The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) says it needs a 205% increase in the registration and fee assessment program for persons and companies that transport and ship hazardous materials.
PHMSA's proposal, for registration years beginning in 2010-2011, calls for the annual fee to be paid by those registrants not qualifying as a small business or not-for-profit organization to be increased from $975 (plus a $25 administrative fee) to $2,975 (plus a $25 administrative fee). PHMSA officials say the fee increase is necessary to fund the national Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) grants program at its authorized level of approximately $28,000,000.
Since 2006, the annual registration fee has been set at $250 (plus a $25 processing fee) for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations and $975 (plus a $25 processing fee) for all other registrants. The annual registration fee can’t exceed $3,000.
The grants are used to: (1) develop, improve, and implement emergency plans; (2) train public sector hazardous materials emergency response employees to respond to accidents and incidents involving hazardous materials; (3) determine flow patterns of hazardous materials within a state and between states; and (4) determine the need within a state for regional hazardous materials emergency response teams.
Public comments on the fee increase proposal must be submitted by March 4, 2010. Comments for by DOT DMS Docket Number PHMSA-2009-0201 can be submitted by any of the following methods:
--Mail: Dockets Management System; US Department of Transportation, Dockets Operations, M-30, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington DC 20590-0001.
--Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
Include the agency name and docket number PHMSA-2009- 0201 (HM-208H) or Regulatory Identification Number (RIN) RIN 2137-AE47 for this rulemaking at the beginning of the comments.