FMCSA permitting rule expected for all hazmat tank truck carriers

REQUIRED federal permitting for transporting certain hazardous materials is “definitely on the radar screen” with a final rule expected in June 2004, said Danny Shelton of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

He also discussed cargo tank test and inspection facility registration now under the direction of FMCSA.

The hazmat permitting is a result of security concerns that followed the terrorist attacks on the United States, as well as a lawsuit filed against the agency by public interest groups.

Interstate, intrastate, and foreign carriers will be required to file for the permits. Among the products on the permit-required list are high explosives, products that are toxic in inhalation, radioactive materials, and liquefied natural gas.

Shelton pointed out that an appeals process will be put in place for those who fail to meet the permitting standards. In addition, he said that carriers with a satisfactory safety record that meet the other requirements shouldn't find difficulty in obtaining the permit.

On the subject of cargo tank facilities registration, he noted that on April 18, 2003, the registration responsibilities was transferred from the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) to FMCSA. As a result of this program transfer, FMCSA is making the tank repair registration information available to the public via a Web site, www.safersys.org.

Earlier information from the National Tank Truck Carriers provided the method for accessing the registration pages:

  1. On the left side of the page, directly under the heading “Public Business Services”, is a drop-down box containing the headline “Carrier Snapshot”. Click on the adjacent arrow and select “Cargo Tank Search”, then click “Go”;

  2. OK the security certification and a page titled, “Motor Carrier Management Information System Cargo Tank Search” will appear;

  3. If, for example, you want to find all registered CT facilities in a given state, city or zip code, enter that information in the appropriate blank spaces, and click “Search For Records”;

  4. Next, a complete listing of all registered CT facilities in that jurisdiction will appear. The word “Active” means that the facility has registered.

    The word “Approved”, indicates that the facility has updated its registration statement as requested by the letters that were mailed to all CT Facilities of record on October 30, 2003.

  5. On the “View” box, is the business address, contact, and personnel information as well as a description of the services offered at that facility.

NTTC pointed out that a review of the site revealed that a number of “CT Facilities” do not have an “Approved” notation. This may mean that a facility neglected to renew the certification (renewal is required every six years), failed to update their information as requested by FMCSA, or are no longer performing functions where registration is required.

Such deficiencies should be corrected to properly reflect the current status of the company regarding the performance of functions where registration is required.

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