Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations
PHMSA Publishes Updates on Special Permits
On Aug. 3, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published updates on special permit applications:
FMCSA Request for Comment on ICR Transportation of Hazardous Materials, Highway Routing
On July 29, 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a request for approval to extend an existing ICR titled, “Transportation of Hazardous Materials, Highway Routing.” The information reported by states and Indian tribes is necessary to identify designated/restricted routes and restrictions or limitations affecting how motor carriers may transport certain hazardous materials on their highways, including dates that such routes were established and information on subsequent changes or new hazardous materials routing designations. Comments are due by Sept. 27, 2016.
FMCSA URS Final Rule Correction
On July 28, 2016, FMCSA announced a correction to the effective and compliance dates for its Aug. 23, 2013, Unified Registration System (URS) final rule, as revised on Oct. 21, 2015. The 2013 URS final rule was issued to improve the registration process for motor carriers, property brokers, freight forwarders, Intermodal Equipment Providers (IEPs), hazardous materials safety permit (HMSP) applicants, and cargo tank facilities required to register with FMCSA, and streamline the existing federal registration processes to ensure FMCSA can more efficiently track these entities. This final rule corrects the effective and compliance dates, revised in 2015, and corrects regulatory provisions that have not yet gone into effect, as well as several temporary sections that are in effect already, to allow FMCSA additional time to complete the information technology (IT) systems work. The final rule is effective Jan. 14, 2017.
PHMSA NPRM on Amendments to HMR Requirements
On July 26, 2016, PHMSA announced a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the Hazardous Materials Regulations to revise certain requirements applicable to the manufacture, use and requalification of DOT-specification cylinders. PHMSA is taking this action in response to petitions for rulemaking submitted by stakeholders and to agency review of the compressed gas cylinders regulations. Specifically, PHMSA is proposing to incorporate by reference or update the references to several Compressed Gas Association publications, amend the filling requirements for compressed and liquefied gases, expand the use of salvage cylinders and revise and clarify the manufacture and requalification requirements for cylinders. Comments are due by Sept. 26, 2016.
CVSA Petitions and Comments to Rulemakings
PHMSA to Accept CVSA Gasohol Petition
On July 21, 2016, PHMSA sent a letter to CVSA in response to CVSA’s petition for rulemaking requesting amendments to the Hazardous Materials Regulations. On Oct. 28, 2015, CVSA petitioned PHMSA to make corrections to Title 49 C.F.R. § 172.336 of the Hazardous Materials Regulations, which deals with the marking of petroleum distillate products. In the petition, CVSA argues that a March 2013 final rule, which made changes to § 172.336, inadvertently deleted two subsections and asks the agency to reinstate those provisions, as originally intended in the final rule. PHMSA has agreed to grant CVSA’s petition, as directed by the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (PIPES Act).
Update on Exemptions
State of Minnesota Exemption Request from CDL Standards
On Aug. 2, 2016, FMCSA announced the state of Minnesota has applied for an exemption from regulations governing commercial driver’s license (CDL) skills testing procedures and practices. Minnesota believes it can deliver CDL skills testing more efficiently in an alternative manner. It asserts that its method of delivering skills testing will maintain the testing standards enumerated by the regulations. Comments are due by Aug. 31, 2016.
DOE Exemption from HOS Extension
On July 25, 2016, FMCSA announced an extension of the hours-of-service (HOS) exemption granted to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on June 30, 2015, for certain commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. FMCSA extends the expiration date of the exemption in response to the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act” (FAST Act). The exemption is now effective June 30, 2015 – June 29, 2020.
WestRock Exemption from HOS Extension
On July 25, 2016, FMCSA announced an extension of the exemption granted to WestRock, formerly known as RockTenn, for short trips to their loading docks. FMCSA extends the expiration date of the exemption in response to the FAST Act. The exemption is now effective April 17, 2014 – April 16, 2019.
CVSA Active Exemption Tracker
CVSA maintains a list of active exemptions issued by FMCSA. Members can access the document by logging into their CVSA member account and clicking on the “Exemptions Tracker” tab at the top of the page.