FMCSA Assessment of the Hazardous Materials Safety Permit Kicks Off
In MAP-21, Congress requires FMCSA to meet with stakeholders to do an assessment of the HMSP and to make needed improvements, including rulemaking, if necessary. IME has been invited to be one of the stakeholders to provide views about problems with the program. The majority of HMSP holders register as carriers of covered Class 1 materials. IME asked researchers and attending FMCSA program managers what the program was supposed to address, because if it is safety, HMSP carriers are collectively the safest on the road. If the program continues, IME told the researchers that the OOS disqualifications have to be fixed. Since there is no right of appeal or opportunity to request a waiver of these disqualifications prior to losing the permit, the most pressing issue is the uncertainty of when roadside inspections will occur and what will be the result. Once a permit is lost, explosives carriers have no recourse but to “age out” of OOS disqualifications because the specialized equipment they operate has no other commercial use. This is unacceptable to industry with no record of fatalities attributable to commerical explosvies since the early 1970s. IME has been urging FMCSA to take immediate action to provide some type of administrative remedy until the agency has the time and resources to engage in comprehensive HMSP rulemaking.