The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is accepting comment on its plan to raise fees for many hazmat carriers and eliminate the option of expedited telephone registration. For fleets that don’t qualify as a small business or as a not-for-profit organization, the agency proposes to increase the fee from $975 to $1,975, with an additional $25 administrative fee for registration year 2007-2008. The fee would increase again, to $2,975 plus the $25 administration fee, beginning in registration year 2008-2009.
In 2000, to meet a congressional funding mandate, the agency expanded the registrant base and adopted a two-tier fee schedule. The registration fee was set at $275 for small businesses and $1,975 for everyone else, with a $25 processing fee in all cases. A 2003 budget surplus resulted in a temporary fee adjustment to $125 for small businesses and $275 for everyone else, again with a $25 fee in all cases. This year, officials increased the fees to $250 for small businesses and not-for-profits and $975 for everyone else, again with the $25 fee in all cases.
The proposed increase will fund the national Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grants program at $28 million, as required in the Bush administration’s budget proposal to Congress for fiscal year 2007. The agency also wants to eliminate expedited telephone registration, which has dropped off since Internet registration began. Phone registration is no longer necessary, the agency says. The agency is mandated by Congress to conduct a national registration program to gather information about hazmat transporters and fund the grants program, which supports hazmat emergency response planning by government agencies and Indian tribes.
The notice was published in the Aug. 15 Federal Register, and comment will be accepted through Oct. 16. Comments may be submitted with the name of the agency (the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) and the Regulatory Identification Number, RIN 2137-AE11. Send two copies if commenting by mail. Comments may be: