The National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) has raised concerns about a federal proposal to increase hazmat fees for 2009-2010 and the following years, according to NACD information.
The association has filed comments with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), pointing out that in 2003 the Department of Transportation (DOT) was forced to issue refunds to registrants because of a substantial surplus in the hazardous materials emergency preparedness fund.
The comments also raised the point that during this time of skyrocketing energy and transportation costs, the fee increase would be a significant burden for hazardous materials carriers.
"Before implementing such significant fee increases, DOT must demonstrate why the additional funds are needed and specifically how they will be spent," Jennifer Gibson, NACD governmental affairs vice-president, stated in the comments.
PHMSA is proposing to increase the fee for those not qualifying as small businesses or not-for-profit organizations from $975 to $2475, plus a $25 administrative fee, in order to fully fund the hazmat grant fund, which Congress in 2005 authorized to be funded at a level of $28 million, double its previous level, according to NACD.