that correct?

Captain ECHOLS. I cannot hold the public totally to blame for this. I suppose the Government Printing Office prints numbers by demand. I know at one time they had such a heavy demand for these regulations from the shippers that it took about 8 months to get one. As a matter of fact, we have just received our 1974 copy within the last several weeks at ALPA. It is very, very difficult for the public to get these.

We were assured in October of last year at a big conference chaired by Under Secretary Barnum that he would see to it that these books were readily available and speed up the process. But we have not seen that happen yet.

Mr. RANDALL. We all have problems with the Government Printing Office. But nevertheless somewhere along the line there has been a failure, because you can get just about anything you need printed down there in 30 to 60 days-in 90 days, at the most.

You are saying here that the regulations are simply not in the hands of these shippers. I will ask the staff to inquire into this. Has an order ever been placed by DOT?

Of course, it is one thing to have regulations, and another to be able to understand them. Perhaps the regulations are unreadable; but let's at least give the shippers something which they can try to interpret.

I think we ought to follow up on that and see whether an order has ever been placed down there.

Your answer was that you understand it is the GPO that is responsible. Is that correct?

Captain ECHOLS. It is my understanding that they are not readily available for purchase.

Mr. RANDALL. Is it my understanding you can get work done down there if you have a good and valid reason.

You disturb us a bit when you state that there is a problem of overlapping jurisdictions that has hampered the enforcement of the regulations. I thought we were down to a situation where it was all FAA responsibility. What other agencies are involved?

Captain O'DONNELL. Mr. Chairman, the House Special Investigating Subcommittee report, as we mentioned before, stated on page 186, "The one reason for the inadequacy of regulations and enforcement in the areas of hazardous materials is the division of authority among several departments and agencies." This was from the NTSB report on the Pan-American crash. They made this same point.

Mr. RANDALL. The National Transportation Safety Board said there were overlapping jurisdictions?

Captain O'DONNELL. That was in the Pan-American crash report.
Mr. RANDALL. The crash at Logan Airport in Boston?
Captain O'DONNELL. Yes, sir.

Mr. RANDALL. We have that agency with us this morning. We certainly should inquire about this. We fail to see, at least prima facie, where there is any overlapping responsibility. It is clearly that of the FAA, isn't it?

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