NEWS Alert

PHMSA Issues Agenda for Safety Fitness Public Meeting

On February 15, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”) issued its Agenda for the upcoming February 29, 2012 meeting regarding fitness determinations as part of the special permit application evaluation process. PHMSA has the primary responsibility for issuance of DOT Special Permits and Approvals to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (“HMR”). A Special Permit is a document which authorizes a person to perform a function not otherwise permitted under the HMR. An approval is a written consent to perform a function that requires prior consent under the HMR.

PHMSA has issued over 45,000 special permits and approvals applications, all of which have included at least an Initial Fitness Review (Tier 1) based upon data within HIP and SAFER. Approximately 1,810 (4%) were referred for a second level review and only 75 were physically investigated at the business location.

At the Public Meeting on Wednesday, February 29, PHMS seeks to provide an opportunity for all interested parties to comment on the following questions as initial discussion points:

  • What constitutes “fit to conduct the activity authorized by” the special permit or approval? How can this be captured in a quantitative and consistent manner that can be applied equitably to all persons operating under approval or special permit?

  • Are there certain types of approvals or special permits where fitness cannot be determined based upon the initial fitness criteria? If there are, what data can be used to determine the fitness of the companies that operate in this manner?

  • What other sources or types of data can PHMSA use to determine fitness of an applicant for and approval or special permit?

The meeting begins at 1 and ends at 4. For further information or questions regarding the permit application process or a specific application, contact Glenn Wicks or Ronce Almond at (202) 457-7790.

The Wicks Group - 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, South Building, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20004 - T: +1.202.457.7790 /