The U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, or PHMSA, is responsible for regulating the movement of hazardous materials, in order to protect the environment and the health and safety of property and people. Pre-Transportation Checks Prior to the transportation of hazardous materials, the company or person due to transport the materials must perform a check to determine the class of hazard presented by the materials, and the type of packaging that will be needed to transport the materials. Notice of Hazardous Materials Incidents If, during the transportation, loading or unloading of a hazardous material, an incident occurs resulting in the injury or death of a person, a report must be made by telephone to the National Response Center. Marking of Rail Cars Hazardous waste cannot be transported by rail unless rail cars display placards indicating the nature of the hazardous cargo. If identifying placards are lost in transit, they must be replaced at the next inspection point at which the train stops. Position of Rail Cars Rail cars carrying hazardous waste must be located at least six cars away from the engine pulling the train, if the length of the train allows this, or as far from the engine as possible if it does not. Notifications to Air Passengers All airlines involved in the transportation of passengers must issue a warning to all passengers informing them that carrying hazardous materials aboard the aircraft, even if it is contained in luggage stored in the hold, is prohibited by federal law.
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