charge fees for such permits.33 Rail shipments of spent fuel and high-level waste are not subject to state regulation, but they are subject to inspection by DOT’s Federal Railroad Administration.

Federal, state, tribal, and local governments and shippers share the responsibility for emergency response and preparedness. The Federal Emergency Management Agency within the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for providing a national incident response plan. State, tribal, and local governments are responsible for providing the first line of government response to accidents and incidents within their jurisdictions and can enlist the assistance of other agencies and organizations as circumstances require.

More detailed information on responsibilities and regulations is provided in other chapters. Chapter 4 provides a detailed description of highway and rail routing regulations. Chapter 2 describes package performance standards and regulations. Chapter 5 provides descriptions of other regulations governing the transport of spent fuel and high-level radioactive waste to a federal repository.


However, the federal hazardous materials transportation law is explicit that federal rules preempt state rules in cases of conflict (49 USC 5125), consistent with the goal of nationally uniform regulation. DOT has administrative authority to determine when state rules are to be preempted. DOT has determined that state requirements for special permits for highway shipments of radioactive materials are preempted if they require documentation or prenotification in excess of federal requirements. DOT also has determined that state fees imposed on hazardous materials transport are preempted if they are excessive or if the revenue is not used for purposes related to hazardous materials transport.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement