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2021 Georgia Code
Title 40 - Motor Vehicles and Traffic
Chapter 1 - Identification and Regulation
Article 2 - Transportation of Hazardous Materials
§ 40-1-23. Regulatory Compliance Inspections; Notification; Contacts With State; Permit Required for Transporting Materials; Escorts or Inspections; Exceptions; Recovery for Damage or Discharge; Civil Monetary Penalties; Routing Agencies; Adoption of Regulations
Universal Citation: GA Code § 40-1-23 (2021)
- Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any person transporting, shipping, or offering for transportation hazardous material on the public roads of this state shall be subject to the requirements of this article. Persons who ship, offer, transport, or store incidental to transportation hazardous materials, or who manufacture, fabricate, mark, maintain, recondition, repair, or test packages used or intended for the transportation of hazardous materials, shall be deemed to have given consent to regulatory compliance inspections.
- No person, including the state or any agency thereof, shall transport hazardous material in, to, or through this state on the public roads of this state, whether or not the hazardous material is for delivery in this state and whether or not the transportation originated in this state; nor shall any person deliver in this state any hazardous material to any person for transportation; nor shall any such person accept any hazardous material for transportation in this state without compliance with the following requirements: such materials shall be packaged, marked, labeled, handled, loaded, unloaded, stored, detained, transported, placarded, certified, secured, and monitored in compliance with rules and regulations promulgated by the commissioner pursuant to this article and consistent with federal law. Compliance with such rules and regulations shall be in addition to and supplemental of other regulations of the United States Department of Energy, United States Department of Transportation, United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and state fire marshal, applicable to such persons.
- The commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations such that no person shall arrange for the transportation of or cause to be transported in, to, or through this state on the public roads of this state any hazardous material unless such person shall notify the commissioner or his or her designee in accordance with such rules and regulations; provided, however, that such notification requirements shall comply with applicable federal hazardous materials transportation law.
- Prior to the transport of spent nuclear fuel or high-level radioactive waste, as those terms are defined in 42 U.S.C. Chapter 108 as amended by the Federal Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, the shipper shall notify the commissioner or his or her designee in the manner required by Title 10 C.F.R. Part 71 or Part 73.
- Knowledge by a shipper that a carrier proposes to transport hazardous material in or through this state on the public roads of this state shall be sufficient contact with this state to subject such shipper to the jurisdiction of the commissioner and the courts of this state with respect to such transport.
- No transportation of hazardous material shall take place in or through this state until the commissioner or his or her designee issues a permit authorizing the applicant to operate or move upon the state's public roads a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles which carry hazardous materials. The commissioner or his or her designee may require changes in the proposed dates, times, routes, detention, holding, or storage of such materials during transport as necessary to maximize protection of the public health, safety, welfare, or the environment. The commissioner is authorized to promulgate reasonable rules and regulations which are necessary or desirable in governing the issuance of permits, provided that such rules and regulations are not in conflict with other provisions of law.
- Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, pursuant to uniform permitting provisions of Federal Hazardous Materials Law, 49 U.S.C. Section 5119, the commissioner is authorized to adopt rules and regulations to bring state regulations into compliance with said federal law.
- Every such permit and all other documentation required by the commissioner shall be carried in the vehicles or combination of vehicles to which it refers and shall be open to inspection by any law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency responder, or employee of the department who has been given enforcement authority by the commissioner.
- For just cause, including, but not limited to, repeated and consistent past violations, the commissioner may refuse to issue or may cancel, suspend, or revoke the permit of an applicant or permittee.
- The commissioner or the official designated by the commissioner, pursuant to this Code section and the rules and regulations developed by the commissioner, may issue annual permits which shall allow vehicles transporting hazardous materials to be operated on the public roads of this state for 12 months from the date such permit is issued.
- The commissioner or the official designated by the commissioner, pursuant to this Code section and the rules and regulations developed by the commissioner, may issue a single-trip permit to any vehicle.
- Pursuant to this article, the commissioner may charge a fee for the issuance of such permits and may develop and adopt an apportionment schedule for fees to be established by rules and regulations promulgated by the commissioner. The fee for the issuance of an annual trip permit shall be not more than $100.00.
- The commissioner may arrange for escorts or inspections which comply with Code Section 35-2-101.
- For purposes of this article, the commissioner is expressly authorized to contract with any other state or local agency or department to perform any activities necessary to implement this article. Enforcement of this article and any rules, regulations, or orders promulgated, adopted, or issued hereunder shall be the sole province of the department and those entities the commissioner authorizes in writing, except for provisions relating to anhydrous ammonia.
- Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, the commissioner is authorized to establish such exceptions or exemptions from the requirements of this article, or any provision hereof, for such kinds, quantities, types, or shipments of hazardous materials as he or she shall deem appropriate, consistent with the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare.
- Specifically, but without limitation, the commissioner shall continue in force the agricultural exceptions in 49 C.F.R. Section 173.5, and the tank exceptions in 49 C.F.R. Section 173.8, as originally adopted in Public Service Commission Appendix "A" File MCA1-3, Docket No. 16632-M, effective June 1, 1998.
- This article shall not apply to the transportation, delivery, or acceptance for delivery of radioactive materials inside the confines of a single contiguous authorized location of use of any person authorized to use, possess, transport, deliver, or store radioactive materials by the Department of Natural Resources pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 31 or by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission; nor shall this article apply to the transportation, delivery, or acceptance for transportation of radioactive materials under the direction or supervision of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, United States Department of Energy, United States Department of Defense, or other federal agency authorized to possess or transport such material where such transportation, delivery, or acceptance for transportation is escorted by personnel designated by or under the authority of those agencies.
- This article shall not apply to interstate pipeline facilities which are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Transportation under the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968.
- In the event of any damage to state property or any discharge of hazardous materials from the authorized shipping package or container or any threat of such discharge which results from the transportation, storage, holding, detention, delivery for transportation, or acceptance for transportation of hazardous materials in this state, the state may recover from any shipper, carrier, bailor, bailee, or any other person responsible for such storage, transportation, holding, detention, delivery, or acceptance all costs incurred by the state in the reparation of the damage and all costs incurred in the prevention, abatement, or removal of any such discharge or threatened discharge, including reasonable attorney's fees incurred with respect to recovery.
- The commissioner is expressly authorized to charge reasonable fees for time, equipment, materials, and supplies used or incurred by the department in the implementation of this article.
- The commissioner may issue civil penalties against any person found in violation of this article or any regulations promulgated or adopted for the safe and secure transportation of hazardous materials. Such penalties shall not exceed the limits established by 49 U.S.C. Chapter 51.
- Any person, firm, or corporation transporting methamphetamine, amphetamine, any mixture containing either methamphetamine or amphetamine, anhydrous ammonia, or any mixture containing anhydrous ammonia, shall be subject to all rules and regulations promulgated by the commissioner pursuant to this article governing the safe operation of motor vehicles and drivers and the safe transportation of hazardous materials.
- Notwithstanding the provisions of this Code section, the commissioner may impose civil monetary penalties in an amount not to exceed the maximum amounts for penalties established by 49 U.S.C. Chapter 51 for each violation of any rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this article with respect to persons transporting methamphetamine, amphetamine, any mixture containing either methamphetamine or amphetamine, anhydrous ammonia, or any mixture containing anhydrous ammonia.
- The department is designated as the routing agency as defined in Title 49 C.F.R. Part 397, Subpart E. Routing determinations for hazardous materials shall be made in accordance with the provisions of Federal Hazardous Materials Law, 49 U.S.C. Section 5112. The commissioner or his or her designee shall consult with Georgia Department of Transportation, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, Georgia Department of Homeland Security, or other agencies as necessary to carry out these responsibilities.
- Drivers who transport hazardous materials shall be trained at least to the minimum standards required by federal law. Upon request by the commissioner, proof of such federally required driver training shall be made available to the commissioner or his or her staff.
- For the transportation of spent nuclear fuel, high-level radioactive waste, and other hazardous materials, the commissioner may take action to ensure that motor vehicles, drivers, and packages used in such transportation have been inspected to show compliance with the federal motor carrier safety regulations and federal hazardous materials regulations, and compatible state regulations adopted pursuant to this article.
- Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, a bond or indemnity insurance required of carriers shall be established by rules and regulations of the commissioner and shall for all persons subject to this article, whether intrastate or interstate carriers, be at least in the maximum amount or amounts authorized or required by federal law or regulations.
- No person shall transport or cause the transportation of hazardous materials in violation of an out-of-service order.
- In addition to any other liability imposed by law, any person who violates or fails to comply with any provision of this article, or any rule, regulation, or order promulgated, adopted, or issued hereunder, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor violations of this article may be prosecuted, handled, and disposed of in the manner provided for by Chapter 13 of this title.
- The commissioner is authorized and empowered to adopt, promulgate, amend, repeal, or modify such standards, rules, and regulations and to issue such orders, authorizations, or amendments or modifications thereof as are necessary to implement this article. Any standards, rules, or regulations adopted pursuant to this article, if consistent with the applicable laws relating to adoption of such standards, rules, or regulations, shall have the force and effect of law. Any such rules and regulations shall be compatible with federal motor carrier safety regulations and federal hazardous materials regulations in Title 49 C.F.R.
- Regulations governing the safe operations of motor carriers, commercial motor vehicles, and drivers and the safe and secure transportation of hazardous materials may be adopted by administrative order, including, but not limited to, referencing compatible federal regulations or standards without compliance with the procedural requirements of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act," provided that such compatible federal regulations or standards shall be maintained on file by the department and made available for inspection and copying by the public, by means including, but not limited to, posting on the department's Internet site. The commissioner of public safety may comply with the filing requirements of Chapter 13 of Title 50 by filing with the office of the Secretary of State merely the name and designation of such rules, regulations, standards, and orders. The courts shall take judicial notice of rules, regulations, standards, or orders so adopted or published.
- Rules, regulations, or orders previously adopted, issued, or promulgated pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 7 or 11 of Title 46 in effect on June 30, 2011, shall remain in full force and effect until such time as the commissioner adopts, issues, or promulgates new rules, regulations, or orders pursuant to the provisions of this article.
- The department shall, to the extent practicable, engage in education, outreach, and customer service activities to reach persons and entities affected by these regulations and to assist the competitiveness of Georgia citizens and businesses engaged in regulated activities.
(Code 1981, §40-1-23, enacted by Ga. L. 2011, p. 479, § 10/HB 112; Ga. L. 2016, p. 91, § 18/SB 416; Ga. L. 2017, p. 774, § 40/HB 323.)
The 2016 amendment, effective July 1, 2016, inserted "and Homeland Security" in the middle of the second sentence of subsection (q).
The 2017 amendment, effective May 9, 2017, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, deleted "35-2-56 [repealed] or" following "Code Section" in subsection (i).
OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
- Offenses arising from a violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-1-23 are offenses for which fingerprinting is required. 2011 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 11-5.
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