HMSP Reform -- Rep. Nick Rahall Weighs in for Industry
Rep. Nick Rahall, ranking member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, weighed in with FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro, to urge prompt action to provide HMSP holders the option to request an additional level of safety review prior to having their permits denied, revoked, or suspended. Click here to view letter. Industry is grateful for his leadership and support for this critically needed relief. The HMSP program has a number of recognized deficiencies. Among them is that the only way to recover from disqualifying out-of-service (OOS) violations is to "age out" of the violations over a 12-month period. The most troubling OOS disqualifier is that pertaining to hazmat (HM) violations, which are not linked to chase causation and which a number are shipper responsibilities. To ensure that a permit holder does not get "underwater" in terms of the HM OOS, permit holders have advocated for FMCSA to look at a carrier's full safety management controls prior to denying a HMSP based on the carrier's limited, random, OOS record. Following the enactment of MAP-21, surface transportation legislation earlier this year, IME and other affected associations had written Administrator Ferro pointing to a provision in the law addressing the need for an additional level of review for HMSP holders at risk of losing their permits due to OOS violations and asked that FMCSA expedite this option as an interim measure pending comprehensive rulemaking to reform the flawed HMSP program. FMCSA denied this request. Reiterating the position it held before enactment of MAP-21, FMCSA stated that it would address this option when it took up HMSP reform rulemaking after it finalized rulemaking to use CSA as its safety fitness determination program.