In a new final rule, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is adopting the provisions of 96 special permits (SPs) into its hazardous materials regulations (HMRs).
The SPs affect requirements in six HMR categories: cylinders—general; cylinders—nondestructive testing (NDT)/aerosols; cargo tanks/railcars/portable tanks; operational air/vessel/operational highway/rail/shipper/other; and nonbulk packaging specifications/intermediate bulk containers (IBCs).
Before this action and since 2008, PHMSA adopted 94 SPs into the HMRs; these SPs affected 13,947 holders of SPs. The 96 SPs in the current action affect an additional 832 SP holders.
SPs set forth alternative requirements—or variances—to HMR requirements provided a level of safety is achieved that is at least equal to that required by the HMRs. SPs also provide a mechanism for testing new technologies, promoting increased transportation efficiency and productivity, and improving global competitiveness. PHMSA has issued over 1,000 SPs.