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: