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We recognize that, under emergency conditions, certain products have to be transported by air. The question is, is it necessarily an emergency situation? Some products could probably best be transported by other modes rather than to ship them by air.

Ms. ABZUG. Clearly, the evidence seems to be, from previous testimony before other committees of Congress, that the plutonium container is not capable of withstanding the impact of an aircraft accident without rupture.

I feel that there is an awful risk that we are taking in the existing regulations on that issue. Since you are dealing with safety, I had hoped that you would have addressed yourself to that question.

Mr. REED. We recognize that plutonium, of course, is extremely dangerous. It would seem that with the half-life that it has, our specialist says 24,000 years, that it would not be necessary to transport it by air. It could be transported by other modes.

MS. ABZUG. Don't you think that the law should so provide?
Mr. REED. I think probably it should.

Ms. ABZUG. Are you telling me that, as a National Safety Board, you are not familiar with the various exemptions that have taken place and waivers-which may directly affect the safety of aircraft personnel, of passengers, and of other persons even on the ground? Are you telling me that it is not within your jurisdiction to see how this particular act is implemented?

Mr. REED. Yes; it is within our jurisdiction, and we do keep abreast of activities in the field, but we have a very limited staff. The gentleman on my left is our only hazardous materials expert. He is aware of the changes. We have made recommendations in this area and monitor these to see if they are being implemented. We do have severe manpower limitations; we certainly, however, do everything we can. with the resources available to us.

Ms. ABZUG. The reason I am concerned about that is, to just come into play after there has been a catastrophe is not exactly, in my opinion, meaningful safety supervision. To analyze why a catastrophe took place because of unsafe conditions is one function. But I think a major function has to be to prevent a catastrophe.

Mr. REED. You are absolutely right. We always attempt to apply the lessons we learn from our investigations in order to prevent the same type of accident.

MS. ABZUG. I do not know how you can really stay abreast of the safety problems if you are, indeed, not aware of the exemptions and the waivers and the way in which these regulations have been implemented.

Wouldn't you think that would be something you should be informed of?

Mr. REED. Yes; I would fully agree, and that is why we are asking for additional people-to allow us to do that job.

We feel we should be doing it, and we do it to the limit of our ability, with our one specialist.

Mr. RANDALL. The Chair is not noted for defending agencies that are remiss in their duties. However, as we understand the legislation that applies to the National Transportation Safety Board, your first mandate is to see what happened in accidents. I do not know whether you have that many accidents or whether you are that busy, but that

is still your first responsibility. Following that, you look at an accident in retrospect and make safety recommendations.

Would you say that, after fulfilling that first responsibility-which the law very clearly sets out-that you would, having the time, the men and the wherewithal, have the responsibility that Ms. Abzug was speaking about?

Mr. REED. That is correct, Mr. Chairman. Our mandate from the Congress is to investigate transportation accidents, determine probable cause, and make recommendations.

Mr. RANDALL. I have the act here. This is Public Law 93-633 as amended. That made you an independent agency, and it says your first duty is to initiate and to investigate *** to determine the facts *** the cause *** of any aircraft accident. That is your first responsibility.

Mr. REED. Yes, sir. That is our prime responsibility.

Mr. RANDALL. At the end of the act, it says you can initiate and conduct special studies in matters pertaining to safety and transportation.

What you tell us, as I understand it-and I am not seeking to be defensive for you-is that you just have one man. Is that all?

Mr. REED. That is right. He is the Chief of our Hazardous Materials Division, Bureau of Surface Transportation Safety.

Mr. RANDALL. Thank you.

Mr. REED. But our first responsibility, as you have indicated, is to investigate accidents. We attempt to do everything we can in the time available to fulfill our other obligations.

Mr. RANDALL. You refer on page 3 to the recent publication of proposed amendments to regulations covering air carriage of hazardous materials in remote areas. What difference does it make what area they are in? What is a remote area?

Mr. REED. That was to accommodate the Alaskan situation.
Mr. RANDALL. We hear a lot about the Alaskan situation.

Tell us a little more about it.

Mr. REED. In the construction of the pipeline, they transport a lot of materials and items they use in construction via air. There have been exemptions to provide for this because it is mostly a rather remote, uninhabited area generally speaking.

Mr. RANDALL. Let us not tip-toe around when we can walk right straight forward standing up. What you are talking about is that there are no railroads up there or anything else. Materials, including hazardous materials, have to be transported by air if we are going to build that pipeline.

Mr. REED. Yes. I was in Alaska this summer and had the opportunity to fly the length of the pipeline. About the only way they can move products around is by air.

Mr. RANDALL. This reference to Alaska just wasn't clear. We talk a lot about the Alaskan situation, and now we have explained what that situation is.

On page 4, you mention some NTSB safety recommendations which would have added another incentive for compliance. (See pp. 48-49.) You do not spell out exactly what that incentive was but the important thing is that it was rejected. You state it was rejected-by

the Federal Aviation Administration. Did they tell you why they rejected it?

Mr. REED. First let me say that we recommended that the carrier be required to notify the FAA and the shipper if there is anything wrong with the shipment or its documentation if it failed to meet the regulations.

And, second, that that product could not be moved until the deviation had been corrected. Otherwise, you leave a loophole in that the shipper might possibly take the package to another airline which might accept the shipment. We think this recommendation would accomplish a great deal. It would alert the FAA that there was a deviation, and second, it would effectively block the merchandise from being shipped on another airline.

Mr. RANDALL. We still are going to do our best to find out about this rejection.

Mr. REED. I would like to call upon Mr. Childs, our safety recommendations manager, who follows each recommendation.

Mr. RANDALL. Let's hear your side.

What have they rejected, sir?

Mr. CHILDS. The FAA rejected that recommendation. The recommendation itself was to institute rulemaking to require that air carriers notify the shipper and the FAA when a shipment of its documentation deviates from the FAR. The FAA responded in that the present rules are adequate and prohibit shipments of material that are not in compliance.

Based on this response, we consider this type of response as a rejection by the FAA.

Mr. RANDALL. FAA said here on paper that certain items are prohibited, but they are not really doing anything substantial to insure that these items are not going to be carried. Isn't that about it? Their rhetoric is good; but there is no action.

Mr. CHILDS. Yes, sir.

Mr. REED. They believe what they have done is adequate. We definitely feel our recommendation is needed for the two reasons I have already cited. First, it alerts the FAA that there is a problem; and second, the shipper cannot move the shipment to another airline. So we think it is valid.

Mr. RANDALL. One final question.

You say on March 19, 1975, the DOT task force reinforced some of the Safety Board's findings in the Pan Am Boston investigation. But what happened to those recommendations? What happened to this report of the task force?

Mr. REED. I had Mr. Benner check yesterday, and his report was that as of that time there were no plans to implement the task force recommendations. Is that correct, Mr. Benner?

Mr. BENNER. The chairman of that task force gave us that advice, sir.

Mr. RANDALL. Nothing being done?

Mr. BENNER. No specific plans to implement the recommendations with respect to equipment.

Mr. RANDALL. Who is the chairman of that task force?

Mr. BENNER. Mr. Burns.

Mr. REED. Mr. William Burns.

Mr. RANDALL. Staff may have a question.

Mr. LAWRENCE. I have one question for you, Mr. Reed.

The recommendation you made that the carrier hold up a shipment which was found not to be in conformity certainly sounds like it would be very effective. But the only thing that troubles me is that it appears to put the carrier in the position of an enforcer. If I understand the law correctly, it would make the carrier responsible for the condition of the goods while it held them, and would require it to put aside some area of its property on which to hold the shipment and provide security for it.

I am very eager that something be done to improve the situation. I only wonder if it is fair to impose that on the carrier.

Mr. REED. You do raise a valid point. As I see it, the FAA would have to take action as soon as they were notified so the carrier would not be burdened unduly by the shipment.

We would anticipate that action would take place rather swiftly once the FAA was notified.

Mr. LAWRENCE. Thank you.

Would you further explain what you mean by a "user-oriented format for hazardous materials regulations," and explain why that is important?

Mr. REED. We believe that there should be instructions in a handbook which are readily understandable to those having to handle hazardous materials. In other words, instructions in lay language, if you will, as to what they are supposed to do. That is what we mean user oriented. Mr. LAWRENCE. May I assume from that comment that you do not feel that this is presently the case?

Mr. REED. We found that this was previously one of the problems. The language used was difficult to understand by those who had to actually carry out the instructions. We want to make sure that the next time it is written, the language will be readily understandable.

Mr. LAWRENCE. Mr. Chairman, I have an example of that here that our staff assistant suggested be read into the record.

Mr. RANDALL. Go ahead.

Mr. LAWRENCE. This is from 49 CFR, section 173.386: "Etiologic agents, definition and scope." And I assume that this is where a dockworker would have to go in order to establish whether or not he, indeed, had an etiologic agent on his hands.

A definition: "For the purpose of parts 170 through 179 of this subchapter: One. An etiologic agent means a viable micro-organism or its toxin which causes or may cause human disease and is limited to those agents listed in 42 CFR 72.25 (c) of the regulations of the Department of HEW..." It goes on further to define diagnostic specimens and biological products.

I would question whether I could read that and apply it to some unknown commodity in front of me and understand what to do. Mr. REED. That is what we mean by user oriented.

Mr. RANDALL. The Chair has no idea what an etiologic agent is from that description or from any other definition here. I suppose it has something to do with micro-organisms, doesn't it?

Mr. REED. I can call upon our expert, Mr. Benner.

Mr. RANDALL. Is anyone a medic around here? You say a dockworker must interpret regulations of this kind?

Mr. REED. That is why we say it should be user oriented, in order for the layman to understand what he needs to do to handle the material safely.

Mr. RANDALL. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and your associates.

Mr. REED. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. RANDALL. We will hear the FAA now.

Mr. Ferrarese, will you come up to the table, please.


Mr. FERRARESE. Thank you.

Mr. RANDALL. That is quite an important job you have down there, Mr. Ferrarese.

Mr. FERRARESE. Yes, sir. I am the Deputy Director of the Flight Standards Service in the FAA.

Mr. RANDALL. Who is your superior?

Mr. FERRARESE. Richard Skully is the Director.

Mr. RANDALL. All right, sir. Go ahead, please.

Mr. FERRARESE. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to discuss the degree to which the Federal Aviation Administration has implemented the provisions of Public Law 93-633, the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. Appearing with me today is Curtis McKay, Chief, Air Carrier Division, Flight Standards Service.

The overall safety record with respect to the air transportation of hazardous materials has been very good. To the best of our knowledge, there has not been a single passenger injury caused by the air transportation of such materials in the 29 years since the carriage by air of hazardous materials and certain other dangerous articles was first regulated by the Federal air regulations in 1946.

Notwithstanding this record, FAA realizes that there is always room for improvement. An active public and internal education, regulation, and enforcement program is required to deal with the ever-increasing movement of hazardous materials by air. Accordingly, we are continuing to place additional emphasis in this area.

I would like to take this opportunity to describe some of the specific affirmative actions that the FAA has taken over the last 3 years.

In 1973, the FAA established a hazardous materials staff at its headquarters here in Washington. This staff now consists of four specialists. In 1974, 18 full-time hazardous materials coordinators were assigned to FAA field offices. These coordinators routinely conduct seminars and training sessions for industry representatives and FAA personnel.

A 56-hour course was established at the FAA Academy for FAA field inspectors in 1973. As of September 19, 1975, 431 inspectors have attended. A 32-hour training course for aviation industry representatives was established in 1974. As of September 19, 1975, 360 persons have attended.

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