DOT gets HIP

Monday - 11/3/2008, 6:48am EST

By Max Cacas
FederalNewsRadio

The Department of Transportation has unveiled an internet portal which, when complete, will help safeguard the shipping of the nation's hazardous materials.

Carl Johnson is head of DOT's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

In an effort to tie together voluminous, and often unwieldy databases for the numerous modes of transport for hazardous materials, or hazmat, his agency has put together "The DOT Multimodal Hazmat Intelligence Portal" -- or HIP, for short.

What reporters saw in a briefing at DOT headquarters last Friday was the first phase of HIP, according to Ted Wilkie, Associate Administrator in the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety.

"It will give our investigators, our policy analysts, our data analysts, access to this data without having to be experts in databases," says Wilkie.

HIP was developed for DOT by Oracle and Guident Technologies, with help from the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the Federal Motor Carrier Administration.

The HIP portal includes incident data from 25 different databases, including the DOT Hazmat Information System, the Motor Carrier Management Information System for Trucks, and the Coast Guard's Maritime Shipper Penalties System.

Wilkie also said that the future of HIP might also include the needs of journalists, who often need accurate and timely information to inform the public during hazmat emergencies.

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DOT - Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

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