What The Pilot Didn't Know Could Have Killed Him
The Department of
Justice and The Department of Transportation Tuesday announced that
Emery Worldwide Airlines, Inc. has pleaded guilty to 12 felony
counts for violating the Hazardous Material Transportation Act.
Emory has agreed to pay a criminal penalty of $6 million and
develop a compliance program to detect and deter future
Emery, a wholly owned subsidiary of CNF, Inc., provides air and
land transportation services for business to business shippers of
heavyweight cargo. Its major operation hub is near the Dayton
International Airport in Vandalia (OH).
"With the sheer amount of hazardous materials being shipped on
our nation's transportation infrastructure, we must track down and
bring to justice those who violate our transportation laws," said
Attorney General John Ashcroft. "This will significantly reduce the
potentially severe consequences of a hazardous materials incident,
whether by air, sea, road or rail."
"Safety is the Bush Administration's highest transportation
priority. Irresponsible transportation of Hazmat puts our
communities at risk and jeopardizes the lives and health of the
traveling public as well as the safety of first responders," said
Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. "There are no
shortcuts to safety, and we will give no quarter to those who
violate Hazmat transportation safety requirements."
includes the transportation of freight designated as hazardous
material under regulations issued by the Department of
Transportation. The regulations require the operator of the
aircraft to give the pilot-in-command of the aircraft, prior to
departure, written notification of hazardous material boarded on
By its plea, Emery admits that on 12 occasions between November
1998 and July 1999 it transported hazardous material on aircraft
leaving its hub without providing the required written notification
to the pilot-in-command of the aircraft that hazardous material had
been placed on board the aircraft. The type of hazardous material
involved included freight classified as miscellaneous dangerous
goods, non-flammable gas, flammable liquid, and explosive and
radioactive material. Without written notification of hazmat,
pilots would not have the information they need to properly respond
to on-board emergencies, such as fires or spills.
"The Emery case is an important step on the road to a hazardous
materials transportation system that is safer for all Americans,"
Environment and Natural Resources Assistant Attorney General Tom
Sansonetti, whose Division prosecuted the case in conjunction with
the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of Ohio.
"Many elements of the law enforcement community, including the
Federal Aviation Administration and the Justice Department, worked
together to bring this significant case to resolution," said
Department of Transportation Inspector General Kenneth M. Mead,
whose office helped investigate the case.
"The transportation of
hazardous material is an area in which the safety and security of
the public intersect. The message here is that the Departments of
Transportation and Justice are committed to strong enforcement of
hazardous materials laws and regulations for the safety and
security of the public."
"Transporting hazardous materials is a necessary by-product of
our industrial world," said Gregory G. Lockhart, US Attorney for
the Southern District of Ohio. "Such tasks must be done with all
regard for the safety of those involved."