WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) emergency restriction order to National Distribution Services, Inc., USDOT No. 1736696, a west coast-based hazardous material carrier, has been upheld following an appeal by the company to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
On May 6, 2014, a National Distribution cargo tank exploded while employees at the company's Corona, Calif., facility were making repair welds on the cargo tank. One worker was killed and another was seriously injured. A subsequent investigation by FMCSA found that the cargo tank had not been cleaned and purged prior to starting the welded repair. Investigators further found numerous unauthorized welded repairs performed on National Distribution's hazardous material cargo tanks not done in accordance with federal safety requirements.
On August 14, 2014, FMCSA served National Distribution with an emergency restriction order prohibiting the company from transporting hazardous materials in its entire fleet of cargo tanks. FMCSA subsequently released some cargo tanks after National Distribution submitted documentation that the tanks had successfully passed required tests and inspections and certified to FMCSA that the tanks did not possess any post-manufacture welds. The company has also been allowed to haul commodities that are not required to be transported in USDOT specification cargo tanks.
In September, National Distribution challenged FMCSA’s emergency restriction order. The order was upheld by PHMSA’s Chief Safety Officer on October 3, 2014. A copy is available here: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/national-distribution-oct-3-2014