Epa, Customs Share Hazmat Information
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Customs Service have agreed to share information related to the import of products regulated by a number of environmental laws.
As part of efforts to increase homeland security, the two agencies signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at improving the EPA’s ability to monitor and enforce compliance with federal environmental laws and regulations pertaining to chemical substances, pesticides, hazardous waste, and ozone depleting chemicals.
Operating under the new agreement, Customs will give the EPA access to its confidential Automated Commercial System (ACS), which includes information relating to the names and addresses of importers, consignees, shippers, manufacturers, quantity and value of the imported merchandise and wastes, as well as corresponding Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) codes, which will enable EPA to identify classification data for all merchandise imported into the United States.
Customs also will provide the EPA with specific information related to, among others, chemical substances, pesticides, hazardous waste and ozone depleting chemicals on a routine basis, as well as on an as needed and emergency basis, and allow the EPA to share information with federal, state, foreign and local partners as permitted by law, under strict confidentiality requirements.
“Since September 11th, Customs has worked to eliminate the stovepipes that have hampered past federal law enforcement efforts,” said U.S. Customs Commissioner Robert Bonner. “Today’s agreement between Customs and the EPA represents yet another important step towards achieving the free flow of information that will enhance homeland security.”
Provided by theEnvironmental News Service.