Hazardous Materials on the Road

By: Stephanie Baker
By: Stephanie Baker

November 3, 2005
A new plan describes a way to help the hundreds of companies in the CSRA that ship hazardous materials on the highways prevent problems. News 12 is on your side to explain how a new Hazmat workshop coming to Augusta will keep the roads you drive on a little bit safer.

Poison, explosives, and radioactive materials; any number of hazardous materials could be in the truck right next to you. And whether or not there is a warning depends on how much and what type of dangerous material it is.

Postnet owner Karen Chrjapin ships dozens of packages a day. She understands that under federal law, all hazardous packages must be labeled.

“We do like to know what’s being shipped cause ultimately we’re responsible for the shipment,” Karen said.

The CSRA has hundreds of companies that ship hazardous materials. About 1.2 million shipments of hazardous materials are shipped every day across the US, many of those are on trucks on interstates.

The Department of Transportation sent a representative to Columbia County to explain a workshop coming in late November to teach these companies how to prevent accidents, like the chlorine gas that killed nine in Graniteville last year. Emergency Services Director Pam Tucker says smaller scale accidents are very common.

“We probably have an accident every day where there’s vehicle fluids, diesel, oil, gas and things like that are spilled,” Tucker said.

Hazmat workers can learn how to clearly label the dangerous goods and now to protect them from being tampered with. No hazardous materials get past Karen Chrjapin.

“We do question them about the contents of their packages,” Karen said.

You still won’t know exactly what is next to you in those trucks, but there’s a better chance that safety will be improved. The workshop is coming to Augusta on Thursday, November 17. If you deal with dangerous materials or want to find out more about Hazmat, you are encouraged to attend. You can get more information by called 202-366-4900 or visit hazmat.dot.gov.


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