Research Project

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Hazardous Material Safety Permit (HMSP) Program Improvements


To provide research material so that the Agency can: 1) prepare a report to Congress (as required by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act [MAP-21]) describing how the HMSP program may be improved; and 2) provide background recommendations for how the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) can initiate the recommendations contained in the Report to Congress, both short term and longer term.


FMCSA received a petition in 2010 to modify the renewal process for the HMSP. In 2012, MAP-21 mandated that FMCSA report on how it will improve the HMSP and undertake a rulemaking to do so within the next year.


The project team performed a program evaluation of all aspects of the HMSP program. It produced a detailed draft final report on all aspects of the evaluation that enabled FMCSA to meet the above goals. A Federal Register Notice was published in August 2015 implementing policy changes that revised the HMSP renewal process and a portion of how the safety performance is tracked. The detailed final report will be published on the FMCSA Web site.
  • Recommendations on how to migrate (in part) monitoring of HMSP carriers to a Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Safety Measurement System (SMS)-styled process, change the intervention process to be one of initiating comprehensive reviews of questionable carriers (rather than denying renewal of HMSP based on threshold violations), and provide a second level of review if the comprehensive review determines a safety fitness rating of less than satisfactory.
  • Provided recommendations for how a more thorough safety monitoring process could be implemented to detect problem small carriers with limited safety performance data.


February 2013: Contract awarded
June 2013: Draft final report and draft letter to Congress delivered
October 2013: Detailed draft final report
March 2014: Agency Letter Report to Congress
June 2016: Publish detailed final report


FY 2013: $347,280

Current Status

Final report forthcoming.


MaineWay Services, with Integrated Technology Solutions, Inc. and The Legacy International Corporation
Updated: Thursday, March 3, 2016
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