Larger Hazmat Shippers to Pay Higher Registration Fee

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration will triple the cost for all registrants except small or non-for-profit businesses to $3,000 to ensure it can fund $28.3 million in Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grants.

To ensure it can fund $28.3 million annually in Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grants for the next two fiscal years, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration plans to triple the registration cost for all hazmat transporters except small or non-for-profit businesses. They have been charged $975 (plus a $25 processing fee) since 2006 but will be paying $2,975 (plus the $25 fee) under the proposal PHMSA published Tuesday.

The increase will apply to registration years beginning in 2010-2011. About 2,100 transporters already have filed advance registrations for the 2010-2011 year and about 1,250 have filed for 2011-2012 at the lower fee. So if the agency increases the fee as planned, it must notify each registrant and collect the additional fees.

The annual payments fund the grant program. The agency said these training grants "are essential for providing adequate training of persons throughout the nation who are responsible for responding to emergencies involving the release of hazardous materials. There are over 2 million emergency responders requiring initial training or periodic recertification training, including 250,000 paid firefighters, 850,000 volunteer firefighters, 725,000 law enforcement officers, and 500,000 emergency medical services providers. Due to the high turnover rates of emergency response personnel, there is a continuing need to train a considerable number of recently recruited responders at the most basic level. In addition, training at more advanced levels is essential to ensure that emergency response personnel are capable of effectively and safely responding to serious releases of hazardous materials. The availability of funding for the HMEP grants program will encourage state, tribal, and local agencies to provide more advanced training."

An estimated 800,000 hazmat shipments are on the move daily in the United States. Since 1993, PHMSA has awarded states, territories, and 45 Native American tribes $203 million planning and training grants that have trained 2,420,000 hazmat responders, updated or written more than 55,826 emergency plans, and conducted 13,372 emergency response exercises, according to its proposal.

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