Larry Bierlein Bio

Larry Bierlein manages his own law firm in Washington, DC.  His private practice has been devoted to the regulation of hazardous materials and dangerous goods in the United States and abroad, particularly in transportation and distribution.  Before entering private practice, Larry served as counsel on this subject to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The terms “hazardous materials” and “dangerous goods” in his practice encompass hazardous wastes, hazardous substances, marine pollutants, and any materials for which the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s hazard communication standard requires preparation of a material safety data sheet.  As such, Larry’s work involves the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Transportation Safety Board, and OSHA, as well as their counterparts at the State and local level.  He also works on these matters with the UN Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and other national government agencies such as Transport Canada.

Larry provides assistance to a wide variety of industrial chemical manufacturers and consumers, transport carriers, packaging suppliers, and their trade associations.  Common activities involve regulatory interpretation, employee training, development of internal procedures and audits, special permit and approval applications, defense of enforcement actions, matters pertinent to domestic and international regulatory consistency, preemption determinations, and related administrative and judicial litigation.

He serves as the general or special counsel to trade associations and companies having interests in this field, including the Association of Hazmat Shippers, the Radiopharmaceutical Shippers & Carriers Conference, the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association, and the International Confederation of Container Reconditioners.

Larry is the author of the Red Book on Transportation of Hazardous Materials (Van Nostrand Reinhold) and “What to Do When the DOT Inspector Calls,” and he writes frequently for trade publications on this subject.  He also is a frequent speaker on hazardous materials regulation at industry conferences.  He was the 2009 recipient of DGAC’s George Wilson Award for outstanding achievement in and contributions to the field of hazardous materials transportation and safety.

J.D., The University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia, PA.

B.A., The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.


Duties of General Counsel

General Counsel


1.      Mr. Lawrence W. Bierlein serves as General Counsel to the Association of Hazmat Shippers, Inc.

2.      In that role, he is responsible for managing any legal affairs of the association.

3.      In addition, he monitors legislative and regulatory activities in North America and through the UN, for any proposals that may impact the membership as shippers of hazardous materials in non-bulk packaging.

4.      If the Board of Directors decides comments should be filed on any legislative or regulatory proposals, or if other advocacy should be undertaken, Mr. Bierlein drafts such documents and takes such actions within the guidelines prescribed by the Board.

5.      He represents AHS in the UN and before regulatory bodies.  He must advise the President of the Board of any potential conflicts of interest with any other of his clients and must get the permission of the President to undertake any such work.

6.      He responds to general regulatory questions posed by the membership.  If he finds that answering a question would require substantial time or expense (two hours or more),               Mr. Bierlein must coordinate his action with the Board.  If the question is unique to the member company, e.g., a compliance action against that company, Mr. Bierlein will make separate billing arrangements with that company and will not charge AHS for this work.

7.      Mr. Bierlein gives a General Counsel’s report at all Board meetings and, as arranged by the President, conducts periodic telephone “chat room” briefings for the membership.

8.      Mr. Bierlein bills his time monthly at rates agreed to by the Board.  Mr. Bierlein serves at the will of the Board and, upon written notice and payment for work up to that notice, may be discharged at any time without cause.

9.      If for any reason it appears to Mr. Bierlein that he may no longer represent AHS, he will so advise the Board and may withdraw as General Counsel upon written notice.

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