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HM Safety | Final Report: Uniform Program Pilot Project

Final Report: Uniform Program Pilot Project
Transmitted to:
The Honorable Federico Peņa
Secretary
U.S. Department of Transportation
By the
Interim Governing Board
Alliance for Uniform HazMat Transportation Procedures
March 15, 1996

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This report represents two and a half years of sustained effort by the Alliance for Uniform HazMat Transportation Procedures. The success of the pilot program depended on the collaborative efforts of many individuals. The Alliance would like to thank the Office of Motor Carriers within the Federal Highway Administration in the U.S. Department of Transportation for supporting the concept of a pilot project and for its financial support. The Alliance wishes to express particular thanks to Mike Trentacoste, Susan Petty, Phil Hanley, and Jim McCauley of the Office of Motor Carriers for their support and involvement in this process. The Alliance also extends its appreciation to George Whitney of the Research and Special Programs and Administration of the Department of Transportation for his assistance and advice.

The Alliance wishes to thank the many state officials and industry representatives who, at their own expense, participated in this effort. Their ideas and input made the pilot project a much more valuable experience. A listing of individuals who attended meetings and provided comments on draft documents is provided in Appendix B of this report.

Jay Kayne, director of the Economic Development and Commerce Policy Studies Division at the National Governors' Association (NGA), and James Reed, program principal at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), served as project director and principal investigator, respectively. They were assisted by Kyle Winston and Thom Rubel from NGA and Jacqueline Cummins from NCSL. Raquel Stanton, NGA, provided administrative support throughout the project. Jan Dunlavey and Luisa Farrell, NGA, handled meeting arrangements for the Interim Governing Board and the pilot states. Alicia Aebersold, NGA, provided editorial services for this report.

Finally, the Alliance staff wishes to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of the Interim Governing Board and the staff of the four pilot states to this process. The four at- large members—Nancy Brown (chair), Elmer Bietz (vice-chair), Grace Goodman, and Stephen Hermann—and the representatives of the four pilot states—Elizabeth Parker (Minnesota), James Rhode (Nevada), Steven Lesser (Ohio), and Jami McClellan (West Virginia)—ensured that the pilot project was a quality effort and remained on track. Each of the pilot states assembled a qualified and dedicated staff who pushed forward throughout the two-year demonstration regardless of the potential barriers and workload.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

I.

ORIGIN OF THE PILOT PROGRAM

1

   
 

The Alliance for Uniform HazMat Transportation Procedures

1

 

Alliance Pilot Program

2

 

Selection of the Pilot States

3

 

Basis for Report Findings

6

   

II.

PREPARING TO IMPLEMENT THE UNIFORM PROGRAM

7

   
 

Passage of Enabling Legislation

7

 

Designation of the Lead Agency and Interagency Coordination

8

 

Role of State Trucking Associations

9

 

Outreach to Regulated Industry

10

 

Training of Staff

11

 

Maintenance of Records

12

III.

ADMINISTRATIVE BURDEN ON THE PARTICIPATING STATES AND THE REGULATED INDUSTRY

14

   
 

Burden on the Participating States

14

 

Burden On The Regulated Industry

15

IV.

RECIPROCITY PROVISIONS OF THE UNIFORM PROGRAM

18

   
 

Conducting Peer Reviews

18

 

Defining Review Criteria

20

 

Clarifying the Relationship Between Part II and Part III States

23

 

Outlining Rules for Transition

24

 

Outlining Procedures and Requirements for the Entry of New States into the Uniform Program

28

 

Gathering Information

31

 

Questions Surrounding Confidentiality

36

V.

ENHANCEMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY

38

 

Defining What Constitutes Health and Safety Enhancement

38

 

Impact of the Uniform Program on Health and Safety Enhancement

39

   

VI.

ROLE AND OPERATIONS OF THE INTERIM GOVERNING BOARD AND THE NATIONAL REPOSITORY

43

 

Role of the Interim Governing Board

43

 

Role of the National Repository

49

 

Expenses of the Interim National Repository

53

   

VII.

RECOMMENDED CHANGES TO THE UNIFORM PROGRAM BASED ON THE PILOT PROJECT EXPERIENCE

55

 

Initial Uniform Program Modifications

55

 

The Uniform Program Application

56

 

Application Modifications

59

 

The "Safe Harbor" Fee Formula

62

VIII.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

68

 

State Assessment of the Uniform Program

68

 

Industry Assessment of the Uniform Program

69

 

Outstanding Issues

72

 

Commitment to Continuous Improvement

76

APPENDICES

A.

ALLIANCE INTERIM GOVERNING BOARD AND STAFF

Interim Governing Board

Staff

B.

ALLIANCE MEETING ATTENDEES

State Officials

Industry

Federal Officials

Other Attendees

C.

ALLIANCE PILOT PROGRAM EVENTS

Interim Governing Board Meetings

Pilot State Peer Reviews

Pilot State Working Sessions

D.

BRIEFING PAPERS

E.

REVISED PROPOSED UNIFORM PROGRAM

F.

REVISED UNIFORM PROGRAM APPLICATION AND INSTRUCTIONS


Section I: Origin of the Pilot Program

In November 1990, Congress passed amendments to the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA) that included provisions to address the burden on the motor carrier industry that resulted from the array of hazardous materials registration and permitting to be administered by individual states. Section 22 of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act of 1990 (HMTUSA) mandates that any state wishing to register and issue permits to motor carriers that transport hazardous materials must do so by using uniform procedures and forms. Section 22 also stipulated that the U.S. Secretary of Transportation should appoint a working group of state and local officials to develop recommendations, in consultation with affected industry, for a uniform program that eventually would be codified through the federal regulatory process.

The Alliance for Uniform HazMat Transportation Procedures

In 1991 the National Governors' Association (NGA) and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) successfully bid for a contract to staff the working group. Working with industry representatives and state and local government associations, NGA and NCSL presented recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation for a twenty-eight member panel. The working group held its first meeting in January 1992, at which time it selected the working title of the Alliance for Uniform HazMat Transportation Procedures (the Alliance).

Over two years, the Alliance established several subgroups and task forces to address specific aspects of state registration and the permitting of hazardous materials motor carriers. Final recommendations were adopted at the Alliance's fifth meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, May 23–25, 1993, and transmitted to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation on November 17, 1993. (Copies of the final report are available from NGA.)

Following is a brief description of the major provisions of the Alliance's recommended Uniform State Hazardous Materials Transportation Program (Uniform Program).

  • Registration of motor carriers that transport hazardous materials shall be conducted through a base state system. Each participating jurisdiction may assess a registration fee on motor carriers that transport hazardous materials within its borders. However, the motor carrier will apply to a single base state, which will be responsible for collecting the registration fees for all states and distributing such fees accordingly. Information required for processing a registration will be collected through Part I of the uniform application.
  • Participating jurisdictions may issue a reciprocal national permit that allows a permitted motor carrier to transport hazardous materials in all participating jurisdictions. The motor carrier applies to its base state for the permit. The base state conducts a review of the motor carrier's qualifications to transport hazardous materials and, if appropriate, issues a permit that is valid in any participating jurisdictions that also require the national permit. Information requirements for issuing a uniform permit are contained in Part II of the uniform application. [Note: Section 22 required only that the working group study the feasibility of a base state system; however, the Alliance, after considerable deliberations, determined that base state registration and reciprocal permits had effectiveness and efficiency benefits for both the participating jurisdictions and the motor carrier industry.]
  • Because of the negative economic value of hazardous and radioactive wastes, a participating jurisdiction that issues permits to hazardous waste transporters may require additional disclosure information related to the applicant's operations and the integrity of the applicant's owners and managers. The disclosure requirements are contained in Part III of the uniform application.
  • Although the registration and permit are issued under a base state system, a participating jurisdiction retains its individual enforcement authority when a registered or permitted carrier is transporting hazardous materials within its borders. Penalties and the procedures for assessing penalties continue to be those of the jurisdiction in which a violation occurs. Major violations are reported to the base state. If appropriate, the base state may review the motor carrier's operations to determine whether the violation should result in suspension or revocation of the reciprocal national permit.
  • Although Section 22 did not explicitly address the issue of local registration and permitting programs, the Alliance recommended provisions that would allow a locality to become a participating jurisdiction. The provisions ensure that a locality, working with the state, can obtain the revenues required to operate its hazardous materials safety programs (e.g., training and response programs) and can issue permits to carriers that have not received credentials from another participating jurisdiction.

Alliance Pilot Program

In May 1992, the Alliance recommended that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) fund a pilot project to field test the working group's recommendations. The Alliance designed and implemented a two-year pilot project, involving four states. The purpose of the pilot program was twofold. First, the Alliance recognized that the feasibility, benefits, and costs of a base state program were speculative. Therefore, a real-world demonstration was required to confirm the validity of the assumptions and procedures associated with the Uniform Program. Second, the pilot program would help FHWA address comments during the rulemaking process.

The major objectives of the demonstration program included:

  • determining the barriers within individual states adopting the uniform procedures and operating under a base state system;
  • determining the costs of state participation in a uniform base state program, including personnel and hardware and software requirements;
  • testing the reciprocity provisions of the base state agreement, including the collection, distribution, and auditing of registration fees, the issuance of national hazardous materials transportation permits, and the enforcement of national standards;
  • assessing the extent to which the base state system reduced the administrative burden on the regulated industry and on states;
  • determining the extent to which the uniform system enhanced protection of public health and safety;
  • testing the provisions related to local hazardous material regulation under the Uniform Program;* and
  • examining the role and operations of a governing board and national repository.

During the first year, states would focus on making the legislative, regulatory, and administrative changes required to operate the program. The Uniform Program would be implemented in the second year.

Selection of the Pilot States

In November 1992, the Alliance issued a solicitation to states to express their interest in participating in the pilot program. The solicitation required that respondents from an interested state describe the state's current hazardous materials registration and/or permitting activities, outline their reasons for wanting to participate in the pilot program, and include a letter of commitment from the Governor supporting the state's participation. The Alliance asked the staff to work with interested states and

*Note: This aspect of the Uniform Program was not tested during the pilot since none of the participating states included localities that were willing to test the local program provisions with the Alliance's original recommendations. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio held several meetings with officials from Cleveland concerning the impact of the Uniform Program on the city's current programs. City officials indicated that they might discontinue their current program if they had access to carrier information through the Alliance's information management system. In response to the city's request, the Interim Governing Board adopted a resolution supporting access by localities to the Alliance database when such access was requested by

to recommend pilot program participants based on the following criteria:

  • the Governor and state legislature of pilot states were committed to taking the necessary legislative and administrative actions to conduct the state's hazardous materials transportation programs under the principles and operating procedures of the Alliance's recommendations;
  • the regulated community within the state was committed to supporting participation in the pilot program;
  • the state had experience in the registration and permitting of hazardous materials, and/or in the transportation of radioactive materials;
  • the group of states chosen reflected geographic diversity; and
  • at least one of the pilot states had a major locality with a hazardous materials transportation registration or permitting program.

Based on the responses to the request for letters of intent, the Alliance initially selected California, Nevada, Ohio, and West Virginia as the four pilot states. Nevada and West Virginia agreed to test the registration and general permitting requirements, while California and Ohio committed to testing the Part III disclosure requirements for hazardous waste transporters. However, in December 1993, California opted out of the pilot because of concerns that participation in the demonstration would bias a continuing legal battle over preemption of California's tank truck inspection program.

Following California's withdrawal from the pilot, the Alliance staff contacted several states that had expressed initial interest in the pilot and made site visits to Minnesota and New York. The Minnesota site visit in January 1994 included a briefing for state legislative staff and representatives of the Minnesota Trucking Association. Ultimately, Minnesota became the fourth pilot state, with the passage of enabling legislation in May 1994.

Each participating state was given the opportunity to select one of the following three options for implementing the Uniform Program.

  • The pilot state could apply the requirements of the Uniform Program to all motor carriers (interstate and intrastate).
  • The state could apply the requirements only to domiciled, interstate motor carriers that operate in two or more of the pilot states. This option would target motor carriers covered under any reciprocity provisions associated with the Uniform Program. It would significantly reduce the number of motor carriers subject to the new program regulations during the pilot phase. In addition, the pilot state might obtain executive or legislative authority to conduct the demonstration without completely revising state laws and/or regulations.
  • The state could select an even smaller sample of interstate motor carriers. The pilot state could seek, from among domiciled motor carriers, volunteers that would support state efforts to test the model program. The state would then work more closely with each participating motor carrier to evaluate the procedures contained in the Uniform Program. The disadvantage of this approach was that the pilot state could not get a true estimate of the administrative burden and cost of operating a full-scale program.

Three of the pilot states—Minnesota, Ohio, and West Virginia—used option one during phase two, while Nevada selected option two for the first round of registration and permitting with the intent of expanding the program to all carriers during the second program year. In addition to testing the Uniform Program, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio also committed to a one-year test of state administration of the federal hazardous materials registration program established under HMTUSA.

To facilitate state participation in the demonstration, each pilot state received $50,000 in funding as part of FHWA's financial support to the pilot. [Note: Ohio received an additional $50,000 in funding to support its testing state administration of the federal registration program.] The funds were provided in the form of a subcontract under NGA's prime contract with FHWA to administer the pilot. In return for the financial support, each of the pilot states agreed to the following scope of work:

  • adopt enabling legislation, if necessary, that will allow the state to participate in the pilot program;
  • establish the administrative capacity to conduct a one-year demonstration of the Uniform Program;
  • conduct a one-year demonstration of the Alliance Uniform Program to register and permit motor carriers based in West Virginia;
  • designate a representative of the state to be a member of the Interim Governing Board that will oversee the pilot program;
  • participate in all meetings of the Interim Governing Board and pilot states;
  • participate in peer reviews of the other pilot state efforts;
  • provide NGA with information related to the state's effort for inclusion in reports required under NGA's contract with FHWA; and
  • host one meeting of the Interim Governing Board and one meeting of pilot state representatives.

Basis for Report Findings

The remainder of this report will address the extent to which each of the pilot program objectives was satisfied. The findings are based on the experience of the four pilot states, the deliberations of the Interim Governing Board (the Board) established to oversee the pilot program, and surveys conducted by the Alliance staff of both the participating states and motor carriers that were subject to the requirements of the Uniform Program. (Copies of both the industry and state administrator survey instruments are available from NGA.)

Section II: Preparing to Implement the Uniform Program

The demonstration project was established as a two-year process. During the first year, each pilot state made the necessary legislative and administrative changes to participate in the Uniform Program. The second year focused on actually registering and permitting motor carriers. The following is a discussion of the issues and barriers that the pilot states encountered as they prepared to operate the Uniform Program.

Passage of Enabling Legislation

Two issues arose relating to the passage of enabling legislation. First, the states found that the participation by industry representatives in the Alliance's deliberations and the design of the pilot program did not translate into political support of in-state motor carrier groups. Second, the differing legislative requirements among the states raised questions about the states' ability to respond to modifications in the Uniform Program.

Political Support for the Pilot Program. Although several national motor carrier associations actively participated during the Alliance process, the pilot states quickly realized that support by national associations did not automatically translate into support by in-state motor carrier groups. Each state found that to gain support from the state trucking industry for the enabling legislation, it had to revisit many of the issues and the rationale for the provisions within the Uniform Program.

Minnesota, which became a pilot state late in the process, was able to learn from the experience of the other three pilot states and provides the best example of how a state worked with its state trucking association to garner support for enabling legislation. Before formally announcing its interest in participating in the pilot program, the Motor Carriers Services Division of the Minnesota Department of Transportation scheduled a briefing for industry representatives and state legislative staff by Alliance staff. Based on that briefing, the state trucking association determined that it was in its interest for Minnesota to participate in the pilot. Thus, the bill before the Minnesota legislature was viewed as an industry initiative, rather than as another government program.

Based on states' experiences in the demonstration program, the Alliance adopted the following recommendation concerning the content of, and strategy for adopting, enabling legislation.

Prior to joining the Alliance, a potential participating jurisdiction should conduct a full briefing on the Uniform Program for its motor carrier industry. At that time, the state should request that the state trucking association either sponsor or cosponsor the enabling legislation.

Level of Specificity Within Each State's Enabling Legislation. All four pilot states required enabling legislation to participate in the program. In Nevada and West Virginia, the enabling legislation included most of the provisions of the Uniform Program by reference. By contrast, the legislation in Minnesota and Ohio included the specific language for many of the Uniform Program requirements.

Throughout the demonstration project, whenever the Board considered amendments to the program procedures, participating states had to determine whether the Board's decisions would require amendments to their enabling legislation. In one instance—when a repository surcharge was considered—the issue had to be deferred because the states did not feel they could amend their legislation in time to implement the change for the next application cycle.

To alleviate the situation, the Board directed staff to develop a range of model legislation to address the legislative philosophies within the various states. Once developed, the models will segregate the provisions of the Uniform Program in which states must comply exactly with the rules and procedures from those elements of the Uniform Program where the state is given flexibility, such as program level, target motor carrier population, and fee rates. To the extent possible, the Board encourages states to adopt blanket enabling legislation (i.e., incorporating the Uniform Program by reference) covering those items in which the Board establishes specific program requirements and procedures. Both Minnesota and Ohio indicated that their legislatures might require less specific legislation following the effective date of the federal mandate for states to operate under the Uniform Program.

Designation of the Lead Agency and Interagency Coordination

The designation of the lead agency was not an issue for Minnesota, Ohio, or West Virginia. The Motor Carrier Services Division within the Department of Transportation in Minnesota historically had permitted hazardous waste transporters. In Ohio, the Public Utilities Commission had been responsible for the state registration program prior to the demonstration. There was no permitting program for either hazardous materials or for hazardous waste transporters. Prior to the demonstration, there was neither a registration nor a permitting program in West Virginia. Therefore, entry into the pilot program for these three states did not require the Governor to make a decision about the lead agency between two or more entities that had previously shared or split responsibility for hazardous materials and/or waste transportation registration or permitting.

In Nevada, the original scope of the state's participation in the pilot program focused solely on hazardous materials and was administered by the Nevada Highway Patrol. The only other state program related to transportation of hazardous materials is the Public Service Commission's (PSC) trip permits for radioactive waste. During the course of the pilot, PSC explored the potential of using the Part III permit as a substitute for its current radioactive waste permit. Eventually, Nevada decided to expand its program to include a Part III permit. The division of responsibility between the Nevada Highway Patrol and PSC has not yet been finalized.

An indication of potential issues associated with split program responsibility surfaced in California before that state elected to withdraw from the pilot program. Responsibilities for hazardous materials and waste transportation are currently divided between the California Highway Patrol (hazardous materials transport licenses and inspections of tank trucks and hazardous waste vehicles and containers) and the California Environmental Protection Agency (hazardous waste transport permits). The California Public Utilities Commission also regulates intrastate hazardous waste carriers. Even though the Governor designated the California Environmental Protection Agency as the lead for the pilot program, there were numerous questions about the roles and responsibilities of each agency and its relationship to the Alliance. For example, California queried whether a representative from each of the agencies could sit on the Interim Governing Board, with each having one-half of a vote.

Most of the interagency coordination for the four pilot states has involved interaction with other divisions within the lead agency. For example, the Motor Carrier Services Division relied on the Management Information Division in the Minnesota Department of Transportation to design and implement its automated entry and credential system. In addition, some of the states have drawn on the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) staff to generate the carrier profiles needed to conduct the application review. Only in Ohio did the lead agency contract with an outside entity—the Bureau of Investigation—to conduct the disclosure reviews of its Part III applications.

From the outset, the Alliance recognized that states should retain the authority to structure the administration of the Uniform Program in a manner appropriate within each state. Based on the experience in the pilot, the only issue related to administrative structure is the burden placed on other participating states in that they were required to deal with more than one point of contact in the other states. Therefore, the Board made the following recommendations concerning designation of a lead agency at the June 1995 board meeting in Boston.

When a state petitions the Board to become a member of the Alliance, the request must include a formal designation of a lead agency by the Governor.

During the accreditation review process, the peer review team should determine that if more than one agency is involved in the implementation of the Uniform Program, the potential participating jurisdiction has developed procedures and protocols to ensure coordination of the state's effort.

Role of State Trucking Associations

From the beginning of state implementation of the Uniform Program, the Interim Governing Board of the Alliance has sought the involvement of industry, particularly the state trucking associations. State associations were integral to the success of the Uniform Program and continue to play a role in its further definition. The pilot states engaged their state trucking associations early in the process, familiarizing them with the principles, requirements, and benefits of the Uniform Program.

Based on their understanding and support of the Uniform Program, the state trucking associations were useful in program implementation and outreach. Evidence from the state evaluation survey suggests that without the support of industry, and the associations in particular, states would have been hard-pressed to pass enabling legislation. Furthermore, because some components of the Uniform Program pilot (e.g., testing the utility of fingerprints under the Part III disclosure) were perceived as "lightning rod" issues to many carriers, association support was pivotal.

Pilot states also asked the state associations to participate in outreach and education efforts. For instance, Ohio briefed members of the Ohio Trucking Association so that they could answer carriers' questions about the application and the program. In addition, national trucking associations conducted and cosponsored outreach and training seminars, including a seminar in California to familiarize carriers in that state with the requirements they would face if they needed credentials under the Uniform Program in Nevada. Trade meetings, newsletters, and other communication vehicles employed by the state motor carrier associations proved to be valuable tools for educating carriers about the Uniform Program.

Outreach to Regulated Industry

For the pilot states and the Interim Governing Board, industry outreach was a crucial strategy of the pilot project. Early in the process, the Alliance made a commitment to seek industry input. Outreach efforts focused on involving industry in the policymaking process and on gaining input into state programmatic issues.

The Board took great care to ensure that industry representatives had ample opportunity to provide input into policy decisions. Industry representatives were invited to all Board meetings, and the Board tapped several representatives to serve on a nonvoting industry advisory panel. Members of the panel were representatives of various industry constituencies, such as hazardous waste transporters, shippers, and tank truckers. They were chosen to ensure prolonged and regular interaction between industry and the Board. Participation on the panel allowed industry representatives extra opportunities to review and comment on certain information and policies.

In addition, a representative from the state trucking association in each of the pilot states was invited to sit on the advisory panel. Their participation proved to be invaluable, because the state association was often the first entity to receive a complaint about the program. The state association members were also invited to participate in the nonconfidential discussions during each state's peer review. This participation was designed to increase the state association's level of comfort that state officials were conducting objective reviews of carriers' permit applications. All states maintained regular contact with their state trucking associations throughout the two-year demonstration effort.

Other in-state outreach efforts were driven by the participating jurisdictions. These efforts focused on educating carriers and familiarizing them with the various aspects of the Uniform Program as the pilot states ran seminars for affected carriers. The seminars also helped alert pilot states to potential problems or criticisms. For instance, one company stated that the Part III section on criminal and civil penalties would require the submission of more information than the administering agency could handle. These seminars gave the state the opportunity to explain exactly what was required and how the state would evaluate the submitted materials.

Other outreach activities included sending letters to affected carriers about the Uniform Program and providing phone assistance to carriers as they filled out the application. Although the primary responsibility for assisting carriers lies with the state in which the carrier is based, the Board suggested that eventually the repository should consider establishing an 800 number for carriers to call with questions about the program. Staff suggested that the repository might also establish an Internet web site and e-mail address to assist carriers that have questions about the program.

Training of Staff

Accreditation for participating states under the Uniform Program requires that the states adhere to rigorous record-keeping and training standards. The primary training document used by the states to familiarize their staffs with the Uniform Program was the state program administrator's manual. A companion Uniform Program audit manual is currently under development and will also serve as a training reference.

State program staff received the majority of their training by attending Interim Governing Board and pilot state meetings. State program administrators used Alliance meetings to familiarize their staffs with the philosophy and procedures of the Uniform Program.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio held a retreat to train its state permit, audit, and enforcement staff in managing the program. The retreat was open to all jurisdictions participating in the pilot program and to the interim repository staff. Of the four pilot states, staff from Minnesota, Ohio, and West Virginia attended the retreat.

Because of the small number of participating states and the availability of the staff retreat in Ohio, the repository did not conduct formal training sessions or prepare specific training materials. However, as the number of participating jurisdictions increase, the Board has suggested that the repository develop training modules for program managers, administrators, and auditors, using staff from currently participating states as faculty.

Maintenance of Records

Two issues related to records maintenance were addressed during the pilot program. The first focused on the time period during which states would have to retain information on a specific carrier. The second involved the process by which states would share basic information about carriers for which they served as the base state.

Period of Records Maintenance. The Uniform Program application approved during the Alliance working group's deliberations originally required that applicants provide information covering five years of operations. However, during the pilot program, the Board modified this requirement to three years, because it would cover the time between permit renewals. Consequently, the Board, at its January 6–7, 1994, meeting in Reno, Nevada, recommended that participating jurisdictions retain records in each motor carrier's folder or in electronic files for the same three-year time period.

Data Exchange Among Participating States. In May 1993, the Alliance working group supported the concept of base state registration and permitting provided that all states had access to information about carriers that operated within their boundaries. At that time it was determined that one function of the national repository would be to establish a central database in which basic information about all registered and permitted carriers would be maintained.

In April 1994, the Alliance staff contracted with an outside software consulting firm to develop software through which the pilot states could:

  • enter basic information on each applicant;
  • upload the information to the repository's central database;
  • print credentials; and
  • conduct queries about any carrier operating under the Uniform Program.

The HazMat Alliance Registration and Permitting System (HARPS) was written for a Microsoft Windows platform using Access 2.0. Alliance staff established a Windows NT server at NGA and provided copies of the software to each of the pilot states. Three of the states (Nevada, Ohio, and West Virginia) elected to use this software as provided by the Alliance.

In contrast, Minnesota created a HARPS-like module on its central motor carrier database. Minnesota's decision not to use the PC-based software available through the Alliance was approved by the Board as being consistent with the desire to provide states with flexibility in administering the Uniform Program. Minnesota agreed that its programmers would create a software link that would also provide the information on Minnesota-based carriers in the format required to upload to the central server.

Another information issue that surfaced during the pilot was the extent to which the states could access existing information about a carrier's safety fitness. To facilitate such access, the Alliance staff asked its software consultants to develop a link between HARPS and the USDOT Motor Carrier Safety Information Network (SafetyNET). The consultants proposed developing a HARPS module that would allow the Uniform Program administrator to pull down a motor carrier safety profile. However, after several weeks of discussions with USDOT officials, the consultants reported that federal officials had raised significant questions about security and the cost of providing this service to the Alliance pilot program officials. Therefore, each pilot state made arrangements to access motor carrier safety profiles from its existing MCSAP program office.

Base states were also encouraged to use other sources (e.g., federal violations). For instance, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio accessed databases such as NEXUS and West Law to obtain information on fines and penalties assessed against hazardous waste permit applicants.*

* A more complete discussion of HARPS and proposals for improving the system are provided in Section VI: Role and Operations of the Governing Board and the National Repository.

Section III: Administrative Burden on the Participating States and the Regulated Industry

Although the congressional intent of the Section 22 uniformity mandate was to relieve the motor carrier industry of the need to file multiple state hazardous materials transportation registration and permit applications, the Alliance working group believed that a base state reciprocal program could also result in administrative savings for participating states. However, the major reason for that assumption was the division of labor among the states, with each state generally taking responsibility only for its domiciled carriers. During the pilot program, it was impossible to test this assumption because the four pilot states were responsible for registering and permitting national and regional carriers that will eventually be based in other states.

The following is a discussion of the administrative burden on the participating states and the regulated industry in terms of both hours expended and costs.

Burden on the Participating States

One objective of the demonstration project was to determine the administrative and fiscal requirements for participating states. The following numbers were provided by the pilot states in response to the state administrators survey.

Staffing Requirement

Minnesota

Nevada

Ohio

West
Virginia

Overall Management

1.00

0.50

1.10

0.70

Part II Review

0.75

0.63

3.50

0.60

Part III Review

0.25

n/a

3.25

n/a

Data Entry

0.50

0.63

1.00

0.50

Registration Fee Accounting

n/a

0.25

0.30

0.20

Total Administrative Staff

2.50

2.50

15.00

2.00

Number of Applications

1,001

102

2,900

339

The four states reported a total of twenty-two full-time equivalents to handle a total of 4,342 applications. Therefore, on average, a full-time staff person was required for every 197.36 applications processed.

To support program administration, the four states reported the following budget expenditures during the first cycle of Uniform Program registration and permitting.

Line Item

Minnesota

Nevada

Ohio

West
Virginia

Personnel

$74,446

$128,380

$321,500

$28,013

General Office

8,575

3,803

22,500

 

Travel

1,000

10,864

18,000

10,000

Training

 

2,500

6,000

212

Data Processing

417

25,554

57,000

7,097

Consultants

   

500

 

Printing

2,916

1,041

3,000

300

Indirect Costs

 

802

27,900

 

Other

469

125

500

4,378

Total Expenditures

$87,823

$173,069

$456,900

$50,000

The four states expended a total of $767,792 during the first registration and permitting cycle to process the 4,342 applications. Therefore, each application required an average expenditure of $176.83.

It is difficult to reach more specific conclusions from these data for two reasons. In some states, staff resources and expenditures were not charged directly to the project and may appear as indirect costs. In addition, there is considerable variance in the salary scales and operating costs from state to state. The information is also skewed because the Nevada staff were concurrently implementing the Uniform Program for a subset of that state's motor carrier population and its previous permit program for the remaining firms.

Although these numbers can be used for general guidance, the Alliance suggests that any new state that elects to administer the Uniform Program contact several of the pilot states to compare its expenditure scales with the individual states. In addition, the Board identified state administrative costs as a topic that the staff should continue to track. Therefore, the Board recommended that state administrators should maintain expenditure information during the second cycle to determine the extent to which:

  • certain costs can be viewed as one-time, start-up expenditures;
  • the impact of the three-year permit on expenditures differs in years when the state is primarily registering previously permitted carriers; and
  • administrative efficiency improves over time.

Burden on the Regulated Industry

Information on the effort required by motor carriers to comply with the application requirements of the Uniform Program was gathered through a sample survey of companies that had applied for credentials during the first program year. To obtain the sample, Alliance staff asked each of the nine members of the industry advisory panel to submit the names of up to twenty carriers to which the survey was mailed. Using the lists provided by the industry advisors, staff mailed surveys to 143 motor carriers; 45 carriers responded for a return rate of 31 percent.

Each respondent was asked to provide information related to the administrative burden and costs expended to comply with the uniform application requirements. Reported costs did not include fees paid to the state for registration or application processing. These fees will be addressed in Section VII: Recommended Changes to the Uniform Program Based on the Pilot Project Experience. The responses from the forty-five motor carriers are provided in the following table.

Information Request

Number of
Responses

Total

Average

     

Total Number of Applications Filed Last Year for All State and Local Programs

45

525

11.7

Estimated Number of Hours Expended to Complete Part I Registration

43

257

5.98

Estimated Cost (in dollars) to Complete Part I

38

$5,054

$133.10

Estimated Number of Hours Required to Complete Part II Permit

38

310.5

8.17

Estimated Cost (in dollars) to Complete Part II

33

$6,050

$183.33

Estimated Number of Hours Required to Complete Part III Permit

23

474.5

20.63

Estimated Costs (in dollars) to Complete Part III

17

$7,372

$433.65

Estimated Number of Hours Required Last Year to Complete All HazMat Registration and Permit Applications

37

5,851

158.14

Estimated Cost (in dollars) Last Year to Complete All HazMat Registration and Permit Applications

33

$100,175

$3,035

Estimated Number of Hours Expended Last Year to Complete All HazWaste Registration and Permit Applications

18

9,436

524.22

Estimated Cost (in dollars) Last Year to Complete All HazWaste Registration and Permit Applications

16

$326,978

$20,436.13

Experience from the pilot program as reported through the industry survey sample suggests that the Uniform Program recommended by the Alliance will have significant administrative savings for motor carriers as highlighted below.

  • The Uniform Program will reduce the number of state and local applications that motor carriers must file in order to transport hazardous materials. These benefits increase according to the number of states in which the motor carrier anticipates transporting such materials.
  • Even with the increased amount of information required on the Uniform Program application compared with the most simple current state and local registration and permit applications, the average amount of time required to complete the Uniform Program application is less than 9 percent of the time required for compliance with all existing state and local applications.
  • The administrative cost in dollars to comply with the Uniform Program hazardous materials permit application is approximately one-tenth of that for current state and local hazardous materials permit applications.
  • The benefits to hazardous waste transporters are even greater. The average applicant for the Part III hazardous waste credential saved more than 500 hours and almost $20,000 in administrative costs completing the Part III application, compared with the current range of state and local hazardous waste permit applications.

Section IV: Reciprocity Provisions of the Uniform Program

Although the Alliance had the ability to draw on the experience of other base state motor carrier programs—the International Registration Plan (IRP), and the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)—those programs primarily involved the collection and distribution of motor carrier fees among the participating states. The Uniform Program is unique because it represents the first time that states have agreed to allow other states to act as their agents in making substantive decisions concerning the issuance of permits to motor carriers. For this reason, there were several issues related to reciprocity during the pilot program. The following is a description of these issues and of the actions of the Interim Governing Board to respond to these issues.

Conducting Peer Reviews

The proposed Uniform Program gives the Board the authority "to establish and oversee a state program compliance accreditation process to ensure the integrity of the uniform registration and permitting program." Under the Uniform Program procedures adopted by the Board, each peer review is conducted by a team consisting of representatives from at least two other participating jurisdictions and a member of the Alliance staff.

During the onsite visit, the peer review team is expected to examine the following elements of the program under review:

  • personnel;
  • capacity to collect and distribute registration fees;
  • automated data processing;
  • procedures for reviewing permit applications;
  • training;
  • program funding;
  • public access to records;
  • audit capacity;
  • enforcement; and
  • enabling legislation and implementing regulations.

The Alliance staff person participating in the peer review is required to prepare a report for the Board documenting the findings of the peer review team and recommending whether the program subject to review should retain its accreditation.

Experience with Peer Reviews During the Pilot Project. To test the concept of peer reviews, each pilot state agreed to submit to a peer review during the second year of the demonstration program. An expanded peer review team consisted of at least one representative from each of the other pilot states, one staff person each from NGA and

NCSL, and one at-large member of the Interim Governing Board. (The schedule of peer reviews is provided in Appendix A.)

To facilitate the peer review and begin to develop a uniform format, the staff prepared a peer review checklist. The checklist included thirteen categories of questions associated with the program elements to be reviewed during the site visit. Prior to the visit, officials in the state subject to the review were asked to review the checklist and compile basic information about their program.

Each peer review consisted of three basic activities. First, the state under review made a presentation based on the questions covered on the peer review checklist. Second, state officials showed the peer review team the procedures and filing system they used for processing applications. Finally, each state was asked to pull a sample of applications and explain why state officials decided to approve or deny the application.

Other Issues Raised in Peer Reviews During the Pilot Project. Because the initial peer reviews were conducted while the pilot states were in the process of reviewing permit applications, the onsite visits also served as working sessions at which the pilot states could identify and address issues associated with application processing and review. For example, one question that was raised concerned the base state's responsibility when the calculated fees do not equal the amount submitted by the applicant. As a result of this discussion, the Board eventually adopted the pilot state's recommendation that the base state may forgive a discrepancy that is within $5.00 of the correctly calculated fee anticipated from the carrier.

In the pilot states' peer review process, the pilot states also looked for ways to increase the uniform substantive review of permit applications. During the Minnesota peer review, the pilot states discovered that each state had its own perception of the out-of-service violations reported in the motor carrier's safety profile. The issue arose because most profiles contain violations for the three most recent years. Therefore, should the base state consider the average out-of-service record for the three years, the most recent year, or the pattern over the three years? After considerable discussion, the pilot states recommended that the reviewers look at the pattern, giving additional weight to the most recent year. In other words, a carrier that demonstrated improvement over the three-year period would be of less concern than one that showed a deterioration in its operations over time.

Finally, during these peer reviews, the pilot states constantly reexamined what constituted a "flag" for purposes of requesting additional information from the applicant. During the Nevada peer review, the pilot states recognized the need for assessing the safety rating of a motor carrier that had not been subject to an FHWA compliance review. At about the same time, in a September 14, 1994, regulation, FHWA issued a determination that concluded that a carrier with a less than 33 percent out-of-service record would be considered to have the equivalent of a satisfactory safety rating. A carrier with an out-of-service record of between 34 percent and 67 percent would be considered to be conditional. Any rating above 67 percent would be considered unsatisfactory. The pilot states recommended that they use a similar typology and that a state could request additional information from a carrier in the "conditional" category.

The pilot states also discussed procedural changes to the Uniform Program and brought the issues before the Board. One issue discussed was the difference between applications in which applicants had failed to complete each element and applications that contained substantive information that raised questions about the carrier's qualifications. The pilot states recommended to the Board that states should immediately review an application for completeness. If the application is incomplete, the state would be authorized to use a "ding fax" to communicate to the applicant that the substantive review of the application could not proceed until the deficiencies were resolved. This process is different from that in which the information on the completed application raises questions that result in the request for additional, clarifying information from the applicant.

Defining Review Criteria

The discussions among the pilot states during the peer reviews often focused on the question of review criteria and the appropriate state response (e.g., request for additional information or denial of a permit) to specific information in the application. At the outset of the pilot project, industry representatives also pressed for more specific instructions to the states concerning flags and denials of permits. At that time, however, the Board stated that any action would be speculative, feeling that additional guidance would emerge based on the states' review of actual applications during the first registration and permitting cycle.

The issue of review criteria is important to both participating jurisdictions and to the industry. From the state's perspective, the level of confidence in a reciprocal system increases to the extent that a participating jurisdiction feels that the base state is responding to information contained in an application the same way that the participating jurisdiction would. Uniform review criteria ensure that all motor carriers within the industry would be subject to the same level of scrutiny regardless of the base state in which they applied for a Uniform Program permit.

At its meeting in April 11-12, 1994 in Charleston, West Virginia, the Board first addressed this question by considering and adopting the following general criteria for the denial, suspension, or revocation of Uniform Program credentials.

1.A carrier has violated the Hazardous Materials Regulations, 49 CFR 100-180, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Rules, 49 CFR 383, 387, 390-397, or any order by the base jurisdiction issued to secure compliance with any such division or rule, when transporting hazardous materials or offering hazardous materials for transportation, and such violation poses an imminent hazard to the public or the environment.

2.The base state determines that such carrier has exhibited reckless disregard for the public and the environment pursuant to the following factors.

a)Such carrier committed a knowing (federal definition) falsification in the registration and/or permit application;

b)Such carrier has engaged in a pattern of violations of the Hazardous Materials Regulations, 49 CFR 100-180, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Rules, 49 CFR 383, 387, 390-397, or an order of the base jurisdiction issued to secure compliance with the Hazardous Materials Regulations or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Rules, when transporting hazardous materials or offering hazardous materials for transportation, or of regulations for the management of hazardous waste issued pursuant to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), including consideration of the number of truck-miles such carrier transports hazardous materials and the number of vehicles in such carrier's fleet;

c)The actual or potential level of environmental damage resulting from any incident or finding of violation of the provisions enumerated above;

d)The response by the carrier to any incident or findings of violation of the provisions enumerated above;

e)Such carrier's history of violation for the past three years;

f)Any mitigating factors such carrier chooses to present at a hearing before the responsible agency within the base jurisdiction; and

g)Such other matters as justice requires.

With input from the pilot states, staff also developed a set of review criteria for each element. However, it became clear during the peer reviews that these instructions were more procedural than substantive. Reviews of specific applications revealed that pilot states were responding to similar application responses differently. As noted previously, procedures and review criteria were continuously revised based on the findings established during the peer reviews.

However, the question persisted of what specific types of responses to application questions would constitute a denial of a permit. Based on recommendations from the pilot states, the Board had adopted only the following two circumstances in which a carrier MUST be denied credentials:

  • the motor carrier has an unsatisfactory USDOT safety rating; or
  • the motor carrier does not have the minimum level of insurance coverage.

At the December 1994 Board meeting in Denver, members of the industry advisory panel asked the Board to consider adopting an application scoring system similar to that used by FHWA for compliance reviews. At that time, the Board asked the staff to work with the pilot states to determine the feasibility of a scoring system. The analysis and staff recommendations were presented to the Board in Boston in June 1995.

The staff found that not one of the current state hazardous materials registration or permitting programs uses a scoring system to evaluate applications. Rather, applications are generally reviewed one of the following two ways:

  • following a set of evaluative guidelines, or instructions for each question; or
  • ensuring simply that the required information is included in the application.

The staff analysis suggested that any determination by the Board to develop and implement a point system for scoring the Uniform Program application should take into consideration the following issues.

  • The strongest argument for a scoring system is that it would increase the objectivity and uniformity in evaluating an application. A scoring system would allow a state agency to point to specific items in the review process in which the carrier did not meet requirements as well as provide a carrier with specific items that need improvement.
  • A scoring system may tie the hands of state agency investigators and take evaluative power away from those persons charged with evaluating the ability of a carrier to transport hazardous materials in multiple states.
  • Two original goals of the Alliance were that the permit process be an educational effort for carriers and that the application be a vehicle to establish an interaction between the base state and a carrier. This interaction would allow an ongoing relationship between each base state and carrier. The base state can assist the carrier in any remediation efforts that may need to be undertaken before a permit is granted. A defined scoring system may impede this communication effort and the remediation process, as a permit would either be granted or denied based on a final score.
  • The Alliance made a decision that the application was not to be a complete evaluation tool. In response to industry concerns regarding the amount of information they would have to provide the base state, the Alliance decided that many issues would be evaluated only on audit and would not bear any analysis in the original permitting process. Assigning a score, or point, to information that is taken on faith, such as certifications, would be arbitrary at best.
  • The Alliance approved, and the pilot states are refining, a set of objective criteria that will be used to evaluate the application questions. The instructions are intended to ensure a uniform approach to analyzing the information provided on the application. Pilot state meetings concentrate primarily on application evaluation in each state. Pilot state representatives discuss evaluative techniques and adopt a common approach to application approval to ensure uniformity across the pilot states.
  • The Alliance originally intended the base state to use the application to paint a complete picture of the carrier's operations in all areas of hazardous materials transportation. Instructions also direct a state agency to uncover additional information on answers that cause concern. A scoring system would necessitate breaking down the application evaluation into individual questions and assigning a numerical standard to each question. The scoring approach of such revised application would take away from the original intent and design of the Uniform Program application.
  • The Uniform Program questions are not designed to have "right" or "wrong" answers. Compliance reviews evaluate carrier compliance with specific regulations. Carriers either meet or do not meet the requirements under those regulations, a situation that lends itself to a system of evaluation that uses points. The Uniform Program questions were designed to provide information on carrier operations, not to be right or wrong.

Based on these considerations, the Board elected not to adopt a point-scoring system at this time. However, it instructed the staff to continue working with the pilot states to develop more detailed guidance on application review criteria. Toward this end, the staff has scheduled two working sessions with the pilot states. In addition, each pilot state was asked to develop case studies of applications that it denied or considered denying, for discussion at these working sessions. Any recommendations for revisions in the review criteria will be presented to the Board as they are identified through the case studies.

Clarifying the Relationship Between Part II and Part III States

At the pilot state working session in Minnesota, questions emerged regarding the role and responsibility of states performing Part III reviews of a carrier based in a Part II state. All the pilot states agreed that the review effort on the part of the Part III review state would be equivalent to that for a carrier based within the Part III state. The policy issue that emerged was whether the Part III review state should provide a recommendation to the Part II base state or whether the Part III state should only transmit its findings, leaving the final decision of whether to approve the permit to the base state.

The Board believed that, in this case, the Part III review state was acting on behalf of all Part III states in conducting the review of the carrier's fitness to transport hazardous waste. Because the Part II state that transmitted the application for a Part III review had elected not to develop the capacity to conduct a Part III review, it seemed inappropriate to ask the Part II state to make a judgment according to the findings of another state. It was decided that the Part III reviewer state should make a specific recommendation to the Part II base state as to whether that state should grant a Part III permit. However, it is the base state's responsibility to transmit that recommendation to the applicant.

Finally, a question was raised about what happens when the Part II base state finds that an applicant meets the threshold requirements for a Part II permit, but the Part III review state recommends that a Part III permit be denied or deferred. The Board recommended that, in such cases, the Part II state issue a Part II permit that would allow the applicant to transport hazardous materials in all states and hazardous waste in Part I and Part II states. This would be particularly relevant when the Part III review state requests additional information that might require a longer review period. However, if the Part III permit is eventually issued, the expiration date would be the same as for the already-issued Part II permit, not extended to the date of the Part III approval. The base state would then have to issue a new set of credentials.

Outlining Rules for Transition

At the Alliance's January 6–7, 1994, meeting in Reno, Nevada, state and industry representatives raised questions about the transition by carriers from the current single-state registration and permitting system to the base state approach. The topic was relevant for the pilot states and will continue to be important in the future as other states join the compact once the federal rule becomes effective.

Based on comments and questions raised at the Reno meeting, the Board determined that the transition rule should, at a minimum, address the following questions.

  • Will a motor carrier's authority to transport hazardous materials be interrupted during the transition process?
  • What happens to permits that have been obtained in states other than the base state once the carrier receives a uniform national permit?
  • Will the motor carrier have to maintain any state-specific credentials during the transition period?
  • Will the carrier be assessed again for registration fees it may have already paid under the single-state system?
  • Will carriers be required to continually change their base state in accordance with the hierarchy established under the Uniform Program as new states enter the agreement?
  • What is a new member state's responsibility to carriers—those based in the state and those that operate in the state—during the transition period?
  • What are the motor carrier's responsibilities?

Operating Principles. At the Reno meeting, the Board adopted two principles that should guide state operations during the transition period.

If a motor carrier is a credentialed operator in a state, the transition from the single- state to the base state system should not result in any interruption in authority to transport hazardous materials in that state.

A motor carrier should not be reassessed for registration fees paid to a state for the time period covered by those paid fees.

Interruption of Authority to Transport Hazardous Materials. Preparing the analysis on this issue, the Alliance staff identified two instances in which a motor carrier would be transporting hazardous materials in a state prior to implementation of the Uniform Program: a motor carrier operating in a state under a permit issued by that state prior to the state's participation in the Uniform Program, and a motor carrier operating in a state that does not require a permit.

In the latter case, the motor carrier would have no new obligations. The Uniform Program is not a federal mandate requiring states to permit motor carriers that transport hazardous materials. The program only established uniform procedures and forms for states that elect to do so. Therefore, if a carrier now transports in a state that does not require a permit, the carrier can continue to operate in that state regardless of whether it has obtained the uniform national permit from its base state.

In states that do require a hazardous materials and/or hazardous waste transportation permit, the following scenarios would apply.

  • If the motor carrier has both an unexpired permit for that state and a uniform national permit. On the day that the state begins operating under the Uniform Program, state officials must recognize the national permit as a valid credential. Therefore, the unexpired state-specific permit is not necessary and need not be carried in the vehicle. It is the state's responsibility to inform law enforcement authorities to accept the national permit and not detain or delay carriers that are operating under the national permit.
  • If the motor carrier has an unexpired permit for that state and has not yet obtained a uniform national permit. The state-specific permit would remain valid until its expiration date. If the state is not yet a participant in the Uniform Program (prior to the effective date for all states), the motor carrier would need to reapply for a state- specific permit. Following the effective date of the federal regulation, the motor carrier would determine its base state according to the hierarchy established under the Uniform Program rule. If the state has not joined the Uniform Program, the state cannot enforce any other registration or permit requirement.

As states enter the Uniform Program, they will need to notify their currently permitted motor carriers of the new requirements at least ninety days prior to the expiration date of the current permit.* New hazardous materials motor carriers should contact the state(s) in which they operate or the national repository to determine which states are participating in the Uniform Program and which states still require state-specific permits (prior to the effective date of the Uniform Program rule).

Double Assessment of Registration Fees. At the Reno meeting, industry representatives asked, "What happens if a motor carrier has just recently registered in a specific state and then applies for a national permit? Will the base state collect the equivalent of a full year's registration fee for all states? Would this be double-charging the applicant carrier?"

At its April 1994 meeting in Charleston, West Virginia, the Board adopted the following options by which states can address this question.

Credit for Fees Paid. During the transition year, a motor carrier's registration fee could be adjusted by a prorated credit based on the period of overlap between the state- specific registration and the base state registration. For example: Yellow Freight paid a $1,200 registration fee to the state of Nevada when it registered in January 1994. Yellow Freight now files for a uniform registration and permit application in Ohio that will go into effect on July 1, 1994. The Nevada fee as calculated on the schedule attached to the application for the coming year is $1,275. Nevada could ask the base state to apply a $600 credit (six months) against Yellow Freight's calculated fee. Ohio would then collect $675 from Yellow Freight and forward it to Nevada.

Waiver of First-Year Fee. A state could elect to waive its registration fee for the program year in which there is an overlap between the state-specific program and the Uniform Program. Using the previous example, Nevada would not collect a fee from Yellow Freight until July 1, 1995. If the state waiving the registration fee also happens to be the base state, it may still charge the appropriate processing fee for handing the application on behalf of all other participating states.

Implementation of this transition rule will require a modification of the fee calculation schedule. The form would have to include the following three additional data elements for each state:

  • the time period covered by the last registration fee;
  • the amount of the last registration fee; and
  • whether the state elected to waive the fee or credit carriers for the overlap period.

*The ninety-day notification is based on the maximum time states have to process a permit application under the current Uniform Program procedures. States should give carriers as much notice as possible to provide time for the carriers to prepare the permit application.

The repository would obtain information about waivers or credits from each state as it entered the agreement.

Shifting Base States. The transition rules also needed to address the following type of scenario. A motor carrier domiciled in Nebraska, which is not a pilot state, obtains its permit from Ohio because Ohio is the pilot state in which the motor carrier travels a plurality of IRP miles. Prior to the effective date of the Uniform Program rule, Kansas joins the agreement voluntarily, and the motor carrier reports a higher percentage of miles in Kansas than it does in Ohio. The next year, Colorado voluntarily joins the agreement, and the carrier's preponderance of IRP miles now shifts to Colorado. Would the carrier apply to Ohio in year one, Kansas in year two, and Colorado in year three?

To avoid continuous shifting of a motor carrier's base state, the Board adopted the following transition rule for selection of the base state. It is based on the principle that a motor carrier should only have to switch its base state once during the transition from a voluntary program to a mandatory one under the promulgated federal rule.

To the extent possible, the repository will ask states to declare their intention of participating in the Uniform Program in terms of level of participation (that is, whether they will be a Part I, Part II, or Part III state) and the regulated population of motor carriers (e.g., hazardous waste-only carriers). Any statement of intent will not be viewed as binding on the state.

The repository will then compile a table of all statements of intent.

A motor carrier will review the table to determine which state would be its base state under the Uniform Program hierarchy following the effective date of the federal rule. This state would be referred to as the permanent base state.

If the selected permanent base state is not a voluntary participant in the program, the motor carrier would select an interim base state (in a manner consistent with the Alliance's procedures for selecting a carrier's base state) from among all the voluntary participants at the time the motor carrier first applies for Uniform Program credentials.

The motor carrier will remain based in the interim base state until the permanent base state enters the agreement.

On the effective date for all states, if the original permanent base state has not joined the agreement, the motor carrier would select a new permanent base state from among all the participating states in accordance with the base state selection hierarchy contained in the Uniform Program.

If at a later date the carrier's state of domicile became a participating state, the motor carrier could, but would not be required to, shift its base state subject to the concurrence by both the state of domicile and the current permanent base state.

The interim base state would be required to share information, such as information on key management personnel, with the permanent base state to avoid replication of an application requirement that the motor carrier had previously satisfied.

Any deviation from this rule would be subject to the same discretionary provisions allowed under the Uniform Program, including concurrence by both the proposed base state and the state that would have been the base state if the waiver had not been requested.

Outlining Procedures and Requirements for the Entry of New States into the Uniform Program

Upon promulgation of a final rule by the USDOT implementing Section 22 of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act, all state and local governments that elect to register and permit motor carriers of hazardous materials must comply with the entry requirements set forth in such a final rule. However, the integrity of the reciprocal permitting system requires that any potential participating jurisdiction must satisfy a set of minimum qualifications to ensure that it meets its responsibilities to other participating jurisdictions. To address this issue, the Board adopted several procedures and requirements for the entry of new jurisdictions into the Uniform Program.

At the time of application to become a participating jurisdiction under the Uniform Program, a jurisdiction must:

  • submit a letter from an authorized executive branch official to the Board requesting entry into the Uniform Program and the base state agreement;
  • enact or plan to enact legislation authorizing participation by the state or local government in the Uniform Program, and providing for implementation of the Uniform Program by that government;
  • request an accreditation review by the Board; and
  • agree to become a signatory to the base state agreement.

Accreditation Review. The Board defined accreditation as the process of certifying that prospective state programs are meeting all formal requirements for joining the base state agreement and operating the Uniform Program. There are three steps to the accreditation procedure.

First, the Board will develop standards that prospective state and local members must meet in order to join the agreement and operate the Uniform Program. Second, the prospective jurisdiction will take those standards and develop an integrated implementation and operating plan. Third, an accreditation review of new jurisdictions will be completed at the time the jurisdiction applies for participation in the Uniform Program and every three years after that to ensure ongoing compliance with accreditation standards. If the board receives complaints about participation from either another participating state, a motor carrier, or the public, the Board shall determine if an additional accreditation review is required.

The following is an overview of the standards, accreditation process, and review process, which may be expanded as the pilot program obtains new information.

Standards. State and local jurisdictions must meet standards established by the Board to join the agreement. These standards ensure the integrity of the base state system and full reciprocity among participating jurisdictions. In anticipation of joining the Uniform Program, an applicant jurisdiction must demonstrate that it meets the following standards.

  • The prospective jurisdiction must have adequate personnel to conduct all aspects of the Uniform Program.
  • The prospective jurisdiction must have the capacity to electronically store specific information associated with the Uniform Program registration and/or permit and to issue credentials to carriers within the timeframes established by the Board. The jurisdiction must also be able to communicate electronically with the repository.
  • The prospective jurisdiction must demonstrate the ability to communicate with all affected motor carriers regarding the implementation date of the Uniform Program and new forms and procedures the motor carriers must complete under the Uniform Program.
  • The prospective jurisdiction must conduct and/or seek adequate training for personnel to ensure effective implementation of the Uniform Program.
  • The prospective jurisdiction must develop an operating budget and establish an equitable registration fee and a permit application review fee structure. The jurisdiction must possess the ability to carry out the financial accounting aspects of the Uniform Program, including the collection and distribution of registration fees to other participating jurisdictions.
  • The prospective jurisdiction must develop a plan to ensure full public participation as outlined in the Uniform Program. This plan must also include an appropriate assurance to motor carriers that Part III of the Uniform Program will be kept confidential.
  • The prospective jurisdiction must provide evidence of sufficient audit capacity to fulfill the audit requirements of the Uniform Program. This must include personnel time and training.
  • The prospective jurisdiction must demonstrate that it has communicated with all appropriate enforcement officials in the jurisdiction to ensure that on-road enforcement officials recognize the Uniform Program credential, regardless of the state of issuance, as adequate for the transport of hazardous materials within the jurisdiction.
  • The prospective jurisdiction must have any necessary enabling legislation and implementing regulations in place when it enters the Uniform Program agreement.
  • The prospective jurisdiction must certify that it will operate the Uniform Program pursuant to the policies and procedures developed by the Board.

Accreditation Process. The accreditation process begins when the applying jurisdiction submits an implementation plan to the Board, along with appropriate enabling legislation, agency regulations, and the first-year budget. The implementation plan will be reviewed by the repository staff and an accreditation committee of officials from not less than three participating jurisdictions to be appointed annually by the Board chair. If the written plan meets the minimum requirements as outlined, the repository staff will schedule an onsite accreditation review in accordance with the previously mentioned Alliance peer review procedures and criteria. A report by the accreditation committee will be submitted to the Board for its consideration at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting.

The Board may accredit the proposed program, provide a conditional accreditation by outlining remedial steps that the applicant jurisdiction must take before registering and/or permitting carriers, or reject the application. In the case of a conditional accreditation, the Board may direct staff to conduct a followup review, including a second onsite visit, to ensure that the conditions have been satisfied.

Revocation. Any participating jurisdiction that fails to comply with the provisions of the base state agreement may have its membership in the Uniform Program revoked by a two- thirds vote of the Board, after a full opportunity for hearing and comment. Such revocation would occur only after a finding that a participating jurisdiction failed to pass an accreditation review, or an investigation of a dispute by the Board demonstrates that the jurisdiction is operating outside of the Uniform Program policies and procedures. Revocation shall take effect one year from the date the affected party receives written notice from the Board of its action in order to facilitate the orderly transfer of motor carriers based in that state to other base states.

Withdrawal. Any participating jurisdiction may withdraw from the base state agreement by repealing its authorizing legislation or by notifying the Board in writing of its decision to withdraw from the agreement. However, no such withdrawal shall take effect until two years after the designated executive branch official has given written notice of such withdrawal to the Board and each participating jurisdiction to facilitate the orderly transfer of motor carriers based in that state to other base states.

Gathering Information

A major condition of a state's acceptance of a base state registration and reciprocal permitting program was the availability of basic information about all carriers that might transport hazardous materials within its borders. To satisfy this condition of participation, the Alliance directed the repository staff to design and implement an automated system through which:

  • the base state could enter basic information about carriers registered and permitted in that jurisdiction;
  • the base state could upload information on its carriers into a central database;
  • basic information on all carriers operating under the Uniform Program could be queried; and
  • states could enter basic information about suspensions, revocations, major violations, and public complaints about specific motor carriers.

The budget for the two-year pilot included $25,000 for the development of the system and for the purchase of its hardware. In March 1994, NGA contracted with BOSC Associates to develop the software at a cost of $18,000. The remaining $7,000 was used to purchase a Microsoft NT compatible server with four incoming modems.

HARPS Database Structure. The software system developed by BOSC is referred to as the HazMat Alliance Registration and Permitting System (HARPS). In July 1994, the first version of HARPS was delivered to the states. In accordance with the Alliance's recommendations, the HARPS database architecture included the following data elements.

Part I Information. The database included entry for each data element in Part I of the original uniform application. This information enabled the repository and the participating jurisdictions to query the database for information concerning:

  • registered and/or permitted carriers that operated in Uniform Program jurisdictions;
  • the number of carriers that transported each category of hazardous materials;
  • the percentage of a carrier's activity that involved transportation of hazardous materials (needed by states to determine the appropriate registration fee rate);
  • the number of power units maintained by each carrier;
  • the identification of carriers by ICC carrier number and/or USDOT census number;
  • phone numbers to call for notification in the event of an emergency; and a carrier's base state.

Type of Credential and Date of Issuance. Following the approval of a permit application, the base state entered a twelve-character identification number and the date the credential was issued into the HARPS database. The credential identifier consisted of three elements. The first element consisted of three letters that identified the level of activity authorized by the credential. The classification code is as follows.

UPR

Part I Registration Only

UPM

Part II Hazardous Materials Permit

UPW

Part III Hazardous Waste Permit

The second element of the credential identification number was the motor carrier identifier—USDOT motor carrier census number, ICC number, or state-issued number—that appeared on the vehicle. The third element was the two-character abbreviation of the base state.

The decision to limit the permit information in the central database was based on the Board's finding that the information contained in Parts II and III of the application would not convert easily into standard data fields. Therefore, the central database served only as a pointer, identifying the base state from which any other of the participating jurisdictions could obtain more detailed information about a credentialed carrier

Information on Major Violations. Because the base state was expected to review a carrier's total operations, not just the activity within the base state, the Alliance recommended that the central database include information on major violations. To meet this requirement, the HARPS database structure provided for information on violations, penalties, and suspensions, including:

  • the date of a citation;
  • the date of any conviction;
  • the amount of any penalty;
  • whether or not the permit was suspended;
  • the date of reinstatement; and/or
  • whether or not the permit was revoked.

Information on Complaints. The Uniform Program calls for the collection and maintenance of information on public complaints about motor carriers. This information will be used to contact complainants when a motor carrier's permit comes up for renewal. At the first pilot state working session in Sacramento in July 1993, the states requested that documentation be limited to complaints upon which the state had taken action, for instance, issued a citation. It was also agreed that the central database would serve only as a pointer system. To accomplish these objectives, the data fields under the HARPS complaint tracking module included information on:

  • the complainant;
  • the complainant's address;
  • the complainant's phone number;
  • the date of the complaint;
  • the carrier's name;
  • the relevant ICC and/or USDOT census number;
  • the location of the incident;
  • a brief description of the incident; and/or
  • any state action taken.

To the extent possible, the entry screens for the HARPS database were designed to mirror the Uniform Program application. Three states—Nevada, Ohio, and West Virginia—elected to use the HARPS software as provided and purchased Microsoft Windows for Workgroups and compatible personal computers for data entry. In contrast, Minnesota chose to integrate the hazardous materials module with its existing mainframe-based motor carrier master database. Minnesota's decision not to use the "off-the-shelf" version of HARPS was consistent with the Alliance's assumption that participating jurisdictions could develop alternative methods for administering the Uniform Program as long as they were compatible with the basic procedural requirements.

In July 1995, NGA placed the server in service and installed four telephone lines. Three of the telephone lines were reserved for the pilot states and Board members, although Board members did not have access during the test, a fourth line was designated for public use. The system has the capacity to expand to sixteen lines as more states become members of the Uniform Program.

Experience With HARPS During the Pilot Program. The extent to which HARPS satisfied the program objectives outlined for the Uniform Program information system is mixed, at best. At a minimum, the system provided a means for states to enter the basic information for motor carrier applicants and, following the approval of an application, to print the credentials. In addition, because the system was developed on an open platform (Microsoft Access 2.0), states were able to develop additional queries and macros to meet their specific program needs.

Technical problems in the program prohibited uploading state information to create a central database consisting of information on motor carriers registered and permitted by all participating jurisdictions. Efforts to circumvent the technical program were also unsuccessful during the first year of operations.

The lack of a central database during the pilot program demonstrated the need for this information once the Uniform Program is fully operational. The following programmatic issues that arose during the pilot program could have been easily resolved if information on all carriers had been readily available in a central database.

  • A vehicle transporting hazardous materials entered Nevada without a permit. The driver claimed that his company had applied for a permit under the Uniform Program in Ohio but had not received its credentials. There was no way for Nevada officials to readily verify this information. The carrier was required to purchase a trip permit to proceed with its delivery. Although the trip permit fee was eventually refunded when the driver's information was confirmed, the carrier was inconvenienced. It also raised concerns with the carrier about the value of the reciprocal program.
  • Ohio levied a civil forfeiture against a carrier that had registered the previous year in Ohio but had not applied in Ohio for a Uniform Program credential. The reason the carrier had not applied in Ohio was because Minnesota was its base state under the Uniform Program procedures for selecting a base state. If the central database had been available, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio could have queried the system before issuing the forfeiture to determine if the carrier was registered in another state.
  • All of the pilot states needed the information on carriers' operations—number of power units, the IRP percentages, and the percentage of hazardous materials activity—in order to determine their fee structures. This information was not available. Therefore, rates for the second year of the program are still somewhat speculative.
  • One state potentially interested in joining the Alliance asked repository staff to provide information on carriers that had received credentials from the pilot states that would be operating in that jurisdiction. The staff was not able to provide this information.

In addition to basic deficiencies, officials in the pilot states identified the following concerns about the HARPS program.

  • Several of the modules were not user-friendly. In particular, the screens for entering IRP percentages and categories of hazardous materials were complex and likely resulted in entry errors.
  • The system did not include a module to calculate the applicant's fees.
  • The Microsoft Windows for Workgroups platform was difficult, if not impossible, to integrate with other LAN systems, especially Novell, that were used by the administering state agency.
  • There was not sufficient technical support for the individual states.

A review of the HARPS program suggests that there are numerous reasons for these deficiencies and concerns. The primary reasons were the implementation of a new client/server technology and the limited financial resources available to the Alliance for developing the system.

The experience with HARPS during the pilot project did, however, meet the objective of determining the need for, and issues associated with, the information requirements associated with the Uniform Program. In an attempt to address the outlined deficiencies and concerns, the Alliance staff began to explore additional resources for making the necessary modifications to HARPS. This search was facilitated by the Board's approval of the staff's recommendation to make HARPS compatible with the Commercial Vehicle Information System (CVIS) and the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) initiatives.

Shortly after the June 1995 meeting of the Interim Governing Board, the Alliance staff met with officials from FHWA's ITS program. The meeting resulted in an arrangement through which RS Information Systems (RSIS), an FHWA Section 8a contractor, was made available to the Alliance. The scope of work for RSIS's activity was jointly developed by FHWA and the Alliance and includes:

  • a technical review of the initial version of HARPS;
  • consultation with the Alliance staff and with each of the pilot states to document deficiencies and concerns in the HARPS program;
  • preparation of a specifications document for review by the Alliance staff and the pilot states;
  • redesign of the HARPS program to address any deficiencies and to expand its capacity, including the calculation of motor carrier fees and potential electronic filing of applications;
  • conversion of all existing state data to make them compatible with the revised HARPS architecture; and
  • development of the appropriate EDI protocols to link HARPS to the ITS/CVO electronic clearance architecture.

In September 1995, representatives from RSIS attended a working session of the pilot states to discuss their effort. The session was followed by site visits to each of the four pilot states to discuss specific needs regarding and concerns about the HARPS program. A prototype of the revised system was presented to participating states at a working session in December 1995. The target date implementing the revised system is June 1, 1996, so that participating states can use the new software for their third cycle of applications.

Questions Surrounding Confidentiality

At the April 1994 Board meeting in Charleston, West Virginia, questions emerged about the confidentiality of information provided by an applicant for a Uniform Program registration or permit. The pilot states identified two specific concerns. In Ohio, which has very strict confidentiality requirements, the state holds individual state employees liable for disclosure of confidential information. In contrast, Minnesota has a very stringent state freedom-of- information requirement. Because the reciprocal nature of the Uniform Program requires states to share information for purposes of enforcing the program, the staff posed the following scenario for the Board's consideration.

A motor carrier based in Ohio and transporting hazardous waste in Minnesota is involved in an accident. As part of the followup investigation, the Minnesota Department of Transportation requests a copy of the motor carrier's Part III application from Ohio. Ohio provides the materials after Minnesota officials have agreed to abide by Ohio's confidentiality provisions. However, a Minnesota newspaper then files a freedom-of-information request with the Minnesota Department of Transportation for disclosure of all information used in determining the outcome of the investigation.

In this example, would Minnesota officials be bound by their state law to release information that was gathered from industry under Ohio's stricter confidentiality guarantee? At the December 1994 meeting in Denver, the Board considered a proposed amendment to the Uniform Program regulation submitted to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to specifically include reference to protection of confidential commercial and financial information under the exemption provided by subsection (b)(4) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). During the discussion, several Board members stated that they believed that adopting the change would not give as much coverage as everyone would like to have, but that it could not hurt the Uniform Program. Federal representatives attending the meeting were unsure about the applicability of FOIA to states. A representative from the FHWA Office of Motor Carriers (OMC) offered to look at a confidentiality provision in the federal rule that would override state law.

As a result of these concerns, the Board recommended that the final regulation governing the Uniform Program treat certain commercial and financial information provided by the applicant for purposes of obtaining a permit under the Uniform Program as privileged and confidential. This protection would apply to all participating states, the Board, and the repository staff that might review the information for purposes of enforcing the Uniform Program. The Board requested that the U.S. Department of Transportation advise the Board concerning whether such protection of confidential information could be covered under the federal FOIA or under the Section 22 implementing regulations.

The Board also asked each pilot state to research this same hypothetical situation within its respective jurisdictions. The research produced the following information about the protection of confidential data in the four states. The Minnesota attorney general's office found that data can be classified as confidential and that such "classification of data itself depends on the applicable federal and state law." The Nevada attorney general's office advised that Nevada officials would not have to disclose information provided by Ohio if "disclosure is barred by Ohio law and the attendant confidentiality agreement, which the Nevada employees shall execute before access to such information is provided."

An analysis by the Public Service Commission of West Virginia found that the West Virginia FOIA specifically "exempts from its purview public records [that] contain trade secrets." However, a recent court case placed limitations on that exemption. Therefore, the PSC of West Virginia stated that it was "... unable to conclude with certainty that Part III information submitted by applicants ... would be exempt from West Virginia's FOIA."

The lack of a clear-cut answer in any jurisdiction suggests that the Alliance needs to find a remedial solution to this issue to ensure that the exchange of information among participating jurisdictions does not become a barrier to any state's entry into the Alliance Uniform Program.

Section V: Enhancement of Public Health and Safety

The primary goal of the Uniform Program is to decrease the likely harm to the public health and safety resulting from the improper transport of hazardous materials.

Defining What Constitutes Health and Safety Enhancement

Determining whether the Alliance's proposal for the Uniform Program met this objective was a point of contention between the Alliance and FHWA throughout the demonstration project. On several occasions FHWA officials asked how the Alliance intended to document health and safety benefits. From their perspective, a direct link between the program requirements and the safety objective could best be demonstrated through a decrease in hazardous materials transportation incidents.

Even if one agreed with FHWA's assumption, any possibility of conducting the research necessary to prove or disprove the link between the Uniform Program and a decrease in incidents was unfeasible for the following reasons.

  • Participating states were providing initial credentials to motor carriers throughout the pilot program; therefore, most permitted carriers did not have a sufficient history of operations under the Uniform Program to make a time series comparison.
  • It would be unfair to attribute the cause of an incident only on the basis of the citation given at the time of the incident. Any analysis of an incident would have to include data from the followup investigation.
  • The cost of conducting this type of research was clearly beyond the scope of Alliance activities funded by FHWA for the pilot program.

Both the Alliance members and the industry advisors pushed to link the permit application process to existing federal hazardous materials requirements. Therefore, wherever possible, a Uniform Program permit requirement (e.g., inspections and financial responsibility) included a reference to the federal statutory or regulatory citation on which it was based. In this way, the application process educated motor carriers about the specific safety requirements. From the Alliance's perspective, an initial assessment of the Uniform Program's impact on public health and safety should be based on the extent to which the application process increased motor carrier awareness of hazardous materials transportation requirements and/or caused the motor carrier to review its operations to determine whether it was in compliance with these requirements.

Impact of the Uniform Program on Health and Safety Enhancement

The staff evaluated this element of the program in two ways. First, in the industry survey, the staff asked whether the application process had generated an internal review of the carrier's operations for specific compliance requirements. The following table presents the survey results on this question for the forty-five respondents.

Compliance Requirement

Percentage
Responding
Yes

Percentage
Responding
No

Part II

   

Type of Carriage

0

100

Business Structure

0

100

Years in HazMat Transport

4.54

95.46

Other HazMat Registrations and Permits

9.09

90.91

Registration/Permits Withdrawn, Denied, Suspended, or Revoked

9.09

90.91

USDOT Safety Rating

0

100

HazMat Transport Fines

20.45

79.55

Transporting Without a Permit

6.81

93.19

HazMat Transport Convictions or Fines

13.63

86.37

HazMat Incident Reports

13.63

86.37

Total Carrier Miles

11.36

88.64

Vehicle/Driver Out-of-Service Violations

25

75

HazMat Out-of-Service Violations

27.27

72.73

Roadside Inspections

29.54

70.46

Reportable HazMat Incidents

15.9

84.1

Assessments for Cleanup

20.45

79.55

Cargo Tanks

6.81

93.19

Terminals

4.54

95.46

Inspection Certification

4.54

95.46

Financial Responsibility Certification

6.81

93.19

Location of Insurance Forms

4.54

95.46

Policy Information

6.81

93.19

Commercial Driver License Certification

4.54

95.46

Bulk Packaging Certification

9.09

90.91

Emergency Response Certification

4.54

95.46

Routing Certification

9.09

90.91

HazMat Training Certification

6.81

93.19

General Certification

9.09

90.91

Part III

   

Incorporation

15

85

Facilities Owned and Operated

15

85

Key Management Personnel

45

55

Fingerprint Cards

55

45

Balance Sheet and Income Statement

20

80

State of Ownership and Debt Liability

20

80

Related Business Concerns

30

70

Legal Proceedings

30

70

In addition, one carrier reported in the survey that following a review of the requirements, the firm decided to drop its hazardous waste transportation activities.

With one exception—the motor carrier's current safety rating—a percentage of respondents reported that the permit application process had precipitated an operations review. In Part II of the permit application, respondents indicated that the items that generated the most internal reviews (approximately 20 percent) included roadside inspection reports, hazardous materials out-of-service violations, and assessments or fines. One can assume that a review of these items would point the carrier to elements of its operations that might require additional attention.

For hazardous waste transporters, the items that generated the most internal reviews related to key management personnel. This finding is consistent with the assumption presented by state hazardous waste regulators that the safe operations, of a hazardous waste transporter are directly proportional to the integrity of its key managers. Putting hazardous waste transporters on notice that states will be examining this element of their operations under the Uniform Program suggests that applicants will also pay closer attention to the selection of key managers.

The second way the staff evaluated the public health and safety element of the program was by asking the pilot states to identify areas in which their knowledge of motor carriers actions during the application process resulted in higher compliance rates. Three of the four pilot states indicated that they "were aware of specific instances where the Uniform Program requirement caused a motor carrier to comply with a hazardous materials requirement that was not being satisfied at the time of the carrier's application." The following excerpts are from the states' descriptions of these instances.

  • "Several intrastate petroleum carriers had insufficient limits on hazardous materials transportation insurance."
  • "Some carriers were not aware of the registration or permit requirements in other jurisdictions until the state reviewed Part II and made inquiries."
  • "Several carriers that had not previously registered under the USDOT HazMat registration program complied in order to complete the Uniform Program application."
  • "Some applicants did not know what the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) was. The application process has been an educational experience for many of our carriers."
  • We experienced a significant increase in compliance with the USDOT HazMat registration program."
  • "Where an applicant was unaware of a requirement, it gave us an opportunity to instruct carriers concerning hazardous materials requirements."
  • "Approximately fifty carriers did not have the proper level of insurance. Permits were not issued until proof of insurance was provided."
  • "Many carriers applied for the USDOT registration number concurrently with their application for the Uniform Program."
  • "Approximately 400 carriers had outstanding civil forfeiture payments that had to be settled before the permit was issued."

Based on the data available from the first cycle of applications, it appears that the Uniform Program application process is having an impact on motor carrier compliance with hazardous materials requirements. The staff believes that the Alliance's philosophy that the application process should serve primarily to educate carriers about hazardous materials transportation procedures remains valid.

Additional health and safety benefits should accrue from on-road enforcement and the use of the audit functions authorized under the Uniform Program to provide continuous feedback to a permitted carrier about its operations. A question raised by FHWA during the pilot was how the Uniform Program enforcement and audit authorities provided additional incentives for safety compliance beyond those associated with the USDOT compliance reviews.

As evidenced by the historical data within several motor carriers' safety profiles, a motor carrier can move between safety ratings without ceasing operations. This is primarily because the congressional directive requires that the motor carrier be given up to forty-five days to take corrective action. State enforcement authorities—especially the ability to assess fines and civil forfeitures—provides an economic incentive to carriers to comply with hazardous materials transportation requirements. In addition, evidence that a carrier has misrepresented its certifications of program requirements could result in the suspension or revocation of that carrier's Uniform Program credentials.

Section VI: Role and Operations of the Interim Governing Board and the National Repository

Once the Alliance working group made the decision to support a program of base state reciprocal registration and permitting, it became clear that any interstate compact would require both a governing board to oversee the process and a national repository to coordinate activities among the participating jurisdictions. To test this concept during the pilot program, the Alliance selected an Interim Governing Board and recommended that NGA and NCSL, which had staffed the working group, be retained as the interim repository staff.

To the extent possible, the Board and repository staff were asked to operate exactly as they would if the working group's recommendations were adopted by USDOT as the mandated program under Section 22 of HMTUSA. This meant that both the Board and repository would carry out those responsibilities and functions that were recommended by the Alliance working group in the November 1993 report to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

Role of the Interim Governing Board

According to the Alliance's final report, the Board should have the following roles.

  • It should establish and oversee a program for accrediting the operations of participating jurisdictions to ensure that each member of the agreement has the ability to register and permit motor carriers in accordance with the uniform requirements.
  • It should interpret the agreement and, when appropriate, recommend changes or additions to promote its objectives.
  • It should conduct a dispute resolution process under which states, industry, and the public could raise concerns about violations of the agreement or the uniform standards.
  • It should oversee the administration of a national repository to provide staff for the Board and for the members of the agreement.

To carry out these functions, the Alliance selected an Interim Governing Board consisting of eight members, four of whom represented the participating states. The remaining four at- large members of the Board were selected from the membership of the Alliance working group and represented the following four categories of working group members:

  • Governors' designees;
  • state legislators;
  • state law enforcement officials; and
  • local officials.

At its first meeting in November 1993, the Board acknowledged it would play a dual role during the pilot project. It would serve first as an extension of the Alliance working group, making refinements and additions to the Uniform Program. Toward this end, the Board elected to retain both the industry and consumer representatives during its first year. Only after the participating states began to register and permit carriers would the Board focus on its long-term roles of overseeing administration of the agreement and resolving disputes among the participating states and between states and the regulated industry.

Interim Governing Board Procedures. The first order of business for the Board was the adoption of bylaws and procedures to govern its own operations. At the first Board meeting in Columbus, Ohio, November 2–3, 1993, the Board asked the staff to develop a recommendation that was reviewed and approved at the second Board meeting in Charleston, West Virginia, April 11–12, 1994.

The adopted rules included the following provisions related to the membership and operations of the Interim Governing Board.

MEMBERSHIP

1.The Board will be composed of members from the following categories:

  • state legislator;
  • local representative;
  • enforcement community representative;
  • at-large member; and
  • one member from each of the pilot states.

2.The positions of chair and vice-chair will not be held by a member representing a pilot state. The remaining four members of the Board will select the chair and vice-chair.

TERMS OF OFFICE

1.The term of office shall cover the entire two-year pilot project and, if necessary, until the effective date of the federal regulation implementing the Uniform Program.

2.Upon the effective date of the Uniform Program, the Board shall be dissolved and bylaws regarding the permanent Governing Board will take effect.

3.Current members of the Interim Governing Board representing pilot states will be eligible for permanent Governing Board positions.

4.Vacancies occurring in Board membership shall be filled by appointment made by the chair with the advice and counsel of the other members of the Board. Appointments to vacancies shall expire at the same time as original members of the Board.

VOTING

1.The chair of the Interim Governing Board shall not vote except in the event of a tie. Each remaining member of the Board shall have one vote, and Board actions shall require a majority vote to achieve adoption.

2.Each member of the Board representing a pilot state may designate a substitute who shall have the full powers of a member of the Board.

3.Other members of the Board, when absent from a meeting of the Board, may exercise their voting authority by providing a proxy to another member of the Board.

4.Substantive issues of the Alliance agreement, such as plan administration, compliance, procedures, and interpretations, may be raised in writing. Within thirty days, the Board shall either place the matter on its next agenda for action or refer the matter to the repository for action.

5.For matters placed on its agenda, the Board is empowered to:

(a)receive testimony;

(b)make inquiries;

(c)conduct investigations;

(d)weigh evidence;

(e)review facts and make findings;

(f)recommend interpretations;

(g)make recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation regarding the uniform program;

(h)prepare and file a report of its findings, interpretations and recommendations; and

(i)make determinations regarding the pilot program.

NONVOTING MEMBERS

One industry representative and one representative of environmental/consumer interests will continue to serve as nonvoting members of the Interim Governing Board through June 30, 1994.

MEETINGS

1.The full Board meets twice annually unless determined otherwise. Times and places will be determined by the Board.

2.Special meetings of the Board may be called by a majority vote of the Board. These meetings may be held by conference or facsimile transmission.

3.Meetings of the pilot states may be scheduled between meetings of the full governing Board, if necessary.

4.All Board meetings shall be open to the public. To discuss contracts and personnel, the chair has the authority to call an executive session of the Board.

CHANGES TO THE MODEL PROGRAM

1.The Board will be charged with evaluating the model program elements at the end of the pilot project. The Board can recommend changes to any model program element by a majority vote.

2.These recommendations will be submitted to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to assist with the rulemaking process.

COMMITTEES

The chair has the authority to establish any committees that may be necessary to accomplish the objectives of the Uniform Program pilot.

One amendment to the interim bylaws related to continued industry participation in the Uniform Program was adopted at the December 1994 Board meeting in Denver. At that time, the Board approved the formation of an industry advisory panel consisting of representatives from each state trucking association in the pilot states and officials from several national motor carrier associations.

Uniform Program Procedures. The majority of the Board's efforts during the first year focused on the adoption of operating policies and procedures for the Uniform Program. This information was published in a state administrator's manual, which was adopted by the Board at its third meeting in Charleston, West Virginia.

The state administrator's manual includes copies of relevant Uniform Program documents (e.g., Section 22 of HMTUSA and the Alliance's proposed federal regulation) and operating policies and procedures adopted by the Board during the pilot program. The manual includes the following program materials:

  • assumptions and principles on which the Uniform Program is based;
  • Section 22 of the Hazardous Materials Uniform Transportation Act of 1990, as amended;
  • proposed federal regulation;
  • uniform application form and instructions;
  • instructions for processing the uniform application;
  • dispute resolution procedures;
  • request to participate by jurisdictions;
  • membership of the Alliance, the Board, and the repository; and
  • transition rules.

Discussions related to the substance of these provisions are provided throughout this report.

Copies of the state administrator's manual are available from NGA.

Dispute Resolution. Most of the Board's activity related to dispute resolution involved expansion and interpretation of the provisions of the Uniform Program outlined in the November 1993 report. In many cases, these actions were precipitated by unexpected nuances in the program as the four pilot states actually began administration. For example, Minnesota raised an issue about Minnesota-based carriers that incidentally operated in a neighboring state. Under other multistate compacts (e.g., the International Fuel Tax Agreement), the carrier may be treated as an instate carrier with the approval of the other states in which the carrier operates. The Board adopted a similar policy for purposes of the Uniform Program.

Other issues focused on the transition to the Uniform Program and the workload associated with the immediate registration and permitting of all motor carriers operating under the Uniform Program. In many cases, the Board approved waivers or deadline extensions of Uniform Program provisions during the first year of operation. Of particular note was the introduction of "letters of filing," evidence that an applicant made a good-faith effort to comply with the Uniform Program even though the substantive review of that carrier's application had not been completed. The letter of filing allowed the carrier to transport hazardous materials in all of the participating jurisdictions during the review period.

In one instance, the Board did act on one state's violation of Uniform Program procedures. Alliance rules require a state that has mistakenly received an application from a carrier for which that state is not the base state to return the application to the carrier with instructions to send it to the appropriate base state. Ohio law requires that checks sent to any state department must be deposited within forty-eight hours. In Ohio, applications were initially sent to the Public Utilities Commission's (PUCO) accounting division, which deposited the checks and then passed on the application to the transportation division for substantive review. The Board found that even though the PUCO transportation division delegated authority to its accounting division for the financial management of the program, that did not relieve the state of the procedural requirement of determining whether the application had been submitted to the appropriate base state. In response, PUCO agreed to train the accounting staff to check applications for the correct base state before depositing any funds.

Changes to the Uniform Program. Finally, the Board approved numerous changes to the uniform application and instructions. These changes fell into three categories. Primary among these was the extent to which specific data elements did or did not provide information on which the pilot states made decisions about issuing permits. For example, neither of the states that tested the use of fingerprints for the Part III disclosure statement found that the decision to approve or reject the application was affected by this requirement. Therefore, in May 1995, the Board voted to delete the request for fingerprints from Part III of the Uniform Program application. However, a state may still use fingerprints in those instances where the application review raises questions about one or more of the key management personnel employed by the applicant firm.

The second category of changes concerned instances in which the Alliance found that it had violated the principle of using secondary data where they were available. In particular, the Board found several instances where information requested on the application could be obtained from other sources, such as USDOT's SafetyNET database or the Motor Carrier Management Information System. To alleviate the concern that these sources may be inaccurate or out-of-date, the Board directed the staff to revise the application instructions to alert potential applicants to review their motor carrier profiles because that was a major source of information about the carrier's operations.

The third category of changes involved clarification of information requests. In these instances, the changes generally involved simplification of the application form or additional instructions.

A complete discussion of related issues considered by the Board during the pilot program and recommended changes to uniform procedures and forms is provided in Section VII: Recommended Changes to the Uniform Program Based on the Pilot Project Experience.

Evaluation of the Board. To determine the effectiveness of the Board during the pilot program, state program administrators were asked to give their opinion as to how the Board had satisfied the five Board functions delineated in the Alliance's final report. The following table provides the survey results from the four states.

Function

Very
Satisfied

Somewhat
Satisfied

Somewhat
Dissatisfied

Very
Dissatisfied

Interpretation of Alliance Policy

3

1

   

Refining Recommendations

4

     

Dispute Resolution

2

2

   

Ensuring the Integrity of the System

3

 

1

 

Forum for Input on Program

3

1

   

The "somewhat dissatisfied" response related to ensuring the integrity of the system resulted from one pilot state's concern that the peer review process had concentrated primarily on each state's procedures rather than on the substantive review of permit applications. To elaborate on this concern, one state wrote, "We understand that the first priority was to review uniform procedures and administration, but the review did not serve to check whether the elements of the permit that pertain to the violation history and safety profile had been adequately scrutinized. The peer review team needs to independently select the files to be reviewed." As a result of this concern, the Board requested that the repository staff and the pilot states revisit the issue of criteria for rejecting permit applications based on the state's experience during the first application cycle.

Role of the National Repository

The Interim Governing Board was staffed by NGA and NCSL, which functioned together as an interim repository. As with the Interim Governor Board, the repository was asked to operate in the same manner that a permanent repository would be requested to function once the Uniform Program was officially adopted. According to the November 1993 Alliance report, the repository was responsible for the following activities.

  • Maintaining a central database to include information on registered and permitted shippers and carriers. If feasible, the repository should use other existing databases for this purpose.
  • Providing online access to the database for members of the agreement to enforce the agreement and requirements under the Uniform Program.
  • Maintaining an accurate and current list of all states that, under their RCRA authority, require registration and permits for transporting state-designated hazardous wastes that are not listed in the hazardous materials table. The list shall include the definition (i.e., characteristics and quantities) of such wastes as set forth in state law or regulation.
  • Managing the dispute resolution process by which members of the agreement can resolve differences, including differences regarding interpretation of the agreement. A dispute resolution may also include mediation between a carrier or shipper and its base state.
  • Conducting an accreditation process for state and local programs to ensure the integrity of the base state system.
  • Designing, coordinating, and/or conducting training for members of the agreement, states interested in joining the agreement, localities, industry, and other interested parties.
  • Serving as a national clearinghouse for industry and other interested parties on state participation and information related to exceptions (e.g., additional covered substances that states determine to be hazardous wastes under their RCRA authority).
  • Serving as a clearinghouse for routing designations and restrictions while under contract to USDOT.
  • Performing other appropriate tasks as authorized by the Board to support administration of the agreement.

The staff performed the following additional responsibilities for the pilot project:

  • documenting the experiences of the pilot states; and
  • conducting onsite visits to assess the extent to which the pilot states had adopted, and were operating under, the provisions of the Alliance's Uniform Program.

Repository Activities. The following information outlines the major activities conducted by NGA and NCSL, which served as the interim repository during the course of the pilot project.

Meetings of the Board. During the two-year demonstration, NGA and NCSL staffed five meetings of the Board. Meeting support included securing meeting facilities and lodging; notifying Board members and other interested parties; preparing briefing materials, especially briefing papers on each issue for consideration by the Board; developing the meeting agenda, and preparing and disseminating meeting minutes.

Working Sessions of the Pilot States. Throughout the pilot project, the participating jurisdictions and staff recognized the need for the states to get together on a regular basis to share experiences, raise program issues, and develop recommendations for consideration by the Board. NGA and NCSL facilitated three working sessions and numerous conference calls among pilot state representatives.

Peer Reviews. NGA and NCSL coordinated peer reviews in each of the four pilot states. Activities included scheduling the peer reviews, developing the peer review forms, and preparing summaries of the peer reviews for presentation to the Board. In addition, each of the peer reviews was used as a pilot state working session. Therefore, the staff developed an agenda of outstanding issues prior to each peer review.

Preparation of Program Documents. The repository staff prepared drafts of the following program documents during the demonstration project:

  • Uniform Program state administrator's manual;
  • fee calculation worksheet;
  • peer review form;
  • revised application and instructions;
  • revised Uniform Program description; and
  • Uniform Program audit manual.

Copies of these documents were circulated to the Board and other interested parties for comment. With the exception of the audit manual, which is still in draft form, the Board approved each program document following discussion and amendments. [Note: The draft audit manual was provided to the participating states in September 1995.] At its January 1996 meeting in Reno, the Board agreed that the audit manual should not be finalized until the states conducted more audits using the draft documents. A copy of the draft audit manual is available upon request from NGA.

Development and Maintenance of a Central Database. In March 1994, NGA contracted with BOSC Software Developers to write a database program in which the pilot states could enter basic information on motor carriers for which they were the base state, and upload that information to a central database. The program would allow the pilot states to query the central database; print Uniform Program credentials; and enter information concerning major violations, suspensions, and revocations of the Uniform Program permit and public complaints about permitted carriers.

The software package that became know as the HazMat Alliance Registration and Permitting System (HARPS) was delivered to the states in July 1994. Concurrently, NGA purchased an NT server to serve as the central database. Although the software performed the basic functions for state entry of data and printing of credentials, the link to the central database was never implemented.

A full discussion of the problems associated with HARPS and recommended changes are provided in Section IV: Reciprocity Provisions of the Uniform Program.

Outreach to Other Interested States. The Board and the Industry Advisory Panel both recognized that the value of the Uniform Program to the regulated industry increased with the addition of more states in which the national credential would be accepted in lieu of individual state permits. Toward this end, the repository staff conducted briefings in Wisconsin, New York, and Colorado aimed at soliciting additional participation in the pilot. Although there was some interest, these states and others expressed concerns about joining a program that was not yet authorized by USDOT under its rulemaking authority in Section 22 of HMTUSA.

Evaluation of the Interim Repository. To evaluate the interim repository, the participating state survey asked each respondent to indicate his or her level of satisfaction with the interim repository.

Function

Very
Satisfied

Somewhat
Satisfied

Somewhat
Dissatisfied

Very
Dissatisfied

Maintenance of Central Database

   

1

3

Listing of State Programs

1

1

1

1

Management of Dispute Resolution Process

1

2

   

Management of Accreditation Process

3

1

   

Information and Assistance to Participating Jurisdictions

1

2

1

 

Secretariat to the Governing Board

4

     

The major area of concern was the failure of HARPS to perform as promised. At its meeting in Boston in May 1995, the Board requested that the staff work with staff of the participating states to make HARPS more responsive to state needs. At the same time, the Board also made a commitment to USDOT that any improvements in HARPS would be consistent with the emerging Commercial Vehicle Information System Network, which will be the information backbone of all ITS efforts in support of commercial vehicle operations. As a result of this commitment, NGA has worked with the ITS program to obtain the services of RSIS, a USDOT Section 8(a) contractor, to develop the next version of HARPS. The HARPS 2.0 prototype was presented to the participating states in December 1995, with a fully operational target date of June 1, 1996.

The second area of concern focused on the timeliness and accuracy of information about existing state hazardous materials registration and permitting programs. This information was needed to determine whether applicants for the uniform permit were in compliance with all state programs. NCSL addressed the states' concern by updating the information in the state program matrix.

Finally, the states were not completely satisfied with the assistance that NGA and NCSL provided both in terms of its timeliness and scope. This concern is due largely to the fact that both NGA and NCSL did not have the financial resources to devote full-time staff to this project. This situation has become more critical based on the lower level of federal financial support for the Alliance program year beginning July 1, 1995. Even at this interim stage, the participating states require full-time staff assistance, and the Alliance needs to secure adequate financial resources to provide such assistance. Recommendations for full funding of a national repository are outlined in Section VII.

Expenses of the Interim National Repository

Experience during the pilot suggests that the repository needs a full-time staff. Under the current FHWA funding, staff can only spend a portion of their time on Alliance activities. As stated, this has affected the timeframe in which the staff has been able to respond to requests for information from the pilot states. This situation becomes more acute as more states enter the compact.

The repository must have sufficient resources to ensure the quality of the central data function. It also needs resources to support the peer review process. Finally, the repository must have the resources to conduct Board meetings. It is anticipated that there will be quarterly Board meetings. Emergency meetings may be needed, but, to the extent possible, these will be issue-specific and handled through conference calls.

Based on these assumptions, the repository would need an annual budget of approximately $400,000. The estimated annual budget includes the following.

Personnel Costs. Costs include salaries and fringe benefits for an executive director, a mid-level staff assistant, and secretarial support.

Office Expenses. Expenses include rent, equipment and furnishings, local and long- distance telephone service, supplies, general copying, and postage and freight.

Subcontracts. Based on the experience during the pilot, the staff recommends the following subcontracts in addition to general liability insurance and accounting services. To support the Board on legal issues, the repository should have access to legal services on an as-needed basis. To facilitate the data requirements imposed on participating jurisdictions, the repository should retain a computer specialist to work with the automation managers in the lead agencies. To provide twenty-four-hour access to basic information about the Uniform Program, the staff recommends that the repository establish an Internet web site that would contain basic information about participating states, state-designated hazardous wastes, Uniform Program requirements, and a link by electronic mail to the repository.

Travel. The budget includes travel for the eight Board members and two staff member to quarterly Board meetings, for two state administrators and one staff for eight peer reviews, and for one state administrator or staff to make up to ten technical assistance trips per year. [Note: The budget does not include travel for attendance at training sessions.]

Meeting Expenses. The budget includes room rental and audio/visual equipment for the quarterly Board meetings.

Printing. The budget includes the following printing costs:

  • copies of the administrators' manual for distribution to states and localities and for sale to industry and other interested parties;
  • briefing packets for quarterly Board meetings, including copies for registered attendees;
  • a quarterly newsletter for distribution to states and trade organizations; it would also be posted on the web site; and
  • alliance stationary, including envelopes, labels, and mailers.

Contingency Fund. The staff recommended that the budget include a contingency fund equal to 5 percent of the estimated budget. This fund could be used, with approval by the Board, for specific purposes such as an emergency Board meeting.

At the same meeting, the staff proposed a method of funding the repository through an industry surcharge. The Board tabled consideration of this proposal until its next meeting. (A discussion of the industry surcharge is provided in Section VIII under Outstanding Issues.)

Section VII: Recommended Changes to the Uniform Program Based on the Pilot Project Experience

Recommended changes to the Uniform Program fell into three general categories. First, as the Board began to develop procedures and policies, it adopted an initial set of program modifications to clarify unresolved issues and to facilitate the pilot states' implementation of the proposed Uniform Program. Second, on the basis of the pilot project evaluation, the Board made numerous modifications to the registration and permitting application. Finally, the complexity of the double-apportioned registration fee recommendation, developed in response to the American Trucking Associations' (ATA) successful challenge of many states' flat-fee structures, required additional attention.

Initial Uniform Program Modifications

On January 12, 1995, the Board transmitted a number of amendments to the Uniform Program to the Secretary of Transportation. The changes resulted primarily from questions that arose once the pilot states began to focus on the methods by which they would administer the base state registration and reciprocal permitting system. A description of each of these amendments follows.

Complaint Tracking Under the Public Participation Provisions. The Board adopted an amendment to the program requiring that states report only the name, address, and phone number of the complainant and the state in which the complaint was filed. The repository complaint-tracking database will serve only as a pointer system. All other information would be retained in the state in which the complaint was filed.

Calculation of the Percentage of Hazardous Materials Activity. The Board amended Section V.F. of the Uniform Program (pages 4–5 of the Alliance's final report) to offer optional methods of calculating the percentage of hazardous materials activity. The original provision required that the applicant provide the absolute percentage by weight for less-than- truckload carriers and by percentage of placarded/marked shipments for truckload shipments. The amended provision requires the applicant to select either the absolute percentage or to select the mid-point of a ten-percentile range. The states' experience during the pilot resulted in further amending the provision to eliminate the use of absolute percentages. As of July 1, 1995, all carriers must report their hazardous materials activity as falling within one of the ten-percentile ranges.

Incidental Travel Between States. The Board adopted a new provision that would permit participating states to execute bilateral agreements with neighboring states to allow a carrier that incidentally crosses state lines to report its activity as though it is an intrastate carrier.

Definition of Terminals. For purposes of the Uniform Program, the Board adopted the following definition of "terminal."

A facility owned, leased, or operated by the applicant where:

  • applicant's motor vehicles used to carry hazardous materials are loaded, unloaded, or dispatched incidental to transportation;
  • applicant's motor vehicles used to carry hazardous materials are cleaned, maintained, and inspected;
  • applicant's motor vehicles used to carry hazardous materials are fueled or repowered;
  • applicant stores hazardous materials incidental to transportation; and
  • applicant maintains its records, including vehicle-maintenance files and hours-of- service records related to the transportation of hazardous materials.

Definition of Power Units. In Part I of the uniform application, an applicant is required to report the average number of power units operated during the previous twelve-month period (calendar or fiscal) on which the application is based. The following power units are exempt from the reporting requirement:

  • power units that do not operate on public highways; and
  • power units that do not meet the definition of a commercial motor vehicle as defined in 49 CFR 390.5.

The Uniform Program Application

The Alliance wanted to use the demonstration to test the following three assumptions related to the Uniform Program application.

  • To the extent possible, data required of carriers as part of the Uniform Program application process should include only information that a motor carrier must collect and maintain in the regular course of doing business.
  • Data required by states as part of the uniform state registration or permitting process shall be limited to data elements that are specifically needed to meet the requirements of the Uniform Program.
  • To the extent possible, the Alliance should use data from secondary sources for the purpose of reviewing a motor carrier's qualifications to transport hazardous materials.

Information Maintained for Other Purposes. To evaluate the extent to which the 1994–95 application was consistent with this principle, for each data element, respondents to the industry survey were asked, "Does your company maintain this information for any other purpose?"

Of the thirteen data elements in Part I of the application, most of the respondents indicated that they kept this information for other purposes. At the high end of the scale, 90.9 percent of the respondents indicated that they maintained information about numbers displayed on their vehicles, the USDOT HazMat registration number, and the number of power units. The lowest rated data element was the "percentage of hazardous materials activity," for which only 65.9 percent of the respondents indicated that they maintained this information.

Of the thirty data elements in Part II of the application, again most of the respondents replied "yes" to all of the data elements. Surprisingly, 34.10 percent of the respondents said that they did not maintain information about registrations/permits that were withdrawn, denied, suspended, or revoked. One explanation may be that they do not maintain it because it does not apply to them. Of the eight data elements in Part III, 75 percent of the respondents indicated that they do not maintain fingerprint cards for any other purpose.

In general, it appears that the data elements contained in the application do not violate the Alliance principle to focus on information that is maintained by carriers for other purposes. In one instance, a carrier suggested that it did not maintain IRP mileage but does keep IFTA mileage, which would serve the same purpose. [Note: The Alliance had already approved use of IFTA mileage as a substitute for IRP mileage in the 1995–96 Part I application.]

Relevance of Information Requested. To evaluate the principle that data elements in the application should be relevant to a determination of the carrier's qualifications, the staff asked the pilot states to report the number of times an applicant's response to a specific data element triggered a request for additional information, raised questions about the carrier's qualifications, or was the basis for denying a permit. The following table shows the number of times that each data element served one or more of these purposes out of a total of 4,342 Part II applications and 314 Part III applications.

Data Element

Triggered
Request

Raised
Questions

Basis for
Denial

Part II

Type of Carriage

0

0

0

Business Structure

0

0

0

Years Transporting HazMat

75

0

0

Other Registrations and Permits

1230

112

15

Registrations/Permits Denied, Suspended, or Revoked

28

20

15

USDOT Safety Rating

76

75

15

HazMat Transport Fines

225

30

15

Transporting HazMat w/o Permit

150

15

15

Data Element (continued)

Triggered
Request

Raised
Questions

Basis for
Denial

HazMat Transportation Convictions

41

41

0

Incident Reports

4

4

0

Vehicle/Driver Out-of-Service Violations

660

105

15

HazMat Out-of-Service Violations

100

0

0

Roadside Inspections

450

3

0

Reportable Incidents

0

0

0

Assessments

3

1

0

Cargo Tanks

0

0

0

Terminals

0

0

0

Inspection Certification

0

0

0

Financial Responsibility Certification

30

42

15

Insurance Form Location

0

0

0

Insurance Policy Information

183

50

15

CDL Certification

34

0

0

Bulk-Packing Certification

33

15

15

Emergency Plan Certification

30

15

0

Routing Certification

30

0

15

HazMat Training Certification

30

15

15

General Certification

30

0

0

Part III (covers only applications processed to date)

Incorporation

0

0

0

Facilities Owned

7

0

0

Key Management Personnel

16

0

0

Fingerprint Cards

22

0

0

Financial Information

2

0

0

Ownership/Debt

0

0

0

Related Concerns

0

0

0

Legal Proceedings

0

0

0

In most cases, the data elements did raise questions about a carrier's fitness or were the basis for denying a permit in one or more cases. However, as evidenced by the data, there are data elements that did not serve this purpose. [Note: The above table represents information for only those applications for which the base states had completed the review process.]

Availability of Information From Other Sources. Finally, the pilot state's use of the USDOT safety profiles suggested that the information in SafetyNET was either more accurate or more timely than the information provided by the applicant. The Board concluded that certain data elements on the original application contained the same information that was available from secondary sources.

However, there were instances where information provided by the applicant and information contained in the applicant's safety profile was inconsistent. In some cases, this happened because the safety profile had not been updated. The Board expressed concern that a carrier's application might be denied because the safety profile information was incorrect. Therefore, the Board recommended that the accompanying application instructions specifically inform carriers that their safety profile would be used extensively during the application review, urge applicants to obtain a copy of their profile and review it for accuracy prior to submitting a permit application, and provide information on how to obtain a copy of the motor carrier safety profile.

Application Modifications

As a result of the review of these three basic assumptions, the Board adopted the following modifications to the Uniform Program application. A copy of the revised application and instructions is provided as Appendix F.

General Modifications. The format of Part III was changed to match that of Parts I and II. Also, a change was made in the way an applicant certifies that all information found in the application is correct. Whereas previous versions of the application had a signature line at the end of each part, the revised application has one certification signature block in a separate Part IV that must be completed by all applicants.

Several states requested a place for state processing numbers in order to use bar-coding to track the Uniform Program application. In addition, Part I (registration) was expanded to two pages to make reading and entering the data easier. Jurisdictions asked that instructions be inserted at the end of Parts I, II, and III indicating that Part IV (general certifications) must be completed.

All references to the reporting period for information in Parts II and III were changed from five to three years to make the request coincide with the effective period of a Part II or Part III credential.

The following is a list of other modifications to the Uniform Program application approved by the Board during the pilot project.

Part I Modifications

  • Section 4: "Contact person" was changed to "Person to contact concerning this application" to clarify that this individual is the person to call or fax concerning the application.
  • Section 7: The contact's fax number was added to facilitate communication with the carrier.
  • Section 9a: Federal representatives asked that this section be changed to read, "USDOT HazMat Registration Number," to avoid confusion about what number the applicant should provide. This language is consistent with the federal literature.
  • Section 10: The language was changed to read, "Phone number at which the carrier can be contacted," to ensure that the applicant provided a number associated directly with the motor carrier, not an emergency response service (e.g., 800 number).
  • Section 11: This new item defines the twelve-month period for which the applicant is providing information.
  • Section 12: In response to applicants' concerns about aggregating fleet information, the instructions were modified so that an applicant could file a separate Section 12 for each fleet for which the applicant maintained IRP information.
  • Section 12a: The data request was changed to the average number of vehicles in its fleet over twelve months rather than the total number.
  • Section 12b: The revised application includes the following three changes.

The applicant is requested to report the IRP percentage under "Other North American" for Mexico and Canada operations so that the total percentage for international carriers will still approximate 100 percent.

  • The applicant is asked to provide the total percentage as a check to see that the sum of all the percentages reported approximates 100 percent.
  • Mileage information maintained under IFTA was formally approved as an alternative method of calculating percentages if the carrier did not register its vehicles under IRP.

Section 12c: In a further modification of this data request, the option of reporting the absolute percentage of hazardous materials activity was eliminated.

Part II Modifications

The following modifications were made to sections of the application related to the general permitting of hazardous materials transporters.

Section A.1: The data request under "Corporate Structure"was changed as follows:

Type of carriage:
  • Private
  • For Hire
  • Other

Language was inserted in the instructions to explain that "other" includes government agencies.

  • Section A.4: This data request, related to hazardous materials transportation violations, was moved to Section D, which now includes any data request related to major violations associated with the transportation. Also, the new D.3 was written to reflect that the applicant should only report state violations exceeding $1,000 to make it consistent with other data requests in Section 4.
  • Section B: The request for information on permits held was moved from Part II to Part III.
  • Sections E.1 and E.2: Language was inserted requesting the carrier to provide specific information regarding remedial actions and fines assessed exceeding $50,000 for cleanups.
  • Section F: The Board determined that information on tank trucks was useful for emergency response planning. However, the mere existence of tank trucks in an applicant's fleet was not relevant to the issue of a Part II permit. Therefore, this data element was moved to Part I and modified so that the applicant reports the number of tank trucks according to their capacity (above or below 3,500 gallons), not by the specific MC/DOT designation.
  • Section I: The data request pertaining to financial responsibility was modified as follows.

The words "and will maintain" were added to Section I.1 to expand the certification that previously required the applicant to have the minimum coverage at the time of the application.

In addition, language was added concerning financial responsibility requirements for intrastate motor carriers, if applicable. Some intrastate carriers are not required to have the federal levels of insurance, but state laws exist that require intrastate carriers to carry insurance.

Section J.2: The certification related to bulk packaging was corrected to accurately encompass 49 CFR 100 to 180 rather than 172 to 180.

  • Section J.6: A new specific certification related to the retention of shipping papers was added.
  • Section J.7: The old general certification related to all applicable laws was deleted and replaced with a new specific certification related to compliance with the hours-of- service regulations.

Part III Modifications:

  • Section A: To facilitate the base state's understanding of the applicant's corporate structure, the data request relating to incorporation was amended to include a table of organization showing the applicant's position in relationship to parent and subsidiary firms and an organization chart of key management personnel.
  • Section C.2: The two states that used fingerprints as part of their background investigations reported that the availability of fingerprints did not add to the state's ability to assess the applicant's qualifications. Therefore, the fingerprint requirement was deleted with one exception. If the initial background investigation of any key management personnel raises questions about the identity of any person for which information is provided, the state may request fingerprints for the person whose identity is in question.
  • Section D: The data request for financial information was deleted based on its lack of value in determining an applicant's qualifications.

Although the Board believes that these amendments to the application significantly improve the registration and permitting process, the Board is committed to continuously reexamining the application form and instructions.

The "Safe Harbor" Fee Formula

Although one objective of the Uniform Program was to reduce the administrative burden on industry to obtain state registrations and permits, it was not the Alliance's intention to change the net revenues raised by the participating states for enhancement of hazardous materials transportation safety. Therefore, one element of the pilot project was to determine whether states could generate the necessary revenues to conduct a hazardous materials transportation program under a base state registration approach. As suspected, this issue had less to do with the design of the Uniform Program than with the pilot states' adoption of the "safe harbor" fee formula that addressed legal objections by ATA to flat registration fees.

Minnesota and Nevada both elected to establish a registration fee of $30 per double- apportioned power unit. Although Minnesota did not have a revenue amount established by law or regulation, the total revenue of $159,585 was considerably less than the $500,000 to 700,000 anticipated for meeting program requirements.

Nevada statute requires that fees "… pay the cost of inspection, issuing a permit and other regulation." The Nevada Highway Patrol is also required to "... deposit 20 percent of the money collected from fees imposed pursuant to this section with the state treasurer for credit to the contingency account for hazardous materials (State Energy Response Commission)." Under its previous formula, the state generated approximately $978,000 annually from a population of approximately 1,000 motor carriers. Under the double-apportioned formula, Nevada generated $30,000 in total fees.

At the December 1994 meeting, the Board examined whether the recommended safe harbor formula contained some inherent flaw. Based on the discussion, the Board found the following.

  • The variations of the formula used by the states, particularly including permit review costs in the apportioned registration fee, did not take full advantage of the revenue- generating options under the fee structure.
  • The states had established artificially low rates per apportioned power units. These rates needed to be recalculated based on the revenue requirements.

From the industry perspective, the forty-five motor carriers responding to the industry survey reported that, on average, they paid considerably less in registration fees to the pilot states than they did in the previous year. The following table shows the average registration paid this year under the Uniform Program compared with the average fee paid the previous year.

State

Average Registration Fees
Under the Uniform Program

Average Registration
Fees Last Year

Minnesota

$541.70

$2,003.16

Nevada

$143.75

$953.86

Ohio

n/a

$387.02

West Virginia

n/a

n/a

Even if the double-apportioned formula had the anticipated impact of changing the relative burden between intrastate and interstate motor carriers; the net impact on state revenues should have been minimal. Clearly this was not the case.

The discussion at the December 1995 Board meeting demonstrated that the pilot states were not clear on how the formula evolved during the Alliance's deliberations. The design of the safe harbor formula was based on the four potential roles that a participating state might play in the Uniform Program. These include the following.

  • Acting as an agent for all participating states, collecting and distributing registration fees in accordance with each participating state's registration fee structure. To reimburse the base state for serving this function, industry supported the inclusion of a registration processing fee.
  • Collecting a registration fee from each motor carrier that transports hazardous materials. Although based on historical data from the previous year, the registration fee might be called a "user fee" for operating on the state's highways during the time covered by the registration or permit credentials. The safe harbor formula calls for a double-apportioned fee that takes into account the percentage of the motor carrier's operations in each state (based on IRP mileage) and the percentage of the carrier's activity that involves transport of hazardous materials. Hazardous materials activity for bulk carriers is based on the percentage of placarded loads; for less-than-truckload carriers, the activity is based on the percentage of hazardous materials cargo by weight. Revenues generated through the double-apportioned formula may be used for any expenditure associated with the safe transportation of hazardous materials.
  • Reviewing Part II of the Uniform Program application to determine the fitness of carriers to transport hazardous materials. The amount of this charge should be based on the actual cost of reviewing and then issuing or rejecting the Part II permit. A separate fee associated with the review of Part II of the application can be assessed only if the state has not included the cost of the application review in the registration fee.
  • Reviewing Part III of the Uniform Program application to determine the fitness of carriers to transport hazardous waste, if the participating state elects to use the Part III review for hazardous waste transporters. The amount of this charge should be linked to the actual cost of reviewing and then issuing or rejecting the Part III permit.

For the current program year, all of the pilot states elected to charge a $50 application processing fee. Two states—Nevada and Minnesota—established a $30 per power unit rate for the double-apportioned registration fee. The other two states decided to waive this fee during the first year of the pilot program to determine the level of motor carrier participation before establishing a rate that would generate the needed revenue. None of the pilot states elected to charge a separate Part II review fee. Two states—Minnesota and Ohio—elected to use the Part III hazardous waste review. Minnesota assessed the applicant for the actual cost of the review. Ohio had a $600 application fee and charged $39 per set of fingerprints included in the Part III application.

The safe harbor formula was not designed to reduce overall state revenues. Its purpose was solely to address some of the equity issues, raised by interstate carriers in particular, concerning flat fees. There was no question that the double-apportioned registration fee shifts the revenue burden from interstate to intrastate carriers. The question remains whether it shifts the burden too much.

An Alliance staff analysis suggested that states should use the Part II review fee to bring revenues closer in line with the cost to a state of administering the Uniform Program for each carrier. The following example shows why including the Part II permit fee under the general registration fee fails this test.

Carrier ABC, an interstate carrier, is based in Nevada. Its IRP activity in Nevada is 10 percent. Its hazardous materials activity is 25 percent. It reports 100 power units.

Carrier XYZ, an intrastate carrier, has 100 percent of its mileage in Nevada and a 50 percent hazardous materials activity. It reports ten power units.

Nevada charges a $50 processing fee, a $30 per power unit registration fee, and no Part II review fee. Because Nevada is not a Part III state, it does not charge a Part III review fee.

Carrier ABC pays the following amount to Nevada.

Processing Fee

$50 per applicant

$50.00

Registration Fee

$30 per apportioned power unit (100
units * .10 IRP * .25 HazMat
activity * $30 per power unit)

75.00

Part II Review Fee

n/a

0.00

Part III Review Fee

n/a

0.00

     

Total Fees

 

$125.00

Carrier XYZ pays the following amount to Nevada.

Processing Fee

$50 per applicant

$50.00

Registration Fee

$30 per apportioned power unit
(10 units * 1.00 IRP * .5 hazmat
activity * $30 per power unit)

150.00

Part II Review Fee

n/a

0.00

Part III Review Fee

n/a

0.00

     

Total Fees

 

$200.00

Assume that the Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) needs $250,000 annually to administer the program (i.e., for processing registrations and reviewing Part II applications). For the pilot program, Nevada serves as the base state for approximately 250 carriers. By using the registration processing fee, NHP will generate $12,500. The remainder of the administrative expenditures could be generated through the Part II review fee. For 250 carriers, the average Part II review fee would be $950 per carrier. Because the Uniform Program permit is good for three years, the Part II review fee at the time of application should cover NHP's annual expenses for three years. Therefore, the application fee at the time of the three-year permit would be $2,850.

[Note: There are limitations on the specific uses of revenues generated by different elements of the fee formula. Any funds generated through the registration processing fee, the Part II review fee, and the Part III review fee must be used exclusively for administering the Uniform Program requirements. If the state's registration program is the vehicle for generating revenues for external activities (e.g., emergency response planning and training and on-road enforcement), these funds can only be generated through the general registration fee.]

Although this fee may seem excessive, it should be compared with the fee schedule for the state's old permitting program. The following table shows that the fee structure is not out of line.

Year

Old Program

Uniform Program

Year One

$1,000

$3,050

Year Two

1,000

200

Year Three

1,000

200

Total

$3,000

$3,450

The $450 increase represents the shift in burden from interstate to intrastate carriers. Under Nevada's graduated flat rate, an interstate carrier with one vehicle would pay $1,500 per year for its permit or a total of $4,500 over three years. Under the Uniform Program, a carrier would pay $2,925 the first year and $125 the second and third years for a three-year total of $3,175, a decrease of $1,375.

An outstanding issue is whether motor carriers would have a problem front-loading the three-year permit review fee. A state could assess the review fee on an annual basis ($950 per year), with the understanding that the payments are installments for review of the Part II permit that is good for three years.

As long as the Part II review fee is based on the actual costs to the state of reviewing an application, ATA has indicated that it has no problem with the flat review fee. In addition, the fee is charged by only the base state for issuing the Part II permit that is good in all participating states. For carrier ABC, the fee in year one would be $2,975. In year two and year three, the fee would be the apportioned $125.

Use of the Part II review fee also addresses one other equity question. If one assumes that review of the Part II application is generally the same for both an interstate and intrastate carrier, the flat review fee equalizes this cost between the two categories of carriers. If the state includes the Part II review in its general registration fee, the burden for paying for the actual review is shifted to intrastate carriers. Interstate carriers benefit from this system because they pay the Part II review fee to the base state, compared with the current system under which they may pay a permit fee to each state that requires a permit.

This analysis used Nevada as the example, but the situation would be similar in each of the other pilot states. Therefore, the staff recommended that each of the pilot states seriously consider using the Part II review fee in the coming year and that the evaluation of the safe harbor formula be postponed until the end of the second year of the pilot. With better information about the number of carriers and the number of power units covered by the program, states should be better able to project revenues and establish appropriate fee rates.

Further staff analysis uncovered a second reason why the double-apportioned formula resulted in such a dramatic decrease in state hazardous materials revenues. States did not anticipate that the IRP percentage for some carriers would be carried to the fifth and sixth decimal place. Therefore, the registration fee to some states is infinitesimal. For example, one Nevada-based carrier paid $1.26 in registration fees to Minnesota under the current formula. In response to this finding, the Board recommended that the safe harbor formula be modified so that the double-apportioned number of hazardous materials power units be rounded up to the next whole number.

Section VIII: Summary and Conclusions

After one full year of registering and permitting motor carriers under the proposed Uniform Program, the Alliance strongly believes that its recommendations meet and, in some cases, exceed the uniformity mandate in Section 22 of HMTUSA. There are, however, program areas that require additional attention. This section looks at the states' and industry's general assessment of the Uniform Program and outlines major issues that need to be considered by the Board and FHWA in the coming year.

State Assessment of the Uniform Program

 

Industry Assessment of the Uniform Program

Pilot state support for the Uniform Program is best evidenced by the fact that all four states have elected to continue to register and permit hazardous materials carriers under the base state, reciprocal approach outlined in the Uniform Program. The term pilot state was dropped from all references to participating jurisdictions as of July 1, 1995.

From the states' perspective, the next order of business is to bring other states under the Alliance umbrella to increase the benefits of the Uniform Program credentials and to spread the administrative load associated with multistate carriers across more participating jurisdictions. Although several states have expressed varying levels of interest in joining the Alliance, some have expressed concern about implementing a program that might change significantly following the adoption of the federal regulation governing the Uniform Program. This uncertainty about the final program requirements has been the most significant barrier to expanding membership in the Alliance.

At its June 1995 meeting in Boston, the Board approved a resolution to seek an amendment to Section 22 that would make the mandate consistent with similar uniformity mandates for state motor carrier regulations in Section 4008 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. The language on uniformity related to state motor carrier registration under IRP and for fuel taxes under IFTA requires any state that elects to register motor carrier vehicles to join IRP, and any state that wishes to collect fuel taxes from motor carriers to do so in conformity with IFTA. The Section 4008 mandates do not require that the specific requirements or procedures of these two multistate agreements be promulgated as federal regulations.

The Board believes that the Alliance has demonstrated its ability to create, implement, and oversee a program that meets the Section 22 uniformity mandate without having the specifics of the Uniform Program incorporated in federal regulations. Furthermore, if the specific requirements and procedures associated with the Uniform Program are established under federal rulemaking procedures, the Board believes that it would greatly limit the Alliance's ability to adjust the program as conditions warrant.

Therefore, the Board recommends that Congress amend Section 22 to read, "any jurisdiction that elects to register and/or permit motor carriers to transport hazardous materials must do so in conformity with the Uniform Program." Under this proposal, the Secretary of Transportation would retain the authority to preempt any state program or program provision that the Secretary ruled was inconsistent with the uniformity mandate. In addition, Congress should establish a deadline of not less than three years for compliance with the mandate, and similar to the case with IRP and IFTA, provide some minimum level of financial support to the Alliance to facilitate state entry into the Uniform Program.

While any state entering the agreement would be required to conform with the amended Uniform Program described in Appendix E, the Alliance recognizes that there are still outstanding issues that must be addressed. The Alliance is committed to continuing the open process used by the Alliance working group and the Board involving nonmember states, the regulated industry, the federal government, and the general public in resolving these issues. A discussion of outstanding issues follows.

As part of the industry survey, motor carriers that had applied for permits in the four pilot states were asked, "In general, do you believe that the Alliance Uniform Program meets your expectations of a base state, reciprocal process for registering and permitting carriers that transport hazardous materials and/or hazardous waste?"

Of the forty-five respondents, twenty-seven (60%) answered "yes," and eighteen (40%) replied "no." Of the twenty-five respondents who had applied for Part II hazardous materials credentials, thirteen (52%) answered "no." In contrast, fourteen of the twenty respondents who applied for Part III hazardous waste credentials (70%) replied "yes."

The higher rate of disapproval for Part II applicants seems to be a result of the fact that this is a new requirement for many of them. Prior to the demonstration program, Minnesota, Ohio, and West Virginia did not have a hazardous materials transportation permit requirement. On the other hand, many hazardous waste transporters historically have been subject to stringent state permitting requirements. In addition, the respondents who had applied for Part III permits reported that the average cost of completing the Uniform Program Part III permit was $433.65. These same carriers reported that last year they averaged $20,436.13 in administrative costs to obtain the required permits in each state. Therefore, the immediate benefits of a single application are more evident to these carriers.

The following are excerpts from the additional comments provided by respondents who answered "no" when asked whether the Uniform Program met their expectations.

  • "The application was submitted to us with a short timeframe ... and then the deadline [for issuing credentials] was extended through the issuance of the letter of filing. It seems to be a standard course of operation that our government can extend its own deadlines without penalty, yet expects industry to meet all deadlines or suffer severe penalties .… My company has not received any substantial savings in either cost or time from applying for the required permits."
  • "Part I, Section 12 does not allow for multiple IRP fleets …. Note that the IRP miles do not reflect hazardous materials files. Total power units should be based on the average number per year, not at the cut-off date."
  • "To be uniform [the program] should cover all states. It took from September to April to get the credentials.
  • The application is too long. It requires information the carrier does not have. The enforcement division of MNDOT was not properly briefed about the program. Simplify the application/instructions. Do private fleets need to collect the same detail as for-hire carriers? Simplify the fee calculation. State staff should have expert status on the application process, its requirements, and why. Comparable to the Internal Revenue Service, which does not take responsibility for incorrectly answering questions. Should do a comprehensive audit the first time. Our application was sent back twice.
  • The hazardous waste portion of the application is overly burdensome and intrusive into the private lives of individuals and should be amended, especially fingerprints."
  • "Another way to make paperwork and expense for those of us who already have too much."
  • "The application asks for too much detailed information that does not seem relevant to the permitting process, such as fingerprints."
  • "The form was too long, and an excessive amount of time was needed to complete it. There should be one set rate [review fee] regardless of base state. Once you have the permit, you should not be required to fill out the form again. I also feel there should be uniform hazardous materials regulations for all states."
  • "I don't believe that carriers should be assessed fees by the federal government and various state governments to transport hazardous materials."
  • "Obviously, the Part III section of the application is creating significant delays in the processing of these permits. We continue to oppose the Part III section as unnecessary and burdensome to both industry and the states."
  • "Training that was provided by PUCO and the Ohio Trucking Association provided insight into the requirements. The fees are not clearly identified and correlated to the fee computation. It took a team of lawyers to decide what question D.3 meant. The certifications are redundant."
  • "The questions were quite time consuming to answer. They were not relevant and many of the questions are open to interpretation."
  • "Instructions were too complicated, not clear. It required phone calls for interpretations. If all states had a uniform set of regulations, this would meet our needs."
  • "Part III should be thrown out entirely. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), USDOT, and state EPA hazardous waste should be rolled into one application and one fee. If money is to be raised for enforcement, make all persons pay—not only transporters."
  • "Generally in support of the program. Some requirements seem unnecessary, especially in Part III. Fingerprints are a problem. Concerned that there should be some control over fee levels. A flat fee is appropriate."
  • "Training and technical people contacted for help were rude and bothered by calls. Acted as if we were stupid for calling. Instructions were vague. Please write in simpler terms."
  • "One base state and no single-state fees. Motor carriers' workload to process is unreasonable and should be incorporated with federal registration. Fingerprint requirements for waste handlers are unreasonable."
  • "The costs don't reflect the cost of placing the permit in each vehicle. Our estimated cost is 100 hours or $40,000. The state should maintain a database with information so that a trooper can verify the permit number."

Although a "yes" response to this question indicated general support for the Uniform Program, several respondents provided additional comments. The following are excerpts from those comments.

  • "The fingerprint cards and information on management personnel went too far. Method of fee calculation should be simplified. We disagree that information for hazardous waste needs to be much more extreme than for hazardous materials."
  • "Get it uniform as soon as possible. States continue to impose and modify transportation fees while the pilot program goes on. If the USDOT has a registration program and that money is going back to the states, why do these individual states impose their own fees? Where will it end?"
  • "New Jersey has not yet entered into IRP; therefore, I was not sure on this section of the application (percentage IRP mileage in each state). I feel that the application was complicated and very time consuming for the four states that were involved."
  • "Add date completed to the form."
  • "Part III instigated internal review of hazardous waste transportation. We made the decision to discontinue transportation of hazardous waste. Recommend that program guidelines and definitions be required to help consistency."
  • "I strongly object to the fingerprinting requirements. Financial disclosure is not necessary to determine carrier's safety record."
  • "Ohio needs to correct its records and stop trying to impose fines on companies for not having this permit, when in fact the permit is in place in the company's base state."

Industry concerns fell into three categories. First, the application was longer than it needed to be. Second, the formula for calculating fees is too complicated. Third, the program needs to be uniform for all states. As noted in Section VII, the Board approved several changes to simplify the application and to remove information requests that did not appear relevant to the registration or permitting process. Concerning the fee calculation formula, the Alliance reiterates that the safe harbor formula is in response to ATA's opposition to flat fees, not the policy preference of the Alliance or individual states. A final concern suggests that many carriers did not understand that this was a pilot program to test a program that would eventually be implemented by all states.

Outstanding Issues

The following is a discussion of the three major issues that the Alliance believed to be unresolved at the end of the two-year pilot program.

Repository Funding. At the June 1995 meeting in Boston, the Alliance considered a staff proposal for an industry surcharge to fund the repository. The surcharge would be based on the number of states in which a carrier reports IRP mileage (or its equivalent). For example, if the surcharge was $5.00 per state and a carrier operated in ten states, the annual surcharge would be $50.00. The surcharge formula would be added to the fee worksheet.

Industry representatives have raised questions about applying the surcharge to all states in which the carrier operates. Alternatives offered include applying the surcharge only to participating states or to states in which the carrier transports hazardous materials.

The proposal focused on IRP states as the base for the following reasons.

  • The amount of money needed will not change. Therefore, a smaller base would require a higher rate. For the 1994–95 program year, the four pilot states received permit applications (Part I and II) from 4,342 carriers that reported that they cumulatively operate in approximately 66,000 jurisdictions. A $5.00 per state surcharge would generate $330,000. If one assumed that all 4,342 carriers operated in all four pilot states, the cumulative number of jurisdictions would be approximately 17,000. (It is know that this is not the case because the total number of carriers includes many intrastate firms.) In this best case scenario it would take a per-state surcharge of $19 or more to generate the same $330,000.
  • Because the number of participating jurisdictions will change from year to year, the base would also fluctuate.
  • Most carriers do not segregate hazardous materials miles from IRP miles. Therefore, the Alliance would be placing an additional recordkeeping requirement on many motor carriers.
  • Finally, the Uniform Program permit allows a carrier to transport hazardous materials in any state in which it operates. This is the same rationale that the Alliance used when asked by industry to drop the list of states on the credentials. Distinguishing between hazardous materials and non-hazardous materials states raises on-road enforcement issues and would require the applicant to take additional actions if it decided to begin transporting hazardous materials in states where it currently does not.

The surcharge rate would be based on the annual funding requirements for the repository and the base against which the surcharge would be applied. By February 28 of each year, the staff would prepare a recommendation to the Board to approve the surcharge rate based on the following:

  • annual budget for the repository to be approved at the same time;
  • the number of carriers and the cumulative number of states in which they report IRP for the previous program year;
  • any funding for the repository received from an outside source (e.g., FHWA); and
  • any surplus generated from the rate charged during the previous year.

The Board would adopt the budget and the surcharge rate by March 31.

At the Boston meeting, the pilot states indicated that they might not be able to assess the industry surcharge without legislative approval. Although they recognized that each state must make a contribution to the repository operations, they questioned whether the Alliance should mandate the method by which all states would collect that contribution. For example, one state suggested that it might increase its registration fee to cover its share of repository operations. Based on these questions, the Board moved to table consideration of the industry surcharge until the next meeting.

Local Registration and Permitting Programs. Throughout the pilot program, industry representatives raised concerns about provisions in the Uniform Program that allow for local registration and permitting programs. In general, industry representatives felt that the local provisions were unnecessary because the congressional intent of Section 22 included the elimination of local hazardous materials transportation programs.

The Alliance maintains its long-standing position that the language in HMTUSA is ambiguous. In fact, the Alliance still questions whether the Secretary of Transportation could legally apply the Uniform Program to local units of government because the language in Section 22 refers only to state programs, and HMTUSA defines states as the forty-eight contiguous states and the District of Columbia. Eliminating variance in local registration and permitting programs seems to be a logical extension of the Section 22 mandate. For that reason, the Alliance included provisions that allowed for local registration and permitting but would require a locality to accept the credentials issued by any other participating jurisdiction. Therefore, a motor carrier would never be required to apply to more than one entity for its permit.

Industry representatives suggest that they intend to address this issue in the rulemaking process. However, the Alliance contends that USDOT cannot preempt local programs through rulemaking under the current Section 22 language. The Alliance believes that this issue can only be addressed through congressional action that makes Congress' intent on this issue explicit.

Relationship to Other Safety Programs. In the spring of 1995, the Alliance staff had several conversations with FHWA's Office of Motor Carriers (OMC) concerning the continuation of the Alliance Uniform Program following the completion of the currently funded contract to pilot the recommendations contained in the Alliance Final Report. This report was submitted to the Secretary of Transportation on November 17, 1995. In a January 12, 1994, letter to Associate Administrator George Reagle, the Alliance stated that one of its objectives for the pilot was to examine ways in which the requirements for hazardous materials transportation permits under Section 8 (the federal permit) and Section 22 (the state uniformity mandate) could be designed to avoid any unnecessary, duplicative requirement on the regulated industry. The Alliance's informal position has been that the Alliance permit review is more comprehensive than anything proposed to date by FHWA for the Section 8 permit. Therefore, any motor carrier that meets this more comprehensive Uniform Program review could be exempt from a less stringent federal requirement (i.e., the Uniform Program credential would satisfy both Section 8 and Section 22 permit requirements).

In response, OMC officials have indicated their desire to explore the possibility of a single permit requirement through the creation of a working group of state and federal government officials and industry representatives. One suggestion was to increase the membership of the Alliance Interim Governing Board to include federal and industry representatives.

During these conversations, OMC officials also suggested that they still have problems with the concept of differing state and federal requirements. This raises some of the same questions that emerged at the outset of the pilot when the preamble of FHWA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (June 17, 1993) concerning Section 22 stated that the federal program "would preempt only a state permit requirement dealing with transportation of the same hazardous materials [designated as high-risk materials in the proposed rule] and only to the extent such a state permit is based upon a demonstration of safety fitness."

Furthermore, OMC officials questioned the need for elements of the Uniform Program that they felt were already covered under other federally sponsored activities such as the Compliance Review and CVIS. They also suggested that state hazardous materials permits might not be consistent with the department's goal of creating one-stop shopping for all commercial vehicle credentials and permits.

The Alliance has continually stated its objective to coordinate the Uniform Program with other federal and state motor carrier programs. The Alliance Final Report includes the assumption, "To the extent possible, the state Uniform Program will complement the federal registration and permitting program." In Section 8 of the final report, the Alliance made the following specific recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation.

  • Explore options for the consolidation of the state and federal registration programs, including "USDOT contracting with states to administer the federal registration program or elimination of the federal program, enabling states to increase their own registration fees to cover the cost of a state and local emergency planning and training program."
  • "... Since the uniform state program is more stringent than the federal program and includes the USDOT safety rating as an evaluation criteria ... the Secretary [could] waive the federal requirement for motor carriers that have obtained a permit under the Uniform Program." [Note: At the time of the report, FHWA had issued a notice of proposed rulemaking stating that the safety rating would also be used as the standard for the Section 8 hazardous materials permit.]
  • Promote a one-stop repository for up-to-date information on hazardous materials routing designations by eventually contracting with the Alliance repository to maintain an accessible electronic database of designated routes.

At the June 1995 Board meeting, FHWA officials made presentations on the status of federal motor carrier safety initiatives. As programs such as CVIS become operational, these opportunities will increase. It is in the Alliance's best interest to work with the federal, state, and private entities that administer these programs to ensure that the Uniform Program can take advantage of them and avoid duplication. None of these programs diminishes the role of the Alliance and the Uniform Program as a means by which states can regulate the safe transportation of hazardous materials within their borders as authorized under Section 22 of HMTUSA.

Commitment to Continuous Improvement

As noted throughout this report, the Alliance believes that the pilot program has served its primary objectives of testing the provisions of the recommended Uniform Program and, where appropriate, amending the Alliance's initial recommendations. However, the process of implementing an effective and equitable program requires continuous reassessment and, when necessary, amendment. Participating states and the staff continue to receive inquiries from applicants, credentialed motor carriers, and industry representatives about specific program requirements. These inquiries raise legitimate issues that could not have been anticipated prior to the actual implementation of the Uniform Program.

At the June 1995 meeting, the Interim Governing Board agreed to continue serving in its capacity until the effective date of the federal mandate. The Board is committed to continuously monitoring the effectiveness of the Uniform Program and to responding to industry inquiries. Resources permitting, the Alliance will issue annual updates to this report following the conclusion of each program year.

Appendix A

Alliance Interim Governing Board and Staff

Interim Governing Board

At-Large Members

Chairwoman

Nancy Brown - State of Kansas

Vice-Chair

Elmer Bietz - State of South Dakota

Stephen Hermann - Arizona Highway Patrol

Grace Goodman - New York City Corporation Counsel

James Rhode - Nevada Highway Patrol

Elizabeth M. Parker - Minnesota Department of Transportation

Steven Lesser - Public Utilities Commission of Ohio

Jami McClellan - West Virginia Public Service Commission

Staff

National Governors' Association

Jay Kayne

Kyle E. Winston

Raquel Stanton

National Conference of State Legislatures

James Reed

Jacqueline Cummins

Appendix B

Alliance Meeting Attendees*

* Identification as a meeting attendee does not imply concurrence with this report or any Alliance determination.

State Officials

Larry Matz - California

Tom Ross - Colorado

Julia Pine - Illinois

Michael Nechvatal - Massachusetts

Al Nardone - Minnesota

Ward Briggs- Minnesota

Chris Conway- Minnesota

Ted Coulianos- Minnesota

Linda Kolden- Minnesota

Peter Marcotte- Minnesota

Wes Pemble- Minnesota

David Jones- Minnesota

Shelley Meyer- Minnesota

Steven Peterson- Minnesota

Randy Zahn - Nevada

Dennis R. Colling - Nevada

Joseph Grindley - Nevada

Gloria Hooper - Nevada

Rose McKinney-James - New Hampshire

Cheryl Fortier - New Jersey

Kevin Auerbacker - Ohio

Alfred P. Agler - Ohio

John Canty - Ohio

Gregory Price - Ohio

Carlisle Smith - West Virginia

Loretta Bitner - West Virginia

Robert Brooks - West Virginia

Franklin Crabtree - West Virginia

B.J. Pettigrew - West Virginia

Carl E. Sanders - West Virginia

 

Industry

Carolyn Barr - Consolidated Freightways

Paul Bomgardner - American Trucking Association

Larry Davis - Ohio Trucking Association

Clifford Harvison - National Tank Truck Carriers

Cynthia Hilton - Association of Waste Hazardous Materials Transporters

James Magner - National Private Truck Council

Joseph McDade - Yellow Freight System

Lisa Peterson - Minnesota Trucking Association

C.R. Preston - Conoco/DuPont

Scott Randall - Chemical Waste Management

Robert Stanley - West Virginia Trucking Association

John Thompson - BOC Gases

Roger Wigen - 3M

Other Attendees

Ross Vincent

Colorado Sierra Club

Federal Officials

U.S. Department of Transportation- Federal Highway Administration

Bonnie Bass

James Billingsley

William Byrd

William Coyle

David Donaldson

Jerry Fulnecky

Orris Gramm

Philip Hanley

William Jensen

Darrin G. Jones

Carl M. Mochi

Michael Myers

Susan Petty

Gregory Roling

Michael Trentacoste

U.S. Department of Transportation - Research and Special Programs Administration

George Whitney

 

 

Appendix C

Alliance Pilot Program Events

Interim Governing Board Meetings

Columbus, Ohio - November 2-3, 1993

Reno, Nevada - January 6-7, 1994

Charleston, West Virginia - April 11-12, 1994

Denver, Colorado - December 8-9, 1994

Boston, Massachusetts - June 1-2, 1995

Pilot State Peer Reviews

Carson City, Nevada - November 14-15, 1994

Charleston, West Virginia - January 23-24, 1995

St. Paul, Minnesota - February 23-24, 1995

Columbus, Ohio - March 9-10, 1995

Pilot State Working Sessions

Sacramento, California - July 12, 1993

St. Paul, Minnesota - August 1-2, 1994

Chicago, Illinois - May 1, 1995

 

 

Appendix D

Briefing Papers

The following is an alphabetical listing of the briefing papers prepared by the Alliance staff for consideration by the Interim Governing Board during the course of the two-year pilot program.

  • Access by Localities to the Alliance Database
  • Accreditation of State and Local Uniform Programs
  • Alliance Repository Expenses and Funding
  • Calculation of Hazardous Materials Activity for Non-Cargo Loads
  • Clarification of Radioactive Materials Transportation Elements
  • Criteria for Review of Part III of the Uniform Application Form
  • Criteria for Review of Registration and Permit
  • Criteria for Reviewing Permits
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Federal Freedom of Information Act
  • Fee Collection and Distribution
  • Future of the Alliance Pilot State Program
  • Incident/Violation Reporting Requirements
  • Interim Governing Board Membership and Duties
  • Key Management Personnel Guidelines
  • Letters of Filing and Enforcement
  • Local Hazardous Materials Registration and Permitting
  • Membership of the Alliance
  • Modifications to the Uniform Program Application
  • Nevada Pilot State Target Carrier Population
  • Outline of State Program Administrator's Manual
  • Permanent Governing Board Membership and Duties
  • Pilot Project Evaluation Criteria
  • Point Scoring System for the Uniform Application
  • Power Unit Definition
  • Procedures for Entry, Revocation and Withdrawal
  • Proposed Alliance Dispute Resolution Process
  • Record Keeping Requirements
  • Reimbursing Registration Fees to Carriers Not Approved for a Part II Permit
  • Relationship of the Alliance Uniform Program to Other Federal Motor Carrier Safety Programs
  • Repository Data Elements
  • Repository Dues Structure
  • Responsibility of States That Perform Part III Reviews
  • State Time Periods for Reviewing Current Permits
  • Transition Rules

APPENDIX E Revised

Proposed Uniform Program

This section contains a description of the Uniform Program for state regulation of motor carriers that transport hazardous materials developed by the Alliance for Uniform HazMat Transportation Procedures (the Alliance). The Alliance adopted the original provisions by a vote of twenty-two to one with one abstention on May 25, 1993, at its final meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. The Alliance staff then submitted to the members a draft program with specific language based on the policies adopted at the St. Louis meeting. Following their review, a final revised program was presented to the members on September 10, 1993. This revised version is the result of a two-year pilot program conducted by the states of Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, and West Virginia.

I.Assumptions

A.The overriding policy objective of the Uniform Program for regulating hazardous materials transportation is the protection of public health and safety. The Uniform Program is designed to promote safety through increased compliance with a single set of registration and permitting requirements versus the existing myriad of state programs.

B.The primary purposes of the registration provisions of the Uniform Program are to:

  1. Identify persons who transport, ship or cause to be shipped hazardous materials by motor carriers, and
  2. Generate revenues for state programs that promote the safe transportation of hazardous materials.

C.The primary purpose of the permitting provisions is to identify "qualified" motor carriers of hazardous materials and to ensure states participating in the reciprocal agreement that the base state has demonstrated due diligence in reviewing the operations of the motor carrier in accordance with the policies and procedures associated with the Uniform Program.

D.The Uniform Program will apply only to those states that elect to regulate the transportation of hazardous materials beyond any state role authorized under the federal registration, safety permitting, and routing requirements under HMTUSA.

E.The subject matter of Section 22 in no way restricts or affects the rights of states, political subdivisions or Indian tribes or enact or enforce their laws governing the conduct of motor carriers transporting hazardous materials within their jurisdictions under the uniform national registration or permit. Jurisdictions, subject to the Uniform Program, shall not be prohibited from enjoining or otherwise restraining the operation of hazardous materials motor carriers in their state, based on violations of federal laws or regulations, failure to comply with the terms and conditions of a uniform permit or registration, or for violations of applicable state or local laws and regulations.

G.Within the Uniform Program there will be some flexibility for state administration. The primary area of flexibility is the level of regulation within a given state. For example, a state may choose only to register hazardous materials transporters.

H.Both interstate and intrastate motor carriers shall be subject to the requirements and procedures adopted under the base state agreement.

I.Both state registration and permitting will be conducted under a base state approach. There will be full reciprocity among participating states to accept registration and permits and to enforce provisions of the Uniform Program that may result in suspension or revocation of the motor carrier's right to transport hazardous materials based on actions by that carrier within that state.

J.The Alliance's support of reciprocity is contingent on the rights of states to maintain their individual enforcement authority. This provision is not severable, and should the USDoT reject the Alliance's position that state enforcement authority should be fully preserved, the Alliance's support of reciprocity is withdrawn in its entirety. Furthermore, USDoT's regulations should include language that, if a court of competent jurisdiction determines that states may not, for cause, enjoin or otherwise restrain the operation of an hazardous materials motor carrier in their state, the provision for reciprocity among the states shall be deemed non-severable and null and void. Should that occur, non-base states shall not be required to honor permits issued by base states. (For purposes of the Uniform Program, "for cause" is defined as "not arbitrary and capricious.")

K.Participating States will be subject to some form of program audit or accreditation in order to ensure accurate revenue collection and distribution and guarantee the integrity of the reciprocity provisions of the Uniform Program.

L.While the Uniform Program might draw from other base state agreements, the broad nature of hazardous materials transportation regulation (identification, fee collection, permitting, safety inspection) will require establishment of a separate, comprehensive base state agreement.

M.Centralized functions of the base state agreement will be administered by a national repository.

N.To the extent possible, the state Uniform Program will complement the federal registration and permitting program.

O.The Alliance cannot mandate the administrative structure for hazardous materials regulation within an individual state. The Alliance, however, supports the concept of one-stop shopping for all motor carrier registration and permitting and in-state coordination of all agencies involved in the regulation of any hazardous materials.

P.Localities have a role in the safe transport of hazardous materials, particularly related to emergency planning and response. The Uniform Program should consider and make provision for the ability of localities to carry out these responsibilities. Specific policies and procedures governing the relationship between localities and their respective states are internal state issues subject to parameters set forth in the Uniform Program.

Q.Revenues generated through registration fees shall be used by the state for purposes that enhance the safe transportation of hazardous materials as mandated in HMTUSA.

R.Revenues generated through permitting fees shall be used only to cover the costs associated with administering the permit process. States may develop a fee structure associated with the level of effort required to review individual applications as long as the state provides an estimate of charges to the applicant and establishes an appeals process.

S.The Uniform Program regulations promulgated under Section 22 shall not impede a state's ability to regulate the generation, fixed storage, treatment, or disposal of any hazardous material, waste, or substance authorized under other federal or state laws or regulations.

T.Data required by states as part of the uniform registration or permitting process shall be limited to data elements that are specifically needed to meet the requirements of the Uniform Program.

U.No provisions of the Uniform Program shall exceed the most stringent requirements contained within any of the currently operating state hazardous materials, hazardous waste, or radioactive materials transportation programs.

V.Where feasible, the application shall not request information from carriers which is readily available and accessible through secondary sources or databases.

II.Participation in a Base State Agreement

A.All states (and localities, where applicable) that elect to register and/or permit motor carriers to transport hazardous materials and/or shippers to offer for transport and/or transport hazardous materials shall belong to a base state agreement under which a registration or permit in one jurisdiction is accepted by all jurisdictions.

B.The agreement shall be authorized and generally defined in the federal regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Transportation under Section 22 of HMTUSA. Procedures and policies associated with the agreement shall be adopted by the signatories to the agreement ("signatories"). Interpretation of the agreement shall be made by a governing board that is representative of the signatories. Interpretations of the agreement still must meet the uniformity criteria within HMTUSA and may still be subject to a preemption determination by the Secretary.

C.Administrative functions associated with the implementation of the Uniform Program shall reside in a national repository established by, and under the direction of, the governing board.

D.Financial support of the governing board and national repository shall be provided by the participating jurisdictions. The base state may pass through its contribution to the national repository to the motor carriers registered by that base state. (See Section XVI.D. for provisions related to repository budget and required revenues.)

III. Carriers and Shippers Covered under the Uniform Program

A.The Uniform Program pertains to all persons who offer for highway transportation or transport:

  1. Hazardous materials of a type and amount that requires the transport vehicle to be placarded pursuant to 49 CFR 172, or
  2. "Hazardous substances" and/or "marine pollutants" when transported in bulk packaging as defined in 49 CFR 171.8, or
  3. Hazardous waste of a type and amount that requires the shipment to be accompanied by a Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest contained in 40 CFR 262, including "state designated hazardous wastes."

B."State designated hazardous waste" means additional hazardous wastes that have been officially determined by states that have been authorized by EPA to manage the RCRA program within their respective states. To differentiate these wastes from those included in the USDoT hazardous materials table, they will be referred to as "state-designated wastes." Inclusion of these wastes are subject to the following conditions:

  1. The state registers these "state-designated wastes" with the national repository.
  2. Registration and permitting requirements placed on carriers and shippers to transport these "state-designated wastes" are the same as those imposed for all general categories of hazardous materials.

IV. Registration of Shippers

A.States that elect to register shippers shall do so in the same manner as prescribed under the federal registration program. The decision to include shippers in the state registration program shall be determined by the individual states. The Alliance recommends that a state's decision take into account the equitable distribution of financial burden among all carriers and offerers of hazardous material.

B.State registration of shippers shall apply only to offerers that maintain facilities in that state, including distribution facilities, terminals, and warehouses.

C.Revenues generated from shipper registration fees shall not be allocated among the states.

D.The state shall establish an equitable and reasonable fee structure for shippers.

E.At the time a shipper registers under the federal registration program, the shipper shall submit a copy of its federal registration form with the appropriate fee to the state agency designated to administer the program.

V. Registration of Motor Carriers

A.States that elect to register motor carriers shall do so through a national base state system. States that choose not to participate in the program may designate one other public entity in the state to operate a registration program as long as such program is the same as that for states in the Uniform Program.

B.The base state shall:

  1. Process the registration form for each carrier for which it is the base state.
  2. Collect registration fees for all participating jurisdictions that have a registration program and in which the motor carrier reports mileage.
  3. Distribute fees to the appropriate states.
  4. Conduct the necessary audits to ensure that the motor carrier is accurately reporting its hazardous materials transportation activity.
  5. Transmit information on carriers registered in that state to the national repository.

C.The state shall establish an equitable and reasonable fee structure for carriers.

D.The Alliance strongly encourages states to adopt a fee structure based on a company's apportioned hazardous material transportation activity within each state. The apportioned fee could be a per company or per vehicle fee. The level of hazardous material transportation activity within a state shall be based on two factors: the percent of activity in the state and the percentage of the motor carrier's total activity that involves the transport of hazardous materials.

E.The percentage of activity in each state shall be the same as the percentage of activity calculated for purposes of the International Registration Plan. If a carrier is not required to report mileage under IRP, it may choose an equivalent method to calculate it's percentage of activity. Motor carriers that do not register their vehicles through the IRP (or its equivalent) shall calculate mileage within states for purposes of the Uniform Program in the same manner as that required for the IRP, if no other method exists. A state may request evidence that the shipper has filed its federal registration and paid the associated fees.

F.The percentage of hazardous materials activity for less-than-truckload shipments shall be the weight of all hazardous materials shipments divided by the total weight of all shipments in the previous year. For truckload shipments, the percentage of hazardous materials activity shall be the number of placarded or marked shipments divided by the total number of shipments in the previous year. A carrier that transports both less- than-truckload and truckload shipments of hazardous materials shall calculate the percentage of hazardous materials activity on a proportional basis. Carriers are required to mark one of ten ranges of hazardous materials activity on the Uniform Program Application. However, if a motor carrier cannot by the nature of their business calculate its hazardous materials activity then the base state and motor carrier may search for an alternative calculation method acceptable to the base state. The decision to pursue other options shall be based upon the following:

  1. The applicant clearly falls outside a category of carrier to which the adopted methods of calculating activity percent apply.
  2. The applicant is making a good faith effort to comply within the spirit of the Uniform Program.
  3. The base jurisdiction determines BOTH that the assumptions on which the alternative methodology are valid AND that the results or applying that methodology do not appear to understate the applicant's liability.
  4. The base jurisdiction informs the applicant that acceptance of the methodology and results during the application process does not waive the right of the base jurisdiction to verify the validity of the methodology and results through a desk or on-site audit.

G.The registration shall cover a one-year period and shall be based on the motor carrier's actual activity for the previous year. Under the Uniform Program the carrier may choose a twelve month reporting period equal to the calendar year, carrier's fiscal year, or program year.

H.Each applicant must provide a telephone number at which the MOTOR CARRIER can be contacted following an incident or emergency. This number (which may be connected to voice-mail or an answering machine) should be available 24 hours a day. This is not the emergency response number provided on the shipping papers or manifest.

I.A motor carrier shall register in the state that is its principal place of business. If such state is not a signatory to the agreement, the motor carrier shall register in the state in which it conducts a plurality of its operations. If a carrier feels that a state other than its principal place of business or the state in which it conducts a plurality of its activity is more appropriate as the base state, the motor carrier may petition the governing board for designation of another state as the base state.

J.Government agencies (federal, state, and local) may be subject to the registration requirements under the Uniform Program.

K.An intrastate carrier in states that elect to register carriers shall show their allocation as 100 percent in the state in which it operates.

L.All data gathered for purposes of registration shall be public information.

M.The base state shall provide a Uniform Program credential to the motor carrier that indicates that carrier is properly registered and able to transport hazardous materials in any participating jurisdiction. A copy of the credential must be maintained in the cab of any motor vehicle transporting hazardous materials under that credential. The identification number is a unique identifier linked specifically to a particular motor carrier. The number for a motor carrier that is registered shall be as follows:

  1. Uniform Program Registration-(Carrier USDoT Census Number or ICC Number)- the issuing state's two letter state mailing code. Example UPR- -AL. This shall be the unique identifier format for a carrier that is registered only.
  2. Uniform Program Materials-(Carrier USDoT Census Number or ICC Number)- the issuing state's two letter state mailing code. Example UPM- -AL. This shall be the unique identifier format for a carrier that is registered receives a Part II permit.
  3. Uniform Program Waste-(Carrier USDoT Census Number or ICC Number)- the issuing state's two letter state mailing code. Example UPW- -AL. This shall be the unique identifier format for a carrier that is registered and received authority to transport hazardous waste in a state requiring Part III approval.
  4. If a carrier does not have either the USDoT or ICC numbers, then an ID number issued by the base state may be substituted.

N.Under the Uniform Program procedures states have up to 48 hours to process and return a registration only application. If it is reasonable to expect the base state cannot process the application in that time frame, the base state may issue a letter of filing to the carrier. Refer to the section on transition rules for further explanation of letters of filing.

Section VI. Permitting of Shippers

A.The Alliance envisions no additional requirements for permitting shippers of hazardous materials other than those provided for under other federal and state laws and regulations.

VII. Permitting of Motor Carriers

A.Permit programs may be operated at any level of government as long as such programs are uniform and reciprocal. All entities issuing permits must use the uniform application form and procedures and must accept a national permit issued by any other entity that has an accredited program consistent with the Uniform Program.

B.A state that both registers and permits shall use a single form for both processes. The registration information shall appear as Part I of the permit application. Information relating to the hazardous materials permit shall appear as Part II of the permit application.

C.A motor carrier shall apply to its base state for a permit. The base state shall be the principal place of business or the state that administers the permit program in which the motor carrier conducts a plurality of its hazardous materials transportation activity. If a carrier feels that a state other than its state of domicile or state in which it conducts a plurality of its activity is more appropriate as the base state, the motor carrier may petition the governing board for designation of another state as the base state.

D.A state may require further background disclosure for transporters of hazardous waste, or, low-level radioactive waste requiring a manifest under the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations. The information requirements associated with the background disclosure shall be contained in Part III of the Uniform Program application.

E.If a carrier transports hazardous waste and operates in any state that requires a Part III disclosure ("Part III State"), the motor carrier shall apply to its permitting base state in accordance with subsection VII(C), above. If the base state does not require the Part III disclosure, the base state shall forward Part III of the application to the state that does require the Part III disclosure in which the motor carrier records a plurality of its miles among all Part III states in which the motor carrier operates.

F.The national permit confers on a motor carrier the authority to transport hazardous materials in all states that participate in the Uniform Program. The credentials for permits covered under Part II and III of the Uniform Program shall be the same as the registration credentials. To review the registration credentials please reference Section V.M.1-4, above.

G.The base state shall:

  1. Process the permitting application for each carrier for which it serves as the base state.
  2. Collect the permit fee associated with the costs to the state of issuing the permit.
  3. Conduct any pre-permit investigation or audit.
  4. Issue indicia to the company that must be carried inside each vehicle transporting hazardous materials.
  5. Determine whether violations of the permitting requirements should result in suspension or revocation of the national permit.
  6. Perform periodic reviews of the motor carrier's operations.

H.The permit shall be valid for a period of three years unless there is substantial change in the motor carrier's operations during the permitting period. At the beginning of the second and third year of the permit period, the motor carrier, as part of the annual registration process, shall certify that there are no substantial differences in its operations and reaffirm its certification to comply with applicable transportation and environmental laws and regulations.

I.The company, in its permit application, must certify that each vehicle and driver complies with the vehicle-specific and driver-specific requirements.

J.The base state, based on responses to "trigger" questions contained in the application, may conduct additional investigations into a motor carrier's operation prior to issuing a permit to determine that the motor carrier has, in fact, complied with the certifications in the application.

K.Failure to comply with the certification is grounds for denying, suspending, or revoking a permit.

L.Permit requirements for all carriers of hazardous materials will appear in Part II of the uniform permit. Additional information and requirements for carriers of hazardous waste and low-level radioactive waste requiring a manifest under the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulation will appear in Part III of the uniform permit.

M.Government agencies may be subject to permitting requirements under the Uniform Program.

N.Proprietary information related to commercial relationships, routes, and specific products and financial information gathered on individual motor carriers as part of the permitting process shall be confidential and may only be used by the base state, other states in which the motor carrier operates, and the national repository when such information is required to enforce compliance with permitting requirements.

O.Commercial and financial information provided by motor carriers for the express purposes of registration or obtaining a permit will be treated as privileged and confidential.

P.Under the Uniform Program procedures states have up to 30 days to process Part II of the application and 60 days for Part III. If it is reasonable to expect the base state cannot process the application in that time frame, the base state may issue a letter of filing to the carrier. Please reference the section on transition rules for further information about letters of filing.

Q.Power Units For the purposes of the Uniform Program, definition of a power unit is the same as "truck" and "truck tractor" as defined in 49 CFR 390.5. The following categories of vehicles may be excluded from the average reported:

  • Vehicles that are used exclusively for the transportation of personnel, as opposed to freight, including fleet maintenance vehicles even if they incidentally carry some hazardous materials for the purposes of maintenance on the fleet;
  • Power units that do not operate on public highways.

R.For the purposes of the Uniform Program, "terminal" is defined as: a facility owned, leased or operated by the applicant where the:

1,Applicant's motor vehicles used to transport hazardous materials are loaded, unloaded or dispatched incidental to transportation;

2.Applicant's motor vehicles used to transport hazardous materials are cleaned, maintained or inspected;

3.Applicant's motor vehicles are used to transport hazardous materials are fueled or repowered;

4.Applicant stores hazardous materials incidental to transportation;

5.Applicant maintains records related to the transport of hazardous materials including vehicle maintenance files and hours-of-service records.

VIII. Selection of Base State

A.In addition to the hierarchy outlined above, the third option -- petitioning the governing board for designation of a base state other than that provided for under option one (principal place of business) or option two (plurality of mileage) -- requires that the state that would be the base state under option one or option two must be consulted with and must agree that any exception approved by the governing board furthers administration of the base state agreement and does not allow the petitioning carrier to evade any pending action by a state that would have been the base state without exception.

B.The definition of principal place of business shall be "the participating state in which the applicant has an established place of business, where mileage is accrued by the fleet, and where operational records of such fleet are maintained."

C.In cases where the federal highway administration has authorized more than one alternate location for locating records, the base state shall be the state in which the applicant shows a plurality of miles.

IX. Single-Trip Permits and Incidental Travel Between States.

A.A motor carrier shall not have the option of circumventing the full national permit application process through issuance by any state of a single trip permit that implies any authority to transport hazardous materials outside the state issuing the permit. Any state issuing a single-trip permit shall inform the repository of such action for purposes of informing the potential base state of the existence of a non-permitted carrier domiciled in that state.

B.The manner in which a state deals with a motor vehicle owned or operated by a non- permitted hazardous materials carrier shall be governed by the laws and regulations of that state.

C.A base state shall have the option to execute bilateral agreements with neighboring states to allow a carrier who incidentally crosses state lines to report its activity as though it is an intrastate carrier.

X. Transition Rules

A.When moving from a single-state registration and permitting system to a base state approach a motor carrier should not be unduly burdened by the transition.

B.If a motor carrier is a credentialed operator in a state, the transition from single-state to base-state system should not result in any interruption in authority to transport hazardous materials in that state.

C.Motor carriers should not be reassessed for registration fees paid to a state for the time period covered by those paid fees.

D.On the day that a state begins operating under the Uniform Program, if a carrier has an unexpired permit for that state and has not obtained a uniform national permit, the state-specific permit would remain valid until its expiration date. If the state is not yet a participant in the Uniform Program (prior to the effective date for all states), the motor carrier would need to reapply for a state-specific permit. Following the effective date of the federal regulation the motor carrier would determine its base state based on the established procedure. If the state has not joined the Uniform Program, the state cannot enforce any other registration or permit requirement.

E.As states enter the Uniform Program, they should notify their currently permitted motor carriers of the new requirements at least 90 days prior to the expiration date of the current permit. New hazardous materials carriers should contact the state(s) in which they operate or the national repository to determine which states are participating in the Uniform Program and which states still require state-specific permits.

F.During the transition year a motor carrier's registration fee may be adjusted by a prorated credit based on the period of overlap between the state-specific registration and the base-state registration.

G.A state may elect to waive its registration fee for the program year in which there is an overlap between the state-specific program and the Uniform Program. If the state waiving the registration fee also happens to be the base state, it may still charge the appropriate processing fee for handling the application on behalf of all other participating states.

H.To avoid shifting a motor carrier's base state each year as new states join the Uniform Program, a motor carrier should only have to switch base state once during the transition from a voluntary program to a mandatory one based on the following criteria:

  1. To the extent possible, the repository shall ask states to declare their intention under the Uniform Program in terms of level of participation, i.e., whether they will be a Part I, Part II, or Part III state and the regulated population of motor carriers (e.g., hazardous waste only). Any statement of intent should not be viewed as binding on the state.
  2. The repository will then compile a table of all statements of intent.
  3. A motor carrier will review the table to determine which state would be the base state under the Uniform Program hierarchy following the effective date of the federal rule. This state would be referred to as the permanent base state.
  4. If that state is not a voluntary participant in the program, the motor carrier may select an interim base state from among all the voluntary participants at the time the motor carrier first applies for a national permit.
  5. The motor carrier will remain based in the interim base state until such time that the permanent base state enters the agreement.
  6. On the effective date for all states, if the original permanent base state has not joined the agreement, the motor carrier may select a new permanent base state from among all participating states in accordance with the base state hierarchy.
  7. If at a later date the carrier's state of domicile became a participating state, the motor carrier may, but will not be required to, shift base state subject to the concurrence by both the state of domicile and the current permanent base state.
  8. The interim base state would be required to share information with the permanent base state to avoid replication of a application requirement that the motor carrier had previously satisfied.

XI. Letters of Filing

A.When the demand for processing applications by a base state, particularly a new participating jurisdiction, makes it unreasonable to complete application reviews within the timeframe established under the Uniform Program, such state may issue a "letter of filing" to indicate that a carrier is in compliance with the application requirements of the Uniform Program.

B.Letters of filing should contain an expiration date of no more than 365 days following the issuance of the letter of filing. If necessary, subsequent letters of filing may be issued.

C.Letters of filing shall only be issued to carriers that have filed complete applications. If the application is incomplete, the base state shall notify the applicant of the deficiencies and indicate that the issuance of the letter of filing is subject to the applicant providing, in writing on the appropriate forms, the missing information.

D.Law enforcement officials in all participating jurisdictions shall honor letters of filing as evidence of temporary compliance with the Uniform Program.

XII. Owner/Operator Vehicles

A.A permitted motor carrier that transport hazardous materials under its permit using owner/operator vehicles is responsible for the operations of such vehicles and drivers, including all assurances and certifications contained in the uniform permit, as if such vehicles were owned and operated by the permitted carrier and the driver was employed by the motor carrier, including providing information on the owner/operator that would be required in the Part III business disclosure for hazardous waste transporters. Violations of hazardous materials transportation requirements that result from the operations of an owner/operator vehicle while operating under a motor carrier's permit authority shall be viewed as violations by the permitted motor carrier and shall be reported to the base state at the time of future application or renewal of the national permit.

B.This provision does not apply to instances when one motor carrier contracts with a second motor carrier. In this case, the subcontractor must have its own national hazardous materials transportation registration and/or permit issued under the Uniform Program. For the purpose of the Uniform Program, a subcontractor is defined as "a person or entity with whom a transporter of hazardous materials contracts to perform a service related to the transportation of hazardous materials."

XIII. Local Regulatory Functions

A.In addition to local registration and permitting options outlined in other sections of this document, localities may regulate routing in compliance with the procedures contained in HMTUSA and subsequent federal regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

XIV. Enforcement

A.Enforcement of the Uniform Program, by individual states, may be conducted through, but not limited to, the following activities:

  1. Inspections. The physical examination and certification of specific vehicles, tanks, containers, cargo, and/or drivers.
  2. On-Site Reviews. On-site examination of a carrier's or shipper's operations including physical inspections and review of the company's operating systems.
  3. On-Site Audits. Examination of a company's records to verify information on which a permit is based and to determine compliance with the state Uniform Program requirements.
  4. Desk Audits. An in-house review of a company's records sent by the company to the regulatory agency, generally triggered by a suspected compliance violation.
  5. Reports. Periodic reports that describe the motor carrier's activities.
  6. Roadside Inspections. Inspections of vehicles and drivers while en route, primarily at weigh stations and ports of entry.
  7. Spot Checks. Inspection of vehicles and drivers by law enforcement officers based on probable cause or statutory authority.
  8. Consumer Complaints. Investigations of alleged violations triggered by a public inquiry.
  9. Cross-matching of Data. Comparison of available data from two or more independent sources (e.g., MCSAP inspections and hazardous material motor carrier registrations).
  10. Investigative Authority. Use of subpoenas, depositions and other interrogatory powers.

B.The enforcement powers listed above are available to both the base state for purposes of issuing, denying, suspending, or revoking the national permit and to any other state in which a motor carrier operates for purposes of investigating the carrier's operations associated with the transportation of hazardous materials within that state. States that have identified "state-designated hazardous wastes" as provided for under subsection III(B) may use the enforcement authorities, outlined above, to ensure safe transportation of such wastes.

C.Penalties for violation of hazardous material transportation requirements, including restricting the operations of a motor carrier within a non-base state, shall be those of the state in which the violation occurs and is identified by state authorities. Any revenues generated from penalties shall not be allocated among the states.

D.If a motor carrier is restricted from operating in a non-base state at the time the Uniform Program becomes effective, the restrictions in that state shall remain in effect until the motor carrier satisfies the conditions on which the restriction was based.

E.Officials of the state in which the violation occurs shall notify the base state and the national repository of the violation.

F.The base state shall conduct a review to determine whether the violation triggers potential suspension or revocation of a registration or permit. The governing board shall oversee the suspension and revocation process to ensure fairness and resolve disputes.

G.For cause, the base state may suspend the national permit and determine the conditions under which the suspension is lifted. If a national permit is revoked, before again transporting hazardous materials, the motor carrier must reapply for a new national permit under the full application process provided for under the Uniform Program.

H.The base state shall notify the national repository of any pending actions against a shipper or carrier that may result in suspension or revocation of a permit. The base state shall notify the national repository of the final disposition of each case.

I.Violation of any requirement imposed by an individual state (e.g., "state-designated hazardous wastes") that is not also a violation of a requirement associated with the national permit shall not be grounds for suspension or revocation of a carrier's national registration or permit.

J.Any base state that suspends or revokes a registration or permit shall provide the suspended carrier with a letter that details the reasons for the state's action and outlines steps the motor carrier must take to be reinstated. The base state shall provide the national repository with a copy of the letter of suspension or revocation.

K.To the extent possible, enforcement of the uniform state hazardous materials transportation requirements shall be conducted using existing enforcement standards and procedures under state law and existing federal regulations.

XV. Dispute Resolution

A.The by-laws adopted by the participating states shall include a process by which signatories to the agreement may adopt policies and procedures for implementation of the Uniform Program and that are necessary and proper to the administration of the Uniform Program. The policies and procedures shall include specific procedures for dispute resolutions.

B.The dispute resolution procedures shall include procedures by which a non-base state can challenge the issuance of a permit by the base state.

C.Such procedures shall ensure an opportunity for public notice and participation in the development of such policies and procedures.

D.Nothing in such procedures prohibits a state or political subdivision, Indian tribe, and other person affected by such policies and procedures from seeking redress in any administrative process or court of competent jurisdiction.

XVI. National Repository

A.A national repository shall be established to administer the base state agreement.

B.The repository shall report to a governing board that is representative of the signatories to the agreement.

C.The repository shall have the following functions:

  1. It shall maintain a central database to include information on registered and permitted shippers and carriers. If feasible, the repository should use other existing databases for this purpose.
  2. With the exception of proprietary information related to commercial relationships, routing, specific products and financial information, information in the database shall be made available to the public, except for enforcement of the program on a need to know basis. The repository may charge a reasonable fee to cover the cost of providing public access to the database.
  3. Provide on-line access to the database for members of the agreement for purposes of enforcing the agreement and requirements under the Uniform Program.
  4. Maintain an accurate and current listing of all states that require registration and permits for transportation of state-designated hazardous wastes under their RCRA authority that are not listed in the hazardous materials table. The list shall include the definition (i.e., characteristics and quantities) of such wastes as set forth in state law or regulation.
  5. Administer the dispute resolution process by which members of the agreement can resolve differences including interpretation of the agreement. Dispute resolution may also include mediation between a carrier or shipper and its base state.
  6. Administer an accreditation process for state and local programs to ensure the integrity of the base state system.
  7. Design, coordinate, and conduct training for members of the agreement, states interested in joining the agreement, localities, industry, and other interested parties.
  8. Netting of apportioned registration fees among the member states.
  9. Serve as a national clearinghouse for industry and other interested parties on state participation and information related to exceptions (e.g., additional covered substances that states determine to be hazardous wastes under their RCRA authority).
  10. Under contract to the U.S. Department of Transportation, it may serve as a clearinghouse for routing designations and restrictions.
  11. Perform other appropriate tasks as authorized by the governing board to support administration of the agreement.

D.The repository shall be funded through assessments of member states, and where applicable, localities. The assessment shall be based on the number of shippers and carriers registered or permitted by the state. The total amount generated through the assessment shall not exceed the annual operating budget of the repository less any income from other sources (e.g., federal grants or contracts). An annual budget and projection of needed revenues through assessment of participating jurisdictions will be presented to the Governing Board not less than six months prior to the fiscal year for which the budget applies.

XVII. Public Participation and Comment

A.Public participation in the base state permitting system is critical. Interested citizens must have a mechanism for providing information into the system about specific carriers who may constitute a threat to public health and safety.

B.The repository will establish a comment and complaint tracking and retrieval function to promote public participation. Citizens may alert a permitting authority that they wish to be contacted when a specific motor carrier is being reviewed by registering their name telephone number and address either with the repository or issuing agency. The names of citizens who have lodged a complaint or comment shall be maintained in a central database and indexed by carrier. When a state reviews an application, it shall query the database for all registered names. Individuals who have registered would then be notified by the base state of the pending application and given the opportunity to provide additional information during the review process. Individuals who request notification in writing with respect to a specific carrier or a carrier operating in the requester's state without making a complaint also would be notified through this process. Action taken on a permit application would be communicated to individuals who had registered complaints about the motor carrier. Parties outside the base state will have the same standing as parties within the base state with regard to permit proceedings in the base state. Interveners should exhaust administrative remedies prior to engaging in litigation. The burden of proof shall be on the intervener.

C.The public shall have access to information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and proceedings of the governing board. Information on complaints shall be available to the public (including the company against who a complaint is lodged) relative to the evidence and nature of the complaint. Rules for appropriate protection of anonymity shall be developed.

D.The Uniform Program requires states to report only the name address and telephone number of complainant and the state in which the complaint was filed. The repository will function only as a complaint data base.

Appendix: Data Elements Requested on the Uniform Program Application

A.The registration application shall request the following information for purposes of identifying carriers and calculating fees on an apportioned basis.

Part I Registration Application

  • Company name
  • Mailing Address for purposes of correspondence
  • Street Address, if different
  • Person to contact concerning the application
  • Contact title
  • Contact phone number
  • Contact fax number
  • USDoT motor carrier census number
  • ICC motor carrier number
  • Intrastate carrier State ID Number, if applicable
  • USDoT, ICC, State ID numbers displayed
  • USDoT HazMat Registration number
  • EPA transporter identification number (where applicable)
  • Does the carrier require a uniform manifest
  • Phone number at which the carrier can be contacted
  • Information provided in application covers which 12 month period
  • Fleet information for carriers with multiple fleets
  • Average number of power units owned, operated, leased, etc.
  • IRP allocation percentages by state and other North American jurisdictions
  • Percentage of total activity that involves hazardous materials
  • Average number of cargo tanks owned, operated, or leased
  • Classes of hazardous materials transported
  • Amount of fee(s) enclosed

B.The hazardous materials permit application shall request the following information for purposes of identifying carriers determining their fitness to transport hazardous materials.

Part II

  • Corporate Structure
  • Type of Carriage
  • Type of Business
  • Number of years the applicant has transported general freight
  • Number of years the applicant has transported hazmat
  • Permits Withdrawn, Denied, Suspended, or Revoked
  • USDoT Safety Rating
  • Most recent USDoT Safety Rating
  • If unrated, has carrier requested a safety rating
  • History of applicants major violations related to hazmat
  • Assessed or paid fines over $1000
  • Fined or convicted in last 3 years of transporting hazmat without permit
  • Has subsidiary, etc. been found culpable in legal proceedings
  • Reportable Hazardous Materials Transportation Incidents
  • Terminals
  • Inspections
  • Financial Responsibility
  • Certification that the applicant executed Form MCS82 or MCS90
  • Location of the form
  • Insurance Information
  • Other Certifications
  • Current commercial drivers licenses
  • Complies with USDoT bulk packaging
  • Emergency Response Plan
  • State designated routing requirements
  • Training requirements for employees
  • Retention of shipping papers
  • Hours of Service

C.The permit application shall request the following additional information for purposes of identifying carriers and determining their fitness to transport hazardous waste.

Part III Additional Information Required from Motor Carriers of Hazardous Waste

  • Incorporation
  • Facilities Owned and Operated
  • Identification of Key Management Personnel
  • Permits Held
  • Related Business Concerns
  • Legal Proceedings
  • Changes within 90 days
  • D. The following information must be provided by all applicants.
  • Part IV General Application Certifications
  • Renewal of Current Permit
  • Acknowledging that Applicant is Subject to Audit
  • Certification of Accuracy and Completeness

APPENDIX F

Revised Uniform Program Applicationand Instructions

Click here to download copies of the application form in ZIP format

(You will need to extract these GIF files and use a graphics viewer to see them properly).

Instructions for Completing

Motor Carrier Registration and Permit Application for the

Uniform Program of theAlliance for Uniform HazMat Transportation Procedures

General application instructions:
  • The application may be submitted by mail or in person to the designated state agency in the applicant's base state. (A list of designated agencies is provided as Attachment A to the application.)
  • The application should be completed by all motor carriers of hazardous materials who operate in states that administer the registration and/or permit programs for hazardous materials transporters, as indicated on the application cover page.
  • The term "applicant" as used in the application refers to the company or individual seeking a registration or permit.
  • The application must be completely filled out. Do not leave any item blank. If an item does not apply to the applicant, write "N/A" and, if appropriate, include a brief explanation.
  • The application should be computer processed, typewritten, or filled out clearly and neatly with ink. Pencil will not be accepted. Illegible responses will result in your application being returned for correction.
  • If the space provided on the form is not sufficient to answer any questions, attach additional sheets (in the same dimensions as the application) to the back of the application. Refer to the continuation sheet(s) on the original form.
  • Remittance of all registration and/or permit fees is required at the time the application is submitted to the base state. The base state will not process the application unless all applicable fees are enclosed.
  • All questions and all information requested shall be answered completely and truthfully. Fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading answers may result in denial or revocation of permit and potential initiation of enforcement activities. Applications will be returned to applicant if requested information is missing or omitted. Applicant is expected to make reasonable efforts to check his/her company records so that complete and accurate answers are provided. Falsification may subject applicant to additional penalties as provided for under state law.
  • If the applicant encounters difficulty in completing the form or has any questions, please contact the base state for assistance. Correcting errors before submitting the form will greatly reduce the possibility of enforcement actions and/or delays due to return of your submittal for amendment.
  • After completing all applicable sections (Parts I-III), the information must be certified by an authorized representative of the applicant in Part IV.
Annual Renewal of Three Year Permit

A permit issued under the Uniform Program is valid for three years, if and only if, for the second and third years in which the permit is valid, the carrier registers using Parts I and IV of the Uniform Program application and submits all required registration fees. If a participating jurisdiction levies a Part II or Part III review fee, such fee is to be paid only in those years in which the applicant must submit Part II and/or Part III of the application. It should not be paid in years in which the applicant is subject only to the annual registration.

[Note: In order to stagger review of the three year permit, permits issued by Ohio in 1995 are valid for a period of two, three, or four years. Ohio will inform a carrier as to the time period in which the initial period is valid. Subsequent permits for Ohio-based carriers will be for three years in accordance with the Uniform Program.

Identification of an Applicant's Base State

All applicants shall use the following procedures for determining the base state to which the applicant MUST submit its application for registration and/or permit under the Uniform Program.

a.Determine the nature of the applicant's hazardous materials transportation activity (i.e., hazardous materials, hazardous waste, and/or radioactive materials) and the states in which it transports these materials.

b.States have the option of administering the following levels of the Uniform Program:

1)only a registration program (Part I),

2)a registration and a permit program (Parts I and II), or

3)a registration, permit, and hazardous waste disclosure program (Parts I, II and III).

The applicant must first determine the states in which it operates and the program "level" operated by each of the states in which it operates. See Appendix A of the application for a listing of participating jurisdictions and their program level.

c.Once the applicant has made the determination above, the applicant MUST use the following hierarchy for selecting the correct base state.

[1]If a motor carrier does not operate in a state that is a participating jurisdiction, the carrier is not subject to the Uniform Program and need not submit an application for a registration and/or permit.

[2]If a motor carrier operates only in a state or states that require only the Uniform Program registration (Part I), the motor carrier's base state shall be:

(A)the state that is the motor carrier's principal place of business, i.e., where the applicant maintains its central records related to the transportation of hazardous materials, or

(B)if the state that is the motor carrier's principal place of business is not participating in the Uniform Program, the state that is a participating jurisdiction in which the motor carrier records a plurality of total miles traveled based on the percentages report in Part I, Section 12b of the application (page A-2).

[3]If a motor carrier operates in one or more states that require the Uniform Program permit, the motor carrier's base state shall be:

(A)the state that is the motor carrier's principal place of business, if such a state is a participating jurisdiction and requires the national permit; or

(B)if the state that is the motor carrier's principal place of business is not a participating jurisdiction or does not require the national permit, the state that is a signatory and requires the national permit in which the motor carrier records a plurality of the total miles traveled.

(C)if the applicant transports hazardous waste in a state that requires the Part III disclosure, the applicant should STILL submit its application to the state identified above regardless of whether it requires Part III.. That state, if not a Part III state, will subcontract with the Part III state in which the applicant reports a plurality of miles in Part I, Section 12b of the application.

[4]A motor carrier may request that the Governing Board approve a participating jurisdiction as the base state other than that identified by the method set above, if, and only if, the following criteria are satisfied:

(A)such request is not based on an attempt by the motor carrier to circumvent any requirement of the Uniform Program or avoid enforcement of the program requirements by its current base state or any other participating jurisdiction;

(B)approval of the request will improve administration of the Uniform Program; and

(C)the Governing Board consults with the jurisdiction that would otherwise be the base state and such jurisdiction concurs with the motor carrier's request.

Part I.Registration Application

1. Provide the name of the applicant company. All motor carriers of hazardous materials who operate in a state(s) that administers the Uniform Program must apply to the base state.

1b. If the base state determines that the applicant has miscalculated its program fees resulting in a refund, the administering agency will need the Employer ID Number in order to issue a refund. Providing this optional information request at the time of application will expedite the refund process.

2. Provide the mailing address for the applicant.

3. Provide the street address of the location where records are kept, if different from the mailing address.

4. Provide the name of the person within the applicant company who should be contacted concerning any questions or requests for additional information regarding the Uniform Program application.

5. Provide the contact's title.

6. Provide the contact's telephone number.

7. Provide the contact's fax number.

8a. Provide the applicant's USDoT Motor Carrier Number as defined in 49 CFR Part 391.21.

8b. Provide the identifying number issued to the applicant by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), if applicable.

8c. For intrastate carriers, provide the state identification number, if one is issued by the state motor carrier division.

8d. Indicate which of the above numbers is displayed on the applicant's vehicles by placing a check or "x" in the appropriate boxes..

9a. Provide the USDoT HazMat Registration Number issued to the applicant by the US Department of Transportation Research and Special Programs Administration. If the applicant does not carry hazardous materials of a type or quantity that requires a federal hazardous materials registration number, please put "N/A" in the space provided.

9b. Provide EPA Identification Number(s), if the applicant company is required to have such number in accordance with federal requirements for transporting hazardous waste under 40 CFR 263.11. If the applicant's services does not require an EPA ID number, please put "N/A" in the space provided.

9c. Indicate whether the applicant company transports hazardous waste subject to the manifest requirements of 40 CFR 262.20 et. seq., or applicable state law relating to the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest.

10. Provide a 24-hour phone number where the CARRIER may be contacted in case of an incident or emergency involving a power unit owned or operated by the applicant company. This number can include voice-mail, an answering machine, or an answering service during non-business hours. This number CANNOT be the number for a commercial emergency response telephone service such as Chemtrec.

11. Indicate the 12 month period for which information in this application is provided. The applicant may use the calendar year, fiscal year, or program year (e.g., IRP registration year). If the applicant elects to change the reporting year in a subsequent application, the applicant must inform the base state of its intention.

12a.Applicant shall provide the average number of power units owned, leased or operated for the time period indicated in Part 1, Section 11 on page A-1. For purposes of the Uniform Program, the definition of a power unit is the same as "truck" and "truck tractor" as defined in 49 CFR 390.5. The following categories of vehicles may be excluded from the average reported.

  • Vehicles that are used exclusively for the transportation of personnel, as opposed to freight, including fleet maintenance vehicles.
  • Power units that do not operate on public highways.

12b.Applicant shall provide the International Registration Plan (IRP) percentages (or their equivalent) for miles traveled in each state for the previous IRP reporting year. All percentages should be rounded to two decimal places (e.g., 13.247 percent should be reported as 13.25 percent) and the sum of these percentages must equal 100 percent. Spreadsheets with this information (on 8.5 x 11 inch letter-size paper) may be substituted for Section 12b, but must be referenced in Section 12b of the application. Intrastate carriers should allocate 100 percent to the state in which they operate.

If a carrier maintains IRP mileage, it must use its IRP percentages. If the carrier maintains IFTA fuel tax reporting mileage, but not IRP mileage, it must use the IFTA percentages for this purpose. If the carrier does not maintain mileage records for either IRP or IFTA, the carrier must calculate the apportioned mileage and provide a brief explanation of the methodology used to calculate the percentages.

NOTE TO NEW CARRIERS: A carrier that has operated for less than 12 months should estimate the IRP mileage percentages (or their equivalent) for the states in which it anticipates it will operate. When the applicant applies for renewal in the subsequent year, the base state will compare the estimate with the actual mileage and may adjust the carrier's registration fees accordingly.

12c.Each applicant must provide the percentage of its operations that can be considered transportation of hazardous materials. The percentage of hazardous materials activity for less-than-truckload shipments shall be the weight of all hazardous materials shipments divided by the total weight of all shipments for either the last calendar year or the applicant's fiscal year. For truckload shipments, the percentage of hazardous materials activity shall be the number of placarded or marked shipments divided by the total number of shipments for the most recent 12 month period for which this information is available. A carrier that transports both less- than-truckload and truckload shipments of hazardous materials shall calculate the percentage of hazardous materials activity on a proportional basis.

The applicant should place a check mark in the box next to the range that corresponds to the percentage of the applicant's total operations that involves the transportation of hazardous materials. Any worksheets or documentation that supports the applicant's answer to this item should be retained and are subject to review during an audit of the carrier's operations.

NOTE TO NEW CARRIERS: A carrier that has operated for less than 12 months should estimate the percentage of its activity which involves the transportation of hazardous materials. When the applicant applies for renewal in the subsequent year, the base state will compare the estimate with the actual hazardous materials activity percentage and may adjust the carrier's registration fees accordingly.

13. If the applicant owns, leases, or operates cargo tanks, please provide the average number of units for each category in the space provided. Otherwise, please put "NONE" in the space provided.

14. Mark each class and division of hazardous materials that the applicant expects to transport during the registration period covered by this application.

15. Provide the total amount of fees submitted with the application. The total should include:

  • the application processing fee,
  • registration fees for participating states (if applicable),
  • the Part II permit review fee (if applicable), and
  • the Part III permit review fee (if applicable).

To calculate the appropriate fees, each applicant MUST USE the Uniform Program Fee Worksheet (pages W-1 through W-4) of the application and SUBMIT a copy of the completed worksheet with the application.

Part II. Permit Application

Note: Questions B, D, and E may trigger a request from the base state for additional information from the applicant.

All motor carriers of hazardous materials that operate in states that require a permit under the Uniform Program must submit the application to the base state. A prerequisite to a permit application (Part II) is completion of the registration application (Part I). Methods for determining the base state are described under Part I, section A, question 7.

Section A: Corporate Structure

  1. Mark the type of carriage (private or for hire) the applicant conducts. If other (e.g. government agency), please explain.
  2. Mark the type of business structure of the applicant. If your type of business is not listed, mark "other" and explain.

3a. Provide the number of years the applicant has been in the business as a commercial motor carrier under the current name.

3b. Provide the number of years the applicant has transported hazardous materials under the current name.

Section B: Permits Withdrawn, denied, Suspended, or Revoked

Indicate yes or no. If yes, list and explain any hazardous materials transportation registration/permit/licenses held by the applicant in the last three years that have been withdrawn, denied, suspended, or revoked. For each event, provide

  • the action taken,
  • the reason for that action,
  • date of the action,
  • jurisdiction/agency taking action,
  • the type of permit or registration involved, and
  • any reinstatement of same registration/permit/license.

This information should be provided as Attachment II.B to the application.

(A "yes" answer with an inadequate explanation will trigger a request to the applicant for more detailed information about the circumstances in question. The base state also will contact the jurisdiction(s) that took the action(s) to determine whether the deficiencies that precipitated the action have been resolved.)

Section C: USDoT Safety Rating

1. Provide the applicant's most recent USDoT Safety Rating issued by FHWA Office of Motor Carriers.

NOTE: Before submitting an application, the Alliance recommends that an applicant obtain a copy of its carrier safety profile (CSP) and, if necessary, attach a listing of any discrepancies in the report to the application. You can obtain your CSP by contacting:

Scientex Corporation

MCMIS DATA DISSEMINATION PROGRAM

Post Office Box 13028

Arlington, VA 22219

(703) 276-3377

The charge for each carrier profile is $27.50.

2. If the applicant is unrated, attach a letter or other evidence of the applicant's request for a safety rating. The letter should be provided as Attachment II.C.2 to this application.

NOTE: Any change in the applicant's safety rating, while a Uniform Program permit is in effect, must be reported immediately to the base state.

Section D: History of Applicant's Major Violations Related to the Transportation of Hazardous Materials

1. Indicate yes or no. If yes, list federal, state and local fines over $1,000 that the applicant has been assessed or paid for hazardous materials transportation violations in the last three years, including pending violations. Include all hazardous waste transportation violations.

For each violation, provide the requested information.

  • Date of assessment
  • Issuing agency
  • Type of violation
  • Type of hazardous material involved
  • Final agency assessment
  • This information should be provided as Attachment II.D.1 to this application.

Persons completing the application should check with company officials knowledgeable about such fines and violations to ensure full and acceptable disclosure. (Any violations may trigger a request for additional information, including but not limited to interviews with the jurisdictions that imposed fines and interviews with appropriate company officials.)

2. Indicate yes or no. If applicant has been fined or convicted in last three years for transporting hazardous materials without a license, permit, registration, or similar type of credential, please provide the following information.

  • Date of fine/conviction
  • Issuing agency
  • Type of violation
  • Type of hazardous materials involved
  • This information should be provided as Attachment II.D.2 to this application.

(A "yes" answer may trigger a request for more detailed information on convictions and penalties. The base state may interview representatives of the jurisdictions that discovered the violation to gain details.)

3. Answer yes or no as to whether the applicant's parent company, any subsidiary and/or corporate officer or director of the parent or any subsidiary has been convicted, assessed, paid or otherwise found culpable in legal proceedings related to hazardous materials transportation at the federal, state, tribal or local level in the last three years. If yes, provide the requested information for each conviction, fine, or assessment.

  • Fines/penalties/judgments levied
  • Date of the action
  • Nature of the violation
  • Cause or reason for the action, and
  • Remedial action taken to mitigate the situation, if any.
  • Provide this information as Attachment II.D.3 to the application.
  • (The base state may request documentation of such legal proceedings from the applicant, if appropriate.)

Section E: Reportable Hazardous Materials Transportation Incidents

Indicate yes or no. If yes, provide the requested information for each instance in which the applicant was involved in an incident involving hazardous materials related to the information asked on this section of the application.

For each incident, reportable under 49 CFR 171.15(a)(1), provide the following information.

  • Date
  • Location
  • Cause of the incident
  • Details of the remediation process
  • Agency that supervised the remediation
  • Provide this information as Attachment II.E to the application.

(An inadequate explanation will trigger a request for additional information about such incidents. The base state may contact the jurisdiction where the incident(s) occurred for more information. The base state may ask for a copy of the applicant's emergency response plan and details of its hazardous materials employee training program.)

Section F: Terminals

List the number of and address of all applicable terminals owned and operated by the applicant.


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