Proposal for the Safe Transport of Bulk Explosives Clears PHMSA


Today, PHMSA submitted HM-223D – its proposal to establish standards for the safe transportation of bulk explosives – to the Office of the DOT Secretary for approval.  This action is welcome news to the IME and its members who submitted petitions requesting this rulemaking.  Despite a decades-old, proven safety record, a special permit is still needed to operate the specialized vehicles required to transport bulk explosives and precursors by truck.  These vehicles – multi-purpose bulk trucks (MBTs) – are used as mobile work platforms to create blends of explosives that are unique for each blast site.  This rulemaking will end the need to obtain a special permit by incorporating into the hazardous materials regulations (HMR) current operational standards and industry best practices for the operation of this equipment.  PHMSA has labored hard to keep to a projected time-table of when it would be able to hand this proposal up the chain of review.  This rulemaking has also qualified to be included in DOT’s Retrospective Regulatory Review.  This initiative implements Executive Order (EO) 13563.  EO 13563 directs agencies to review regulations to seek opportunities to promote predictability and reduce uncertainty, take into account benefits and costs, and otherwise identify and use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends.