IME Files Comments on PHMSA's Reg Flex Review of its Special Permits and Approvals Program


Regulatory agencies are required to periodically assess the impact of their regulations on small businesses.  This year PHMSA is assessing the impact of its Special Permits and Approvals program.  Click here to view letter.  While PHMSA has instituted a number of improvements to this program based on industry comment and concern, additional reforms are still needed.  Federal law requires the agency to establish criteria to determine fitness to hold special permits and certain approvals by notice and comment rulemaking.  This rulemaking will require the agency to consider the costs and benefits of fitness criteria and impacts to small businesses.  Further, IME voiced opposition to repeated efforts of the administration to levy fees on the filing of special permit and approval applications.  Among other things, the fees take no account of the burden on small businesses.  Finally, IME listed a number of administrative enhancements it could make to its special permits and approvals database to improve the ability of industry to search records and retrieve information necessary to ensure that covered activities and products are appropriately authorized.