National Tank Truck Carriers has asked Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to direct the withdrawal of two rulemakings that it considers unnecessary and even counterproductive to safety. The first rulemaking would require a ban on gasoline in loading lines on cargo tanks (wetlines); the other would turn over significant cargo tank regulatory responsibilities to a private third party and restrict public access to the regulatory process.
NTTC President John Conley said that his organization took this unusual tactic because the Secretary can provide political cover to his Pipelines Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which developed the wetlines regulation in response to intense pressure from members of a Congressional committee. Likewise, PHMSA began another rulemaking which would abdicate key government safety responsibility if the petitions from two private groups are granted.
“I respectfully submit that there are two rulemakings underway at the Department of Transportation’s Pipelines Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) that fall into the President’s category of regulations that are not needed and which would actually harm the safe transportation of hazardous materials,” Conley wrote. “Neither of these regulations was actually initiated by your agency for safety reasons, but rather were the result in one case from intense Congressional pressure and in the other in response to petitions from an industry group that would financially benefit greatly if its petitions are granted.”