Rep. Tim Holden Brings HMSP Reform to CSA Hearing
The House Highways and Transit Subcommittee held a hearing today on issues with FMCSA's Compliance, Safety, Accountability or "CSA" program. None of the witnesses were HMSP holders, prompting IME to submit a statement for the record. Click here to view link. The statement addresses concerns with the newly announced "HM Compliance BASIC," and raises two major concerns about the HMSP program. Both concerns stem from FMCSA's position that it will not act to address the acknowledged deficiencies in the HMSP program until the CSA "safety fitness determination" rule is finalized. On our behalf, Rep. Tim Holden (D-PA) asked if FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro whether, given the similarities in goals between the HMSP and the CSA, it would make sense to perfect the HMSP, with its smaller client base, then use that program as a template to expand to the larger CSA population. Ferro replied that such a course of action could very well work because hazmat operators already demonstrate a high degree of safety. She acknowledged the challenges presented with the agency's existing rules. She said she would go back and examine the approach Holden presented to see if the agency could carve out a place that would result of a more timely implementation of HMSP reforms. Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) did not make it to the hearing, but he submitted a question addressing our second concern which is that until comprehensive reforms are made to the HMSP, permit holders need an alternative means to remedy OOS violations other then "aging out" of them over a 12-month period.