PHMSA drops combustible materials rulemaking proposal

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has dropped HM-242, an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) that was published in April 2010. The ANPRM would have had a big impact on tank truck fleets hauling diesel and heating oil.

At the time HM-242 was proposed, PHMSA officials said the objective was harmonization of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR parts 171-180) applicable to the transportation of combustible liquids with the UN Recommendations, while maintaining an adequate level of safety.

Major issues examined by PHMSA were: Safety (hazard communication and packaging integrity); International commerce (frustration/delay of international shipments in the port area); Increased burden on domestic industry (elimination of domestic combustible liquid exceptions); and Driver Eligibility (exception from placarding which would exempt seasonal workers from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Commercial Driver's License (CDL) and Hazmat Endorsement requirements, and the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) fingerprinting and background check provisions).

PHMSA also addressed three petitions for rulemaking in the April 5 ANPRM; two suggesting that domestic requirements for the transportation of combustible liquids should be harmonized with International standards, and one suggesting that the HMR should include more expansive domestic exceptions for shipments of combustible liquids.

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