Industry Seeks Information About PHMSA Program Priorities and Expenditures
IME joined with other participants in the Interested Parties for Hazardous Materials Transportation coalition in sending two letters (letter #1) (letter #2) to PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman asking for information about the collection and use of hazmat registration fees, and projects and priorities of the OHMS R&D program. The letters express concern about what appears to be a lack of management transparency and accountability. HM registration fees are supposed to be reduced to eliminate unexpended balances in the fee account used to pay for local and state hazmat planning and training. Such a fee reduction occurred this registration year. However, some believe that a significant unexpended balance remains. During the last two fiscal years, PHMSA has proposed to use R&D funds on projects affecting trucks transporting explosives and explosive precursors. The projects were proposed without any prior consultation with industry. While the projects were ultimately not funded, the experience revealed the need for consultation with affected parties. PHMSA has agreed to host a forum in January 2014 to hear from stakeholders on research needs. Industry is asking for a status report on projects already on the books and remaining available funds in advance of the forum.