[Federal Register: March 23, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 55)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Research and Special Programs Administration
49 CFR Part 171
[Docket No. RSPA-99-5013 (HM-229)]
Hazardous Materials: Revisions to the Incident Reporting
Requirements and the Detailed Hazardous Materials Incident Report DOT
Form F 5800.1
AGENCY: Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), DOT.
ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM).
SUMMARY: This ANPRM solicits comments on the merits of revising the
current incident reporting requirements of the Hazardous Materials
Regulations and the Hazardous Materials Incident Report form (DOT Form
F 5800.1). The Federal hazardous material transportation law requires
the Secretary of Transportation to maintain a facility and technical
staff sufficient to maintain a central reporting system to develop a
statistical compilation on casualties and conduct reviews on hazardous
materials transportation. Any changes resulting from this rulemaking
are intended to increase the usefulness of data collected for risk
analysis and management by government and industry and, where possible,
provide relief from regulatory requirements.
DATES: Send your comments on or before June 21, 1999.
ADDRESSES: Address your comments to the Dockets Management System, U.S.
Department of Transportation, Room PL 401, 400 Seventh St., SW.,
Washington, DC 20590-0001. You must identify the docket number, RSPA-
99-5013 (HM-229) at the beginning of your comments, and you should
submit two copies of your comments. If you wish to receive confirmation
that RSPA has received your comments, include a self-addressed stamped
postcard. You may also submit your comments by E-mail to
email@example.com. The Dockets Unit is located on the Plaza Level of
the Nassif Building at the U.S. DOT at the above address. You may view
public dockets between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through
Friday, except on Federal holidays.
You may review all comments received by the Dockets Office on the
Internet at http://dms.dot.gov. It is available 24 hours a day, 365
days a year. An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded from
the Federal Register Electronic Bulletin Board Service at (202) 512-
1661. Internet users may reach the Federal Register's home page at:
http://www.nara.gov/nara/fedreg and the Government Printing Office's
database at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su__docs or the Office of
Hazardous Materials Safety at http://rspa.dot.dov/rulemake.htm. You may
obtain copies of DOT Form F 5800.1 and the instruction booklet for
completing DOT Form F 5800.1 at the Office of Hazardous Materials
Safety's web site at http://hazmat.dot.gov/spills.htm or http://
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Diane LaValle, at the Office of
Hazardous Materials Standards, telephone (202) 366-8553 or Kevin
Coburn, at the Office of Hazardous Materials Planning & Analysis,
telephone (202) 366-4555, Research and Special Programs Administration,
U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington,
On March 4, 1995, the President directed all Federal agencies to
perform an extensive review of each of their regulations and eliminate
or revise those requirements that are outdated or in need of reform. As
a result of its review of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49
CFR parts 171-180), the Research and Special Programs Administration
(RSPA, ``we'') is considering revisions to the incident reporting
requirements in Secs. 171.15 and 171.16 and the incident report form,
DOT Form F 5800.1.
Following a meeting between DOT and members of several trade
associations concerning hazardous materials incident reporting, the
Association of American Railroads sponsored a workgroup with segments
of the transportation community to discuss the DOT Form F 5800.1 and
reporting requirements of Secs. 171.15 and 171.16. The workgroup
meetings were held during the winter of 1997-98. Participants included
representatives of all four transportation modes, shippers, container
manufacturers, and labor. The workgroup drafted suggestions and
submitted them to RSPA. We developed questions based on input from
these meetings, the DOT modal agencies, other concerned individuals,
and our own initiative. We are now requesting comments on the merits of
revising the requirements of Secs. 171.15 and 171.16 for incident
reporting and revising DOT Form F 5800.1.
Currently Sec. 171.15 provides criteria requiring immediate
notification of unintentional hazardous materials releases to the
National Response Center. Each carrier making a report under
Sec. 171.15 is also required to fill out DOT Form F 5800.1 as required
by Sec. 171.16. Additionally, carriers are currently required to fill
out DOT Form F 5800.1 for unintentional releases when the conditions of
Sec. 171.16 are met. We use the data and information we collect:
As an aid in evaluating the effectiveness of the existing
To assist in determining the need for regulatory changes
to cover changing transportation safety problems.
To determine major problem areas so that the attention of
the Department may be more suitably directed to those areas.
We are considering expanding the reporting requirements in
Secs. 171.15 and 171.16 to include circumstances that are not currently
required to be reported. For example, some questions concern reporting
of undeclared shipments of hazardous materials whether or not there is
a release. We are also considering expanding the reporting requirements
to persons other than carriers. Other questions concern reporting of
damage to packagings, especially bulk packagings such as cargo tanks,
whether or not there has been a release. We anticipate that a modest
increase in reporting potentially high-consequence incidents would be
offset by reduced reporting requirements for incidents with less
serious potential impacts.
This advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) is designed to
evaluate the need for any change in reporting requirements, to obtain
more useful information from DOT Form F 5800.1 submissions and to
reduce the regulatory burden on industry. Any changes would be based on
both our own initiative and suggestions made by various members of
industry. This ANPRM is also consistent with the goals of the
President's Regulatory Reinvention Initiative.
II. Impact on Small Businesses
Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-
354), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness
Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), requires agencies to conduct periodic
reviews of rules that have or will have a significant economic impact
on a substantial number of small business entities. The purpose of the
reviews is to determine
whether such rules should be continued without change, or should be
amended or rescinded, consistent with the objectives of applicable
statutes, to minimize any significant economic impact of the rules on a
substantial number of such small entities. The reviews are to consider:
(1) The continued need for the rule; (2) the nature of complaints or
comments received from the public; (3) the complexity of the rule; (4)
the extent to which the rule overlaps, duplicates, or conflicts with
other federal rules or with state or local government rules; and (5)
the length of time since the rule has been evaluated or the degree to
which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed in
the area affected by the rule. This ANPRM provides an opportunity for
small entities to submit information relevant to this review.
III. Plain Language
RSPA intends to revise the Hazardous Materials Incident Report and
Secs. 171.15 and 171.16 in plain language. Clearer rules will improve
both compliance and enforceability. Interested persons are encouraged
to submit draft regulatory language they believe clearly and simply
communicates regulatory requirements.
We request written comments from interested persons concerning
regulatory changes and clarifications that will simplify completion of
the Hazardous Materials Incident Report. Interested persons may submit
draft regulatory language and comments suggesting ways to write the
requirements for reporting hazardous materials incidents which would
promote understanding and compliance. Comments that provide reasons and
factual data are especially helpful.
Questions on revising DOT Form F 5800.1 and the associated sections
of the HMR generally fall within five categories. These categories are:
DOT Form F 5800.1.
Customer Uses and Needs.
National Transportation Safety Board recommendations.
An exact copy of the current DOT Form F 5800.1 is included with
this ANPRM as an aid to the reader. In addition, Secs. 171.15 and
171.16 are set forth in their entirety, as follows:
Sec. 171.15--Immediate Notice of Certain Hazardous Materials
(a) At the earliest practicable moment, each carrier who
transports hazardous materials (including hazardous wastes) shall
give notice in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section after
each incident that occurs during the course of transportation
(including loading, unloading and temporary storage) in which:
(1) As a direct result of hazardous materials--
(i) A person is killed; or
(ii) A person receives injuries requiring his or her
(iii) Estimated carrier or other property damage exceeds
(iv) An evacuation of the general public occurs lasting one or
more hours; or
(v) One or more major transportation arteries or facilities are
closed or shut down for one hour or more; or
(vi) The operational flight pattern or routine of an aircraft is
(2) Fire, breakage, spillage, or suspected radioactive
contamination occurs involving shipment of radioactive material (see
also Secs. 174.45, 175.45, 176.48, and 177.807 of this subchapter);
(3) Fire, breakage, spillage, or suspected contamination occurs
involving shipment of infectious substances (etiologic agents); or
(4) There has been a release of a marine pollutant in a quantity
exceeding 450 L (119 gallons) for liquids or 400 kg (882 pounds) for
(5) A situation exists of such a nature (e.g., a continuing
danger to life exists at the scene of the incident) that, in the
judgment of the carrier, it should be reported to the Department
even though it does not meet the criteria of paragraph (a) (1), (2)
or (3) of this section.
(b) Except for transportation by aircraft, each notice required
by paragraph (a) of this section shall be given to the Department by
telephone (toll-free) on 800-424-8802. Notice involving shipments
transported by aircraft must be given to the nearest FAA Civil
Aviation Security Office by telephone at the earliest practical
moment after each incident in place of the notice to the Department.
Notice involving etiologic agents may be given the Director, Centers
for Disease Control, U.S. Public Health Service, Atlanta, Ga., (800)
232-0124, in place of the notice to the Department or (toll call) on
202-267-2675. Each notice must include the following information:
(1) Name of reporter.
(2) Name and address of carrier represented by reporter.
(3) Phone number where reporter can be contacted.
(4) Date, time, and location of incident.
(5) The extent of injuries, if any.
(6) Classification, name, and quantity of hazardous materials
involved, if such information is available.
(7) Type of incident and nature of hazardous material
involvement and whether a continuing danger to life exists at the
(c) Each carrier making a report under this section shall also
make the report required by Sec. 171.16.
Note: Under 40 CFR 302.6 EPA requires persons in charge of
facilities (including transport vehicles, vessels and aircraft) to
report any release of a hazardous substance in a quantity equal to
or greater than its reportable quantity, as soon as that person has
knowledge of the release, to the U.S. Coast Guard National Response
Center at (toll free) 800-424-8802 or (toll) 202-267-2675.
Sec. 171.16--Detailed Hazardous Materials Incident Reports
(a) Each carrier who transports hazardous materials shall report
in writing, in duplicate, on DOT Form F 5800.1 (Rev. 6/89) to the
Department within 30 days of the date of discovery, each incident
that occurs during the course of transportation (including loading,
unloading, and temporary storage) in which any of the circumstances
set forth in 171.15(a) occurs or there has been an unintentional
release of hazardous materials from a package (including a tank) or
any quantity of hazardous waste has been discharged during
transportation. If a report pertains to a hazardous waste discharge:
(1) A copy of the hazardous waste manifest for the waste must be
attached to the report; and
(2) An estimate of the quantity of the waste removed from the
scene, the name and address of the facility to which it was taken,
and the manner of disposition of any removed waste must be entered
in Section IX of the report form (Form F 5800.1) (Rev. 6/89).
(b) Each carrier making a report under this section shall send
the report to the Information Systems Manager, DHM-63 , Research and
Special Programs Administration, Department of Transportation,
Washington, DC 20590-0001; and, for incidents involving
transportation by aircraft, a copy of the report shall also be sent
to the FAA Civil Aviation Security Office nearest the location of
the incident. A copy of the report shall be retained, for a period
of two years, at the carrier's principal place of business, or at
other places as authorized and approved in writing by an agency of
the Department of Transportation.
(c) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, the
requirements of paragraph (a) of this section do not apply to
incidents involving the unintentional release of a hazardous
(1) Transported under one of the following proper shipping
(i) Consumer commodity.
(ii) Battery, electric storage, wet, filled with acid or alkali.
(iii) Paint and paint related material when shipped in
packagings of five gallons or less.
(2) Prepared and transported as a limited quantity shipment in
accordance with this subchapter.
(d) The exceptions to incident reporting provided in paragraph
(c) of this section do not apply to:
(1) Incidents required to be reported under 171.15(a);
(2) Incidents involving transportation aboard aircraft;
(3) Except for consumer commodities, materials in Packing Group
(4) Incidents involving the transportation of hazardous waste.
1. Should the hazardous materials incident reporting requirements
extended to persons other than carriers (such as freight forwarders,
warehouse operators, consignees, etc.)?
2. Should RSPA require reporting of any incident involving
discovery of an undeclared shipment of a hazardous material whether or
not there is a release of the hazardous material? Should the expanded
requirement apply only to incidents discovered by a carrier during
transportation? Should the expanded requirement apply to discovery by a
consignee or other person during or following delivery of the material?
Telephonic Notification (see Sec. 171.15)
3. Currently, immediate notification is required for incidents
where estimated carrier or other property damage exceeds $50,000. Is
this monetary reporting threshold reasonable? Should it be modified or
eliminated? If modified, to what amount? Why?
4. Should any other current requirements for immediate notification
be modified or eliminated? If so, explain your suggested modification,
the reasons for the modification, and anticipated impacts.
5. Should RSPA require immediate telephonic notification for any
other type of incident?
6. In addition to notifying the National Response Center, should a
carrier also be required to give immediate telephonic notification of
an incident to the person who offered the hazardous material for
7. If an incident requiring immediate telephonic notification
occurs at the location of an offeror or consignee, should the offeror
or consignee be required to provide the notification? Should such
notification be in addition to, or instead of notification from the
carrier? What would be the usefulness and burdens associated with such
Written Reports (see Sec. 171.16)
8. Is the current regulatory language clear as to when a written
incident report is required? If not, what changes should RSPA make?
9. To provide a broader perspective for risk management in more
critical hazardous material transportation situations, should
additional information be collected through the incident reporting
system to document successful performance and better gauge the
integrity of packaging? For instance, should information be collected
on certain highway accidents whether or not a hazardous material has
been released? Would an appropriate definition of ``accident'' for
reporting purposes be ``any collision, rollover, jack-knife, or
departure from the roadway''? Should additional reporting be limited to
certain packagings or materials such as--
Cargo tanks, portable tanks, and IM portable tanks with a
capacity greater than 1000 gallons;
Cylinders containing flammable gas with a water capacity
greater than 100 pounds;
Explosives in packaging greater than 50 pounds; or
Toxic-by-inhalation liquids or gases in any quantity and
Should such additional reporting be limited to situations where there
is exposure to fire or damage to the packaging? Should reporting be
required for railway accidents that do not involve the unintentional
release of hazardous materials, or do mechanisms exist to adequately
capture this information apart from DOT Form F 5800.1?
10. Should RSPA expand the exceptions in Sec. 171.16(c) to include
any other hazardous material; class, division, or packing group; or
quantity limitations? If so, indicate the exception and why.
11. Is there a spill quantity of an excepted material that should
trigger incident reporting? For example, a spill of paint from a
packaging with a capacity of less than 5 gallons is not reportable.
Should a spill of a certain quantity of hazardous material be
reportable regardless of the capacity of the packaging in which it was
contained (e.g., a release from numerous small packagings)?
DOT Form F 5800.1 (See Appendix)
12. Should RSPA develop an abbreviated incident report form for
incidents of low severity? What criteria could be used as a threshold?
What minimal information should be required for a low severity
13. Should DOT Form F 5800.1 be structured to more accurately
describe the cause and manner of a packaging failure? How could this be
done to better capture human causal factors?
14. Would replacing the current check boxes on DOT Form F 5800.1,
sections V 24 and VI 25 thru 29, with numerically coded responses or
other means to better identify how the incident occurred, increase the
difficulty or lengthen the time it takes to complete the report?
15. Would replacing the boxes on DOT Form F 5800.1, section VIII
parts 41 thru 45, with numerically coded responses or other means to
identify the reasons why the packaging failed, increase the difficulty
or lengthen the time it takes to complete the report?
16. What additional fields, if any, should be included on the
report form to indicate the amount of hazardous material that was
initially in the package?
17. Would the information required by section VII of the report
form be easier to understand if column C was removed, column A was
renamed ``Inner Package'', and column B was renamed ``Outer Package''?
18. Should there be either separate sections on DOT Form F 5800.1
for reporting bulk and non-bulk packagings or a separate incident
report form for these packagings?
19. Should we require more specific incident location data, such as
mile-post or street address, if available? How difficult would it be to
obtain and report this information? What additional benefit would the
20. How can better information be provided on DOT Form F 5800.1 as
to the transportation phase of an incident (e.g., when the incident
most likely occurred?)
21. Should RSPA require updates to Section V 18 through V 23, the
incident consequences fields, if additional or better data are
available after the incident report form was submitted to DOT? Should
RSPA set an amount or percentage change to trigger filing of a
22. Should better information on release duration be collected (for
example, the length of time a vapor is dispersed)? How could this be
23. How can RSPA acquire better information on failures, such as
estimated dimensions of cracks or punctures?
24. What burden would you incur from a requirement to submit copies
of photographs in your possession when specified criteria are met?
25. Should reporting of information concerning duration of an
evacuation be included on the incident report form?
26. Should RSPA add an additional section to the incident report
form to include information regarding who was injured or required
hospitalization (e.g., general public, employees, or emergency response
27. Should RSPA add a section to the incident report form to
identify the UN packing group, if any, of the hazardous material and
28. Are you aware of other Federal reporting forms that duplicate
information required by DOT Form F 5800.1? If so, how could RSPA link
the necessary transportation data to other required Federal reporting
Customer Uses and Needs
29. What data and information do you use from the incident report
form and for what purpose?
30. What additional data not now collected on the incident report
form should be collected and for what purpose would it be used?
31. Should access to incident data be available via the Internet?
If only select data could be provided because of cost or technology
considerations, what data would be most useful to you?
32. RSPA is considering optional electronic filing of incident
reports by facsimile (fax), electronic mail (e-mail), and Internet. Do
you have recommendations concerning implementation of electronic
filing? Are there other means of electronic filing that RSPA should
33. How would you use a tracking system for DOT Form F 5800.1
submissions and processing status?
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Recommendations
Recommendation R-89-52 states that RSPA should:
Establish procedures that require carriers reporting hazardous
materials incidents under the provisions of 49 CFR 171.16 to notify
shippers whose hazardous materials shipments are involved.
34. In accordance with NTSB recommendation R-89-52, what would be
the potential benefits or impacts of requiring carriers (other than
private motor carriers) reporting hazardous materials incidents under
49 CFR 171.16 to notify shippers whose hazardous materials shipments
are involved in the incident being reported?
Recommendation H-92-6 states that RSPA should:
Implement, in cooperation with the Federal Highway
Administration, a program to collect information necessary to
identify patterns of cargo tank equipment failures, including the
reporting of all accidents involving DOT specification cargo tanks.
35. In accordance with NTSB recommendation H-92-6, how could RSPA,
in cooperation with FHWA, improve the current incident reporting
program to collect information identifying patterns of cargo tank
equipment failures, including reporting of all accidents involving a
DOT specification cargo tank, whether or not a release occurred?
V. Regulatory Analyses and Notices
A. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures
This ANPRM is not considered a significant regulatory action under
section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, was not reviewed
by the Office of Management and Budget. This rule is not significant
under the Regulatory Policies and Procedures of the Department of
Transportation (44 FR 11034).
The costs and benefits associated with this rulemaking are
considered to be so minimal as to not warrant preparation of a
regulatory impact analysis or regulatory evaluation. This determination
may be revised as a result of public comment.
B. Executive Order 12612
This proposed rule has been analyzed in accordance with the
principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 12612
(``Federalism''). Federal law expressly preempts State, local, and
Indian tribe requirements applicable to the transportation of hazardous
material that cover certain subjects and are not substantively the same
as the Federal requirements. 49 U.S.C. 5125(b)(1). These subjects are:
(i) The designation, description, and classification of hazardous
(ii) The packing, repacking, handling, labeling, marking, and
placarding of hazardous material;
(iii) The preparation, execution, and use of shipping documents
pertaining to hazardous material and requirements respecting the
number, content, and placement of those documents;
(iv) The written notification, recording, and reporting of the
unintentional release in transportation of hazardous material; or
(v) the design, manufacturing, fabrication, marking, maintenance,
reconditioning, repairing, or testing of a package or container which
is represented, marked, certified, or sold as qualified for use in the
transportation of hazardous material.
This proposed rule concerns the written notification, recording,
and reporting of the unintentional release in transportation of
hazardous materials. If adopted as final, this rule would preempt any
State, local, or Indian tribe requirements concerning this subject
unless the non-Federal requirements are ``substantively the same'' (see
49 CFR 107.202(d)) as the Federal requirements.
Federal law (49 U.S.C. 5125(b)(2)) provides that if DOT issues a
regulation concerning any of the covered subjects after November 16,
1990, DOT must determine and publish in the Federal Register the
effective date of Federal preemption. That effective date may not be
earlier than the 90th day following the date of issuance of the final
rule and not later than two years after the date of issuance. RSPA
requests comments on what the effective date of Federal preemption
should be for any new requirements RSPA may propose concerning the
specified covered subject.
C. Executive Order 13084
This proposed rule has been analyzed in accordance with the
principles and criteria contained in Executive order 13084
(``Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments'').
Because this proposed rule would not significantly or uniquely affect
the Indian tribal communities, the funding and consultation
requirements of the Executive Order do not apply.
D. Regulatory Flexibility Act
This ANPRM requests information on a series of questions which will
be used to develop a proposal to amend provisions of the HMR addressing
incident reporting, including the report form. RSPA anticipates that
this rulemaking action will generally reduce burdens for most persons
required to submit hazardous materials incident reports, some of whom
are small entities. Since there are no specific proposals in this
ANPRM, there are not costs to be evaluated. If a rulemaking is
proposed, the impacts are anticipated to be so minimal as not to
warrant preparation of a regulatory impact analysis. Therefore, I
certify that this rulemaking action will not have a significant
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
E. Paperwork Reduction Act
Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no person is required to
respond to a collection of information unless it displays a valid OMB
control number. This ANPRM does not propose any new information
F. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)
A regulation identifier number (RIN) is assigned to each regulatory
action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. The
Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in
April and October of each year. The RIN number contained in the heading
of this document can be used to cross-reference this action with the
G. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
This rulemaking would not impose unfunded mandates under the
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. It would not result in costs of
$100 million or more to either State, local, or tribal governments, in
the aggregate, or to the private sector.
Issued in Washington, DC on March 17, 1999, under the authority
delegated in 49 CFR part 106.
Alan I. Roberts,
Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety.
[FR Doc. 99-7040 Filed 3-22-99; 8:45 am]
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