The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is proposing to amend hazardous materials regulations by establishing standards for the safe transportation of bulk explosives, according to a Federal Register notice set to be published Tuesday.
It said the rulemaking would be responsive to two petitions submitted by industry representatives concerning the continued use of renewal applications, and the incorporation of an industry standard publication. “Further, developing these requirements would provide wider access to the regulatory flexibility currently only offered by special permit and competent authorities,” the notice said.
The requirements of this proposed rule would mirror the majority of provisions contained in nine widely used or longstanding special permits that have established safety records. These proposed revisions are intended to eliminate the need for future renewal requests, according to PHMSA, reducing paperwork burdens and facilitating commerce while maintaining an appropriate level of safety.
As proposed, the requirements would authorize the transportation of certain explosives, ammonium nitrates, ammonium nitrate emulsions, and other specific hazardous materials in bulk packaging, which is not currently authorized under the regulations.
These hazardous materials are used in blasting operations on specialized vehicles, known as multipurpose bulk trucks, which are used as mobile work platforms to create blends of explosives that are unique for each blast site. Finally, this rulemaking addresses the construction of new multipurpose bulk trucks.
The public has 60-days to comment on the proposal.