Why Is FMCSA requiring a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit?
There were several compelling reasons for the rulemaking. Congress passed a law (49 U.S.C. 5109) which required FMCSA to have a permit program. In addition, as part of a settlement agreement with safety organizations, FMCSA agreed to publish a permitting rule by the end of June, 2004.
FMCSA also recognizes that a HM permitting program would produce safety and security benefits. FMCSA estimates that the rule will prevent 7 crashes of the regulated materials per year, saving approximately $3.6 million annually. In addition, increased security from the permit program reduces the chance these materials could be used in a terrorist attack.
What Hazardous Materials require a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit?
The following hazardous materials carried in these quantity amounts will require an HM Safety Permit:
- Radioactive Materials: A highway route-controlled quantity of Class 7 material, as defined in 173.403 of 49 CFR.
- Explosives: More than 25kg (55 pounds) of a Division 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3 material, or an amount of a Division 1.5 material requiring a placard under Part 172 Subpart F of 49 CFR.
- Toxic by Inhalation Materials:
- Hazard Zone A: More that one liter (1.08 quarts) per package of a "material poisonous by inhalation," as defined in 171.8 of 49 CFR, that meets the criteria for "hazard zone A," as specified in 173.116(a) or 173.133(a) of 49 CFR
- Hazard Zone B: A "material poisonous by inhalation," as defined in 171.8 of this title, that meets the criteria for "hazard zone B," as specified in 173.116(a) or 173.133(a) of 49 CFR in a bulk packaging (capacity greater than 450 L [119 gallons])
- Hazard Zone C & D: A "material poisonous by inhalation," as defined in 171.8 of this title, that meets the criteria for "hazard zone C," or "hazard zone D," as specified in 173.116(a) of this title, in a packaging having a capacity equal to or greater than 13,248 L (3,500 gallons)
- Methane: A shipment of compressed or refrigerated liquefied methane or liquefied natural gas or other liquefied gas with a methane content of at least 85% in a bulk packaging having a capacity equal to or greater than 13,248 L (3,500 gallons) for liquids or gases.
How many carriers are expected to need a Hazardous Materials Safety Permits?
When it was published the rule affected about 3,100 carriers, of which about 1,000 are intrastate carriers and 2,100 were interstate carriers. Of this total number affected, about 2,400 of these carriers were small businesses.
When are Level VI inspections required to be performed for international shipments of highway-route-controlled quantities of radioactive materials?
For international shipments, the Level VI inspection must be performed on a highway route controlled quantity of radioactive materials before entering the United States. The Hazardous Materials Safety Permit program does not impose any new requirements in the area of performing Level VI inspections.
What are the logistics for a permitted load that is transported by more than one mode? For example, a permitted load is transferred to an ocean vessel
The Hazardous Materials Safety Permit is only required for motor carriers. A motor carrier's HM Safety Permit-related responsibilities end when the material is transferred to the next mode.
Subsequently, permit-related responsibilities begin when the motor carrier assumes responsibility for the material.
In the case of the example, above, when the motor carrier has delivered the permitted load to the vessel operator's facility, then the motor carrier's permit-related responsibility ends.
Does the HM Safety Permit requirements apply to U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico?
Yes. The Hazardous Materials Safety Permit requirements are enacted under the authority of the Hazardous Materials Law, which applies to U.S. Territories.
Are government entities covered under the Hazardous Materials Safety Permit Regulations?
No. Government entities do not fall under the definition of a motor carrier. Private contractors working for a government entity are considered motor carriers and are covered by the HM Safety Permit regulations.
Are carriers required to have their communications plan and routing contact phone number in place during the phase-in period after 1/1/05 but before they file the MCS-150B?
No. Carriers are not required to comply with the permitting requirements before they apply for their Hazardous Materials Safety Permit during the phase-in period. FMCSA recommends companies set up these systems ahead of applying for their HM Safety Permit to make sure they work and will be in compliance once the permit is issued.
How is the "Top 30%" OOS, Hazmat violations, and crash ratings calculated?
The "top 30%" is a factor defined by examining ALL motor carriers registered for a USDOT Number. The factor establishes a threshold where in the total population of motor carriers, 30% of them fall above the number for out-of-service rates and crashes at the 70th percentile. The "top 30%" threshold rates will remain static rather than change every two years and are published on the FMCSA website, http://www.safersys.org/HazMatRates.aspx, for motor carriers to determine their ability to transport permitted Hazardous Materials.
Since the inception of the program, data from the entire eight year period was used in the calculations for the new fixed rates. The threshold rate calculation included only carriers that had at least 12 inspections over the 8 years. The top (worst-performing) 30% of the National averages were determined by establishing a cut-off at the numerical threshold value located at the 70th percentile in each category using eight years of data. All carriers with a driver, vehicle, or HM OOS rate less than the cut-off are considered to be below the National Average for each category, and, therefore, eligible for participation in the program. Carriers with a driver, vehicle, or HM OOS rate that is equal to or greater than the cutoff in each category are in the 30%, or the worst-performing category, and will be denied an HMSP.
Motor carriers that transport permitted HM may obtain their out-of-service rates from their Company Safety Profile (obtained at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/CSP_Order.asp ) and compare it to the national rates posted on the FMCSA website.
In order to calculate the fixed crash rate the 8-year period, since the inception of the program, was divided into four 2-year periods. Qualifying motor carriers had at least 2 crashes in at least one 2-year period. Then the number of power units for each qualifying 2-year period was captured based on snapshots taken immediately after the end of each FY. The crash rate for each 2-year period motor carrier was then determined in each time period by taking the number of crashes indicated and dividing by the number of power units times two. Finally, all carrier/time period combinations were ranked based on crash rate, with a resulting crash rate threshold at the 70th percentile of 0.136.
A motor carrier may determine its crash rate as the number of crashes divided by the number of power units as follows: HM Permitted Motor Carrier crash rate = Number of crashes in the past 365 days / total number of power units (operating).
The New Fixed Rates are-: Driver: 9.68; Vehicle: 33.3; HM: 6.82; Crash: 0.136. These rates are now in effect and are being used to establish a company's eligibility for an HMSP. Detailed information on the method used to calculate these rates is published on FMCSA's SAFER website at http://www.safersys.org/HazMatRates.aspx. The Federal Register notification can be viewed at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-06-27/pdf/2012-15740.pdf.
What are carriers required to do to obtain and keep a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit?
Carriers will be required to:
- Maintain a "satisfactory" safety rating in order to obtain and hold a safety permit
- Maintain their crash rating, and their driver, vehicle, hazardous materials or out-of service rating so they are not in the worse 30 percent of the national average as indicated in FMCSA's Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS)
- Have a satisfactory security program (according to section 49 CFR Part 172, Subpart I) and associated training (according to section 49 CFR 172.704(a)(4) & (a)(5)) in place
- Maintain registration with PHMSA
- Develop a system of communication that will enable the vehicle operator to contact the motor carrier during the course of transportation and maintain records of these communications
- Have written route plan required for radioactive materials set forth in 49 CFR 397.101 and for explosives in Part 397.19 (currently required)
- Perform a pre-trip inspection (North American Standard (NAS) Level VI Inspection Program for Radioactive Shipments) for shipments containing highway route controlled Class 7 (radioactive) materials
There will be a process for issuing temporary safety permits, revoking and suspending a safety permit, and appealing decisions to suspend or revoke a safety permit.
Where can I obtain the MCS-150B form?
Hard copies of the MCS-150B are available through each FMCSA Division Office.
Downloadable versions of the MCS-150B are available at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration-licensing/print-forms/print-forms.htm.
On-line applications can be completed by visiting the following link http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration-licensing/online-registration/onlineregdescription.htm.
How do I apply for a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit?
A carrier would file the MCS-150B to start the application process. A carrier that does not have a USDOT Number will receive one by filing the MCS-150B.
Downloadable versions of the MCS-150B are available at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration-licensing/print-forms/print-forms.htm.
Online applications can be completed by visiting the following link: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration-licensing/online-registration/onlineregdescription.htm.
When do I need to have my HM Safety Permit?
AFTER JANUARY 1, 2005, registered motor carriers that are required to have a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit must apply for it before their next biennial update (filing the MCS-150) is due. A motor carrier that has not filed an MCS-150 form prior to January 1, 2005 must hold an HM Safety Permit or a Temporary HM Safety Permit before transporting hazardous materials (HM).
Is Anhydrous Ammonia covered under the Hazardous Materials Safety Permit Program?
Yes. Even though Anhydrous Ammonia is regulated domestically as a non-flammable gas, Anhydrous Ammonia still meets the definition of a toxic by inhalation material Hazard Zone D and is covered when transported in a packaging having a capacity greater than 13,248 L (3,500 gallons).
Are shipments of LPG covered under the Hazardous Materials Safety Permit Program?
No. Only shipments of flammable gas containing at least 85% methane content are covered by the HM Safety Permit program.
Do the permitting requirements apply to materials that have subsidiary hazards that come under the materials list, even if their primary hazard does not? Example: A Flammable Liquid, Class 3, is a subsidiary poison inhalation hazard.
Materials poisonous by inhalation that meet the definitions in 171.8, 173.116(a) and 173.133(a) will require a permit regardless of other hazards the materials may exhibit. Materials will generally not have a subsidiary radioactive or explosive hazard as these hazards would be considered the primary hazard. Liquefied gases must have at least 85% methane content to require a permit, or meet the definitions of materials toxic by inhalation, explosive or radioactive.