New Jersey soon to add hazmat inspectors

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 12/20/2012

A new law will add to the list of police officers in New Jersey authorized to inspect hazardous materials hauls.

New Jersey law now limits authority to inspect affected loads to the State Police, officers of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and certain officials at the state Departments of Transportation and Environmental Protection.

Gov. Chris Christie signed into law a bill to extend the authority to include Delaware River Port Authority police officers. The change takes effect Feb. 1.

The state’s DRPA counterparts in Pennsylvania already have the authority to inspect hazmat cargo and containers.

Sen. Donald Norcross, D-Camden, said S1816 provides heightened security on roadways in the state and increased safety.

“DRPA officers are responsible for ensuring the safety and security of residents traveling the roadways and bridges in the region,” Norcross said in a released statement. “Empowering officers to inspect cargoes and containers and to enforce penalties associated with violations of the law is critical to this process.”

The agency owns and operates four bridges connecting southern New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Norcross noted that DRPA officers on both sides of the state line have been trained to perform inspections and are familiar with federal regulations on hazmat loads.

To view other legislative activities of interest for New Jersey, click here.

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