PHMSA Clarifies Hazmat Special Permits Process

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has issued a final rule that streamlines the hazmat special permits and approvals application process. The rule is part of PHMSA’s regulatory review initiative and fulfils requirements of the current surface transportation funding law, known as MAP-21, by making the application review process more transparent to stakeholders. “Hazmat special permits keep commerce moving while ensuring compliance with critical transportation safety requirements,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This rule makes the process for reviewing and approving these special permits easier and more efficient.” The amendments include standard operating procedures to support the administration of the special permit and approval programs and criteria to support the evaluation of applications. “These changes are consistent with PHMSA’s agency-wide initiative to identify opportunities to modernise, clarify, and reduce burdens associated with our regulations while continuing to raise the bar on safety,” said PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez. Special permits set forth alternative requirements—or a variance—to the requirements in the Hazardous Materials Regulations in a way that achieves a safety level at least equal to that required under the regulations. Special permits also provide a mechanism for testing new technologies, promoting increased transportation efficiency and productivity, and improving global competitiveness.

Occupational Health & Safety News, 29 September 2015 ;http://www.ohsonline.com ;