No User Fees for PHMSA
The House Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development released its version of the FY 2015 appropriations bill today. The bill includes $52 million for PHMSA, which was the President’s budget request. However, the President asked that $12 million of the PHMSA budget request be raised through a use fee on applicants for special permits and approvals. The base bill did not include approval of a user fee. IME is grateful to members of the Subcommittee who recognize that an appropriations bill is not the place to seek authority a user fee. Moreover, at the rates proposed for various processing actions, the agency would be on course to raise nearly $20 million in fees, while budget documents indicate that the agency needs less than $9 million to run the Special Permits and Approvals program. The fees would fall disproportionately on a small segment of all regulated hazmat entities, and the government, who is the largest holder of these authorities, would not pay the fee.