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Homeland security: DOT to step up background checks on U.S.-bound Canadian explosives carriers

On Feb. 4, U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) issued temporary regulations calling for security checks of Canadian trains and trucks carrying explosives into the United States.

Under an interim final rule (IFR) issued by Transportation Security Administration (TSA), explosives carriers crossing the U.S./Canada border must register with Transport Canada, which will conduct security checks to ensure that both the carrier and shipper are legitimate companies, and that drivers or engineers pose no security concerns.

Transport Canada then will forward lists of approved carriers, shippers and drivers to TSA, which will conduct additional checks when appropriate and forward the lists to U.S. Customs Service.

Canadian explosives carriers will be allowed to enter the United States only if they're on the customs service's approved list.

TSA is accepting public comments on its IFR for the next 30 days. The rule is intended as a temporary measure until USDOT consults with Canadian and other U.S. government agencies, and issues more comprehensive regulations requiring background checks of persons transporting hazardous materials.

USDOT also plans to consult with Mexico to develop a similar security-check system involving Mexican explosives carriers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/5/2003