More Time Allowed for Comments on Wetlines Rule

Giving stakeholders 30 more days, the agency said several organizations said their members are struggling with concurrent rulemakings from DOT, EPA, OSHA, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Trucking companies and others who will be affected by a Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration proposed rule to ban transporting flammable liquids in exposed external product piping (wetlines) on a cargo tank motor vehicle unless it's equipped with bottom damage protection now have until April 27 to file their comments. That date is a 30-day extension granted in part because organizations claimed their member companies are beset by lots of federal rulemaking actions.

The previous deadline was March 28. To comment, use docket number PHMSA-2009-0303 at www.regulations.gov. The contacts for more information are Dirk Der Kinderen in PHMSA's Standards and Rulemaking Division (phone 202-366-8553) and Leonard Majors in the Engineering and Research Division (phone 202-366-4545).

The proposed rule was published Jan. 27. PHMSA said comments came in from the American Trucking Associations, Inc., the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc., and the Tank Truck Manufacturers Association requesting more time. They said a more thorough review and analysis of the docket materials by industry experts and outside consultants is needed. "The associations also indicate the need for time to convene with members at meetings scheduled to occur in April and May of 2011 to present findings and to obtain feedback," the agency said. "Additionally, the comment period for this NPRM overlaps with numerous other regulatory initiatives within DOT and other Federal agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection that impact their members. Finally, they note that the trucking industry is dominated by small businesses that do not have the resources to understand and meaningfully participate in the rulemaking process of so many concurrent rulemaking actions."

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