DOT trims special permits for certain hazmat
The U.S. Transportation Department's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) on Monday said it will incorporate the provisions of six widely used cargo tank special permits into the federal hazardous materials regulations.
This new regulation will cut down on thousands of special permit applications per year, the agency said.
Like all special permits, these were used to approve processes for hazmat transport not explicitly spelled out in PHMSA regulations. Over the years, practices approved in these permits became commonplace and were proven safe, PHMSA explained.
'Getting rid of this cumbersome process will maintain safety and save businesses and the government both time and money,' said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, in a statement.
Streamlining the hazardous materials special permit and approvals process is a major priority for PHMSA. Last year, DOT released an action plan to improve PHMSA's safety oversight, processes, procedures and policies for its hazardous materials special permits and approvals program.
Two of the special permits for inclusion in the federal hazmat rules cover liquefied petroleum gas and liquefied soil pesticide in tanks mounted on farm trucks used for agricultural purposes.
One special permit covers the transportation of hazardous materials used for striping roads, and another authorizes private motor carrier companies to transport propane tanks most commonly used for home heating and cooking.
Two other special permits address nurse tanks, including the transport of nurse tanks securely mounted on field trucks and those carrying anhydrous ammonia under certain conditions when the tanks are missing or have illegible identification plates.
To read the final rule, access Monday's Federal Register notice.