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Who or What is a “Person” in the Eyes of the US DOT and the US EPA?

Who or What is a “Person” in the Eyes of the US DOT and the US EPA?

It might seem simple, but then again, nothing is simple with the Feds (US EPA and US DOT).  Consequently their definition – yes, it’s defined in the regulations – of a “person” doesn’t align with the standard English definition.  It’s important to know the regulatory definition, however, since it’s used to determine responsibility for compliance with the respective regulations.

The US Department of Transportation definition at at 49 CFR 171.8:

Person means an individual, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, society, joint stock company; or a government, Indian Tribe, or authority of a government or Tribe, that offers a hazardous material for transportation in commerce, transports a hazardous material to support a commercial enterprise, or designs, manufactures, fabricates, inspects, marks, maintains, reconditions, repairs, or tests a package, container, or packaging component that is represented, marked, certified, or sold as qualified for use in transporting hazardous material in commerce. This term does not include the United States Postal Service or, for purposes of 49 U.S.C. 5123 and 5124, a Department, agency, or instrumentality of the government.

The US Environmental Protection Agency definition at 40 CFR 260.10:

Person means an individual, trust, firm, joint stock company, Federal Agency, corporation (including a government corporation), partnership, association, State, municipality, commission, political subdivision of a State, or any interstate body.

In both cases the word may refer to an individual or to a business or government entity that person represents.  Unless you’re the United States Postal Service and engaged in the transportation of hazardous materials the definition of a “person” according to the US DOT or the US EPA will apply to you.

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So, you and the company/government that employs you are a “person”.  Your next step is to determine your regulatory responsibility:  Are you a HazMat Employer?  Do you generate a hazardous waste?  What is your hazardous waste generator status?  Have you trained your HazMat Employees and your Facility Personnel?  I can assist you with the training which in turn will help all the rest to become clear.  Please contact me for a free training consultation.