The Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) reported that the US House of Representatives has approved a funding bill that includes authorization for an increase in the annual hazardous materials fees paid by transporters.
The bill, HR 3074, authorizes the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety (PHMSA) Administration to collect $28,899,000 in annual fees from hazmat registrants, nearly double the amount the agency was authorized to collect last year, PMAA said.
"PHMSA has been attempting, without success, to increase the annual amount it may raise in hazmat fees for the last three years," PMAA reported. "The agency almost succeeded last year when Congress authorized a similar increase in the 2007 FY DOT (fiscal year Department of Transportation) appropriations bill only to have the legislation fail in conference after the House and Senate could not agree on several transportation issues unrelated to hazmat fees. Unable to compromise on a bill acceptable to both chambers, the Congress instead authorized a continuing resolution to fund the DOT at 2006 levels, including an authorization to collect only $14 million in HAZMAT fees.
"Without the $28 million authorization, PHMSA was forced to withdraw a rulemaking earlier this year that would have tripled the hazmat fee for large transporters from the current $1,000 annually to $3,000 per year. If the DOT authorization bill is signed into law this year with the $28 million authorization, PHMSA will likely once again propose a rule to increase the annual hazmat fee for the 2008-2009 registration period."