Indiana House OKs tougher rules for transporting radioactive materials

| 3/2/2010

A bill nearing passage in the Indiana General Assembly would increase fees and beef up the state’s regulations on the shipment of radioactive materials within the state. Truck loads and rail shipments would be affected.

The House voted 93-1 to approve a bill that would make the Indiana Department of Homeland Security responsible for issuing permits for the transportation of radioactive materials on the state’s roadways. The bill – SB186 – now moves back to the Senate for approval of changes before advancing to Gov. Mitch Daniels’ desk.

Shippers of affected loads would be required to notify the state how much of the material is being transported, the route and means of transportation, as well as the schedule.

Currently, Indiana charges $1,000 for the transportation of each cask of nuclear waste. The bill would implement permit fees of $2,500 per truck or, for rail shipments, $4,500 for the first cask and $3,000 for each additional cask. Failure to obtain the proper permit could result in a maximum $1,000 fine.

Sen. Jim Arnold, D-LaPorte, said the regulation for radioactive materials is needed to keep Indiana roads safe from dangerous materials that require delicate handling.

“That is why legislation to increase the monitoring, tracking, and regulation of the transportation of this material is so important,” Arnold said in a statement.

The Indiana State Police, including motor carrier inspectors, rail safety inspectors, and other eligible law enforcement would be authorized to conduct vehicle inspections to verify compliance. Vehicles found in violation could be detained, seized or impounded.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Indiana in 2010, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor

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