A Hazardous Material (HazMat) is a substance or material that poses a risk to health, safety or property when transported in commerce. The U.S. government designates materials as hazardous under the federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA). This includes hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, marine pollutants and elevated temperature materials.
In 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 3 billion tons of hazardous materials are shipped nationwide each year. Most of these materials are shipped by truck. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation is responsible for regulating the safe transportation of HazMat. Special training is required by law for anyone who transports HazMat.
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