FMCSA Told to Provide Due Process to HMSP Holders
Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) succeeded in adding a directive to the House version of the FY 2015 appropriations bill for the Department of Transportation to require FMCSA to address a fundamental flaw with the Hazardous Materials Safety Permit (HMSP) program. The directive would preclude FMCSA was using funds to deny a HMSP to a holder based on that carrier’s Hazardous Materials Out-of-Service (HMOOS) rate, unless the carrier has the opportunity to submit a written description of corrective actions taken, and other documentation the carrier wishes the Secretary to consider, and the Secretary determines the actions or plan is insufficient to address the safety concerns that resulted in that HMOOS rate. HMSP holders are among the safest motor carriers in the Nation. The current program provides no process for holders to appeal or seek waivers of the OOS disqualification if the agency simply allows the permit to expire. Holders need to get 14 “clean” inspections to statistically overcome the effects of one HMOOS inspection. Yet, HMSP holders typically operate over routes that make getting inspections difficult. The basis for the HMSP was to reduce crashes. HMOOS are not crash causal. This is a huge win for IME and others who have asked FMCSA repeatedly for a means to overcome the inherent unfairness of the program.