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Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA)

Agency that oversees rules governing the safe transportation and packaging of hazardous materials by all modes of transportation, excluding bulk transportation by water.

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RSPA also assists local and state authorities with training for hazardous materials (HAZMAT) emergencies. RSPA establishes and maintains pipeline safety standards, ensuring public safety and environmental protection from gas and hazardous liquids transported by pipeline. Research and development play a major role in RSPA's mission. With responsibility for research policy and technology sharing, the agency partners with national and international organizations and universities. In addition, RSPA operates the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness, efficiency, and responsiveness of other federal organizations with critical transportation-related functions.