2012 Regulatory Agenda Released


Since 1993, OMB has been required to publish a Unified Regulatory Agenda (URA) and Regulatory Plan.  The URA has been published in the Spring and Fall.  In 2010, only the Spring URA was published.  The Fall 2011 was released in February 2012.  Only one URA was published for 2012.  The URA is important because it reveals agency regulatory priorities.  The Obama administration has asked agencies only to include rulemakings for which action is expected to the coming year.  Rulemakings expected to take longer can be found on a separate list of "long term actions."


IME is currently following six rulemakings issued by ATF.  The oldest two were initiated in 2003; and the remaining four are still in the pre-publication phase.  The most significant change with this publication is that ATF has merged the two 2003 rulemakings into one.  This rulemaking will finalize the interim rules ATF has relied on to implement the Safe Explosives Act (SEA).  ATF's latest estimate will finish this rulemaking by July.  ATF has estimated action on this and the other rulemakings for years, only to postpone action deadlines. (See attached tracking log.)


IME is following 12 DOT rulemakings.  Three which were at the final rule stage were dropped with no explanation from the URA in the 2012 report.  These rulemakings dealt the Hazardous Materials Endorsement, the loading and unloading of bulk shipments of hazardous materials, and cargo tank wetlines.  Six new rulemakings of interest have been added:  determining what constitutes a pattern of violations for purposes of retaining motor carrier operating authority, a supplemental notice of rulemaking for electronic onboard recorders for hours of service compliance, determining what factors shoudl governing the resumption of transportation when a shipment is delayed for inspection; a one-year reduction in hazmat registration fees due in order to spend down the accumulated unexpended balance in this fund, increasing penalties for hazmat violations, and of most interest to IME, PHMSA's rulemaking to incorporate bulk truck standards into the hazardous materials regulations.  The later NPRM is estimated to be published in July. (See attached tracking log.)


IME was following 11 DHS rulemakings.  All have appeared on previous reports.  Other than extending the estimated action dates on all of the proposals, the only significant change is that the rulemaking to finalize the 2003 internal final rule addressing the transportation of explosives from Canada to the U.S. has been merged with the "FAST" rulemaking covering Canadian and Mexican carriers bringing any hazmat into the U.S.  The rulemaking of most interest to IME, that dealing with ammonium nitrate security, is estimated to be finalized in December (See attached tracking log.)