The U.S. House of Representatives has passed an anti-terrorism bill that among a host of other measures, would put potential hazmat drivers under closer scrutiny.
A section of H.R. 3162, the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, would not allow states to issue or renew hazardous materials licenses "unless the Secretary of Transportation has first determined … that the individual does not pose a security risk warranting denial of the license."
The bill says the Attorney General, at the request of the state issuing the license, will carry out a background records check of the individual, including a check of criminal history databases. In the case of an alien, the license applicant would be checked out as to their status under U.S. immigration laws.
The wording in this section is virtually identical to a bill proposed by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in the Senate, known as the Hazardous Material in Transportation Protection Act of 2001.