The Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA) primarily affects activities of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The HMTA enhanced the authority of the Secretary of Transportation to regulate the transportation of hazardous materials in commerce as a means of protecting the life and property of the nation’s citizens from harm from these materials. The Secretary of Transportation also has the authority to designate any material as hazardous so long as it imposes unreasonable risk to health, safety, or property.
Several government agencies share the authority to ensure safe and proper transportation of nuclear waste. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for all hazardous material including radioactive material; the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is responsible for all commercial activities dealing with nuclear power plants; and the DOE is responsible for the shipment of commercial radioactive waste for storage as well as nuclear weapons and defense nuclear waste for storage or use.
Hazardous Materials Transportation Act: Purpose and Organization (U.S. Department of Energy)