In July 2012, President Obama signed into law the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act,” which authorized surface transportation programs for two years. Included in the legislation is a section (e.g., Section 33014) that requires the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to conduct a study of its Hazardous Materials Safety Permit (HMSP) Program and report to Congress on the review’s findings by October 1, 2013. The report is to recommend ways in which the FMCSA could modify the existing regulations that specify the HMSP program to improve the efficiency and safety effectiveness of the program. MAP-21 also requires the agency to either publish a rule making the recommended changes in the HMSP program or publish a Notice providing a justification why the program does not need to be modified within two years.
The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) is seeking input from our members on the HMSP program in order to provide FMCSA officials with recommendations that can be implemented to improve the program. In testimony before Congress as well as letters to the agency, ARA has raised concerns with several aspects of the current program that has impacted motor carriers from being able to maintain their HMSP. Some of these concerns include low number of inspections in rural areas which makes it almost statistically impossible to overcome even one bad inspection; state program equivalency and need for federal pre-emption; and the inadequacy of the existing administrative review process for denied, suspended or revoked HMSPs.
Contact Richard Gupton of ARA at 202-595-1699 or [email protected] if you have any questions or need additional information.