The U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing a change in hazardous materials transportation registration and fees program that would cost hazmat haulers in the form of higher fees.
The DOT's Research and Special Programs Administration wants to make registration mandatory for every carrier or shipper that produces or transports a load requiring a hazardous materials placard. Farmers would be exempt from the rules.
The change would increase the number of people required to register from about 27,000 to 45,000. Most of the new registrants are expected to be small businesses, especially owner-operator truckers.
A two-tier fee schedule also would be created, with lower fees for registrants qualifying as a small business according to U.S. Small Business Administration criteria. Shippers and carriers that are not "small businesses" would see their fee jump from the current $300 to $2,000. Small businesses would pay $300 in annual fees. The RSPA expects only about 3% of the companies that register will have to pay the $2,000 fee.
The changes will provide more funding for emergency planning and training programs for state agencies that respond to hazmat spills and accidents.
RSPA will hold a public meeting concerning this proposal from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 25, in Room 3200-3204 of the Nassif Building at 400 Seventh St. S.W., Washington, DC. The notice of proposed rulemaking appeared in the April 15 Federal Register. Written comments are due by June 14.