The public meeting was held to discuss establishing fitness criteria for entities applying for or renewing hazardous materials special permits. However, the ATA said the proposal goes far beyond the statutory requirement of ensuring an equivalent level of safety and would create overly restrictive qualification criteria for motor carriers.
ATA voiced its concern over PHMSA's use of incident reports and out-of-service violations without taking into account the number of vehicles operated by each carrier. ATA also objects to the use of incidents without determining whether the carrier was at fault and the use of warning letters and civil enforcement cases that were not formally adjudicated.
The proposal is the latest move by PHMSA to change its special permits program, which came under scrutiny following a report from the DOT Inspector General.