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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: On the US borders with Mexico and Canada, truck drivers from those countries may run into complications beginning today. If they’re hauling hazardous materials into the US, they’ll have to go through a background check. The problem is, they didn’t get much of a heads up. Here’s Marketplace’s Amy Scott.
AMY SCOTT: Ron Lennox agrees drivers carrying dangerous cargo should undergo a background check.
He’s vice president of trade and security with the Canadian Trucking Alliance. But Lennox would have liked a little more notice.
RON LENNOX: It takes about six to eight weeks to go through the process. It’s quite rigorous. Yet the official announcement in the federal register was only published on Monday.
The US Transportation Security Administration agrees that’s a problem, and says it will allow some kind of grace period to give drivers more time.
The TSA already requires US truckers pass a background check, but that program has met with some complaints.
Martin Rojas with the American Trucking Associations say not all haz-mats are created equal.
MARTIN ROJAS: I mean if you’re transporting radioactive materials, explosives, those drivers should undergo a fingerprint based background check. But not for stuff, moving Coca-Cola syrup and stuff like that.
You heard it here. Coke syrup is technically hazardous.
In New York, I’m Amy Scott for Marketplace.
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