PHMSA adopts provisions from 96 special permits into its hazardous materials regulations [US]

On January 21, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced in the Federal Register that it has adopted provisions contained in certain widely-used special permits for hazardous materials into its Hazardous Materials regulations.

In a series of eight prior rulemakings since 2008, PHMSA has adopted 94 hazardous materials special permits into its regulations. 

This rulemaking adopts an additional 96 hazardous materials special permits and becomes effective on February 22, 2016.


The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which is a federal surface transportation spending bill signed into law in 2013 by President Obama, required PHMSA to analyze special permits that have a continuous effect for a 10-year period and adopt such permits into its regulations.

As a result, PHMSA has finalized a rulemaking to incorporate the provisions of 96 additional hazardous materials special permits into its Hazardous Materials regulations.

Special permits establish alternative requirements or variances that are at least as safe as the regulatory standards.

Ultimately, the adoption of these special permit provisions provides regulatory flexibility and greater opportunity to test new technologies.

PHMSA has established a voluntary compliance date of February 22, 2016 and a required delayed compliance date of January 23, 2017.

Sources :

Final Rule: Hazardous Materials: Adoption of Special Permits (MAP-21) (RRR), Federal Register, 81 FR 3635, January 21, 2016.

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)

49 CFR 171

49 CFR 173

49 CFR 178

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