U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta announced February 15th the creation of two new agencies at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) – one to focus on innovation and research and the other on pipeline and hazardous materials safety – to help the Department more effectively execute its mission of developing and applying innovative technologies to create the transportation system of the 21st century.
The Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) were authorized on Nov. 30, 2004 when President Bush signed the Norman Y. Mineta Research and Special Programs Improvement Act.
“These new agencies will help the Department focus on two critical priorities for our nation’s transportation system — innovation and safety,” Secretary Mineta said. “RITA reflects how important research and technology are to our core mission, while the creation of PHMSA will continue and strengthen our commitment to safety.”
RITA will be dedicated to the advancement of the department’s priorities for innovation and research in transportation technologies and concepts. PHMSA will oversee the safety of the more than 800,000 daily shipments of hazardous materials in the United States and the 64 percent of the nation’s energy that is transported by pipelines.