OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

January 14, 1993

The Honorable Robert C. Byrd
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Byrd:

This is in response to your letter of November 23, 1992, concerning laws regulating the handling and transportation of hazardous waste. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) regulation, 29 CFR 1910.120, covers workers exposed or potentially exposed to hazardous substances in three types of operations: (1) hazardous waste site or hazardous substance post-emergency release clean-up operations, (2) hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities (TSDFs), and (3) emergency responses to uncontrolled releases of hazardous material.

Enclosed please find a booklet describing the requirements of HAZWOPER, OSHA 3114, "Hazardous Waste and Emergency Response." Also enclosed is OSHA 3084, titled "Chemical Hazard Communication," which describes OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), 29 CFR 1910.1200. Please note that while the HCS does not apply to hazardous waste, it is applicable in many workplaces where HAZWOPER applies (i.e., at facilities where the potential exists for an emergency release of hazardous substances).

In your letter, you specifically inquired about regulations governing transportation of hazardous waste. OSHA has limited jurisdiction for over-the-road vehicle operation. 29 CFR 1910.120 does not cover vehicle operators per se, but it does cover any emergency responders. If the operator is expected to take a role in the event of a transportation emergency, then the operator must be trained as an emergency responder under 29 CFR 1910.120 paragraph(q).

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued regulations requiring training for all hazardous materials employees regarding the safe loading, unloading, handling, storing and transporting of hazardous materials as well as emergency preparedness for responding to accidents or incidents involving the transportation of hazardous materials including hazardous waste. These regulations, Training for Safe Transportation of Hazardous Materials, modify Parts 171-177 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations and were published in the Federal Register on May 15, 1992 at 57 FR 20944-20954. While OSHA's rule 29 CFR 1910.120 still applies to the transportation industry, it is not OSHA's intent that workers be given duplicative training under these regulations. It is OSHA's position, as well as that of DOT, that training under either regulation that meets the requirements of the other need not be repeated.

For further information on DOT requirements contact:

Ms. Jackie Smith
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards
RSPA, Department of Transportation
400 Seventh Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20590

Telephone: (202) 366-4475

Furthermore, as you may be aware, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has promulgated extensive regulations addressing hazardous waste operations at both hazardous waste clean-up sites as well as TSDFs. For information on these regulations please contact the Superfund/Resource conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Hotline at 1-800-424-9346.

We hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions please contact us at (202) 219-8036.


Roger Clark,
Directorate of Compliance Programs