Ruling on Propane Delivery Rule Preemption

The Department of Transportation's Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) has ruled that major portions of Nassau County NY's rules regarding propane deliveries are preempted by federal hazardous materials law.

Based on additional information provided by the New York Propane Gas Association (NYPGA) and persons submitting comments on NYPGA's petition for reconsideration, RSPA finds that the requirement in Sections 6.7(A) and (B) of Ordinance #344-1979 for a permit to deliver liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) within Nassau County is preempted with respect to trucks that are based outside of Nassau County. As applied to and enforced against those vehicles, that requirement causes unnecessary delays in the transportation of hazardous materials to Nassau County from locations outside the county and, accordingly, creates an obstacle to accomplishing and carrying out federal hazmat transportation law and the HMR. Nassau County's permit requirement does not create unnecessary delays in transportation of hazardous materials, and is not preempted, with respect to trucks that are based within Nassau County.

No person requested reconsideration of that part of RSPA's Aug 25, 1998, determination which found that federal hazmat transportation law preempts Section 6.8 of Ordinance #344-1979 for a certificate of fitness, insofar as that requirement is applied to a motor vehicle driver who sells or delivers LPG, because Section 6.8 imposes more stringent training requirements than provided in the HMR.

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