Friday, January 30, 2015

PHMSA Publishes Special Permit Incorporation NPRM

Today the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register (80 FR 5339-5449). This rulemaking addresses the MAP 21 (PL 112-141; §33012) requirement to review current Special Permits (SP) issued by PHMSA that are more than 10 years old to determine if they should be incorporated into the current hazardous materials regulations (HMR).

This proposed rule:

● Sets forth the methodology developed to conduct the required review (and the annual reviews to be conducted in the future);
● Identifies those SPs that can be incorporated and the proposed language for that incorporation;
● Identifies those SPs that cannot be reasonably incorporated and explains why the incorporation is not feasible; and
● Responds to rule making petitions related to existing SPs.

SPs Evaluated

PHMSA evaluated 1,168 SPs that were active and over 10 years old on January 1, 2013. Of those only 98 were deemed to be appropriate for adoption into the HRM. There is a lengthy table that lists those permits. It shows the permit number, the general category (six categories were established for the purpose of this review), a summary of the permit and the number of permit holders affected.

If only 98 permits were adopted for incorporation, it only stands to reason that there would be 1,070 permits that were not considered suitable for incorporation. As required by MAP-21 the preamble to this rule also lists each of those SPs. That table lists the same information described above along with a code that describes the general reason that the SP was not considered suitable. Those codes are:

2 – These SPs were not considered suitable for adoption because of their application; i.e., they were not widely-used, were too technical in nature, or were too specific to a SP holder; 
3 – These SPs were not considered suitable for adoption because of the specificity of the SP;
4 – These SPs were being addressed in other rulemakings; and
5 – These SPs were already adopted or authorizations were already specified in the current HMR.

Response to Petitions

Four petitions were considered during this rulemaking development:
P-1607 – To adopt the provisions of DOT SP-11458 that authorizes display packs of consumer commodity packages that exceed the 30 kg gross weight limitation;
P-1608 – To adopt standards for the construction and use of Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Cargo Tanks under DOT-SP 11903 and used under party status in DOT SP-9166;
P-1610 – To adopt the provisions of DOT-SP 11110 into the HMR that authorizes cargo aircraft operators to load division 1.4S and Class 8, PG III materials in inaccessible cargo locations in excess of the limitations specified in § 175.75(c); and
P-1611 – To adopt the provisions of DOT-SP 11470 into the HMR that authorizes the transportation in commerce of shrink-wrapped pallets containing boxes of waste ORM-D materials with the word “WASTE” marked on the outside of the pallet instead of the individual box.

Petitions P1607 and P1611 were accepted and incorporated into this rulemaking.

Summary of Incorporations

The preamble to the rule provides a brief overview of the changes that were made to the HMR by providing a brief description of the SPs that were accepted for incorporation. To make it easier to follow those changes there is a separate discussion of each of the six categories of SPs identified by PHMSA. Those discussion categories are:

Public Comments

PHMSA is soliciting public comments on this NPRM. Comments may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal {; Docket: PHMSA-2013-0042 (HM-233F)}. Comments should be submitted by March 31st, 2015.

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