Press releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) introduced the Hazardous Materials Safety Improvement Act of 2019 today to ensure that rail shippers and tank car owners aren’t subjected to costly and unfair regulatory burdens because of a usurping of federal authority.  Outside groups are trying to circumvent the federal rulemaking process without conducting a comprehensive safety assessment or a cost benefit analysis to protect the public.

The legislation requires the administrator of the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to respond to petitions for regulatory action within 18 months and makes it clear the response supersedes a decision by outside groups.  The proposal is supported by the American Chemistry Council, tank car builders and tank car shippers.

“Tank car owners and shippers are under constant threat from regulatory burdens that leave them financially strapped.  These burdens are job killers,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “The Department of Transportation’s exclusive authority to set standards for hazardous materials is being usurped by outside groups.  My legislation puts DOT back in charge.”

“Sen. Kennedy’s bill will bring much needed urgency and clarity to how the federal government addresses the transportation of hazardous materials.  Simply put, this legislation will require PHMSA to act quicker on regulatory requests and will help the administration be more agile when it comes to safeguarding the shipment of hazardous materials,” said Chris John, president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council.  “Equally important, the bill will also reaffirm the Department of Transportation as the final authority when it comes to establishing regulations and standards that govern the safe movement of hazardous materials.  We appreciate Sen. Kennedy’s leadership on helping PHMSA to act quicker on regulatory requests and urge his colleagues to support this important legislation.”