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476660-00016-1 Report Abstract

Pilot Information System for Cross-Border Hazmat Transportation

Rajat Rajbhandari, Ivan Calzada, Barry Thatcher, Michael Noonchester, Texas A&M University, October 2009, 101 pp. (476660-00016-1)

Under NAFTA requirements, all hazardous materials that are shipped into Mexico or generated during the manufacturing process must be shipped back to its point of origin, typically the United States.  Thus, the delivery and return of hazardous materials have created a hazmat transportation corridor. At present, there is no automated, real-time method to track hazardous materials shipments crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. As a result, border agencies (specially the first responders) do not have advanced information about the hazardous materials being transported through border crossings and other locations within their communities. This lack of information hinders first responder’s ability to respond to hazardous materials incidences.

The objective of the study was to propose a prototype of an information system by which hazardous materials movement will be relayed and/or shared with local and regional agencies (mainly the first responders) which will assist these agencies to respond to major hazardous materials incidents more efficiently. This prototype information system was designed for first responders as a model for what could be developed for the wide range of stakeholders from all U.S. and Mexican border states. A large part of the initial research was spent in identifying the agencies that played minor and major roles in transportation of hazardous materials across the border. The researchers found that a large number of agencies played various roles in what turned out to be extremely complicated process of hazardous materials transportation and incident response. Finally, based on stakeholder needs, the research proposed logical and physical architecture of a prototype system to monitor movement of hazardous materials in the border area and to provide advanced warning of hazardous materials related incidents to the first responders.
Keywords: Hazardous Materials, Border Crossing, Intelligent Transportation System

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 4 MB)