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Federal Register / Vo

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Research and Special Programs Administration

49 CFR Parts 171, 177, 178, 180 [Docket No. RSPA–97–2718 (HM–225A)] RIN 2137–AD07

Hazardous Materials: Safety Standards for Preventing and Mitigating Unintentional Releases During the Unloading of Cargo Tank Motor Vehicles in Liquefied Compressed Gas Service

AGENCY: Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of establishment of advisory committee for negotiated rulemaking and notice of first meeting.

SUMMARY: RSPA announces the establishment of an advisory committee to develop recommendations for alternative safety standards for preventing and mitigating unintentional releases of hazardous materials during the unloading of cargo tank motor vehicles in liquefied compressed gas service. The Committee will develop and adopt its recommendations through negotiation. The Committee is composed of persons who represent the interests affected by the proposed rule, such as businesses that transport and deliver propane, anhydrous ammonia, and other liquefied compressed gases; manufacturers of DOT specification MC 330 and MC 331 cargo tank motor vehicles used to transport liquefied compressed gases; state and local public safety and emergency response agencies; and the federal Department of Transportation. This notice also announces the time and place of the first advisory committee meeting. The public is invited to attend; an opportunity for members of the public to make oral presentations will be provided if time permits.

DATES: The first meeting of the advisory committee will be from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28, 1998 and will continue from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29, 1998.

ADDRESSES: The first meeting of the advisory committee will take place at the Department of Transportation, Room 2230, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Karim, 202–366–8553, Office of Hazardous Materials Standards, Research and Special Programs Administration, Department of Transportation; or Nancy Machado, 202–366–4400, Office of the Chief

l. 63, No. 136 / Thursday, July 16, 1998 / Proposed Rules

Counsel, Research and Special Programs Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. Facilitator: Philip J. Harter, The Mediation Consortium, 202– 887–1033.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

On June 4, 1998, RSPA published a notice of intent to establish an advisory committee (Committee) for a negotiated rulemaking to develop recommendations for alternative safety standards for preventing and mitigating unintentional releases of hazardous materials during the unloading of cargo tank motor vehicles (CTMVs) in liquefied compressed gas service. The notice requested comment on membership, the interests affected by the rulemaking, the issues the Committee should address, and the procedures it should follow. The reader is referred to the June 4 notice (63 FR 30572) for further information on these issues.

RSPA received 19 written comments on the notice of intent. In addition, 43 people participated in a public meeting in Washington, D.C., on June 23–24, 1998. All endorsed the negotiated rulemaking process. Based on this response, and for the reasons stated in the notice of intent, RSPA has determined that establishing an advisory committee on this subject is appropriate and in the public interest. In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA; 5 U.S.C. App. I sec. 9(c)), RSPA prepared a Charter for the Establishment of a Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee. RSPA intends to file the charter within fifteen (15) days from the date of this publication.

II. Membership

A total of 29 individuals were nominated or applied for membership to the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee either through written comments or at the June 23–24 public meeting.

In considering requests for representation on the Committee, the task before RSPA was to decide whether the requesters represent interests significantly affected by the proposed rulemaking. As identified in the notice of intent, in addition to the Department of Transportation (DOT), these interests are: the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA); The Fertilizer Institute (TFI); National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc. (NTTC); the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA); small businesses that transport and deliver propane, anhydrous ammonia, and other liquefied compressed gases; large businesses that transport and deliver

propane, anhydrous ammonia, and other liquefied compressed gases; manufacturers of DOT MC 330 and MC 331 specification CTMVs used to transport liquefied compressed gases; state safety regulatory agencies; state safety enforcement agencies; and state/ local emergency response and fire services agencies.

In response to comments, RSPA has modified the list of interests to add the Compressed Gas Association to represent the interest of companies that produce and use liquefied compressed gases other than propane and anhydrous ammonia, such as oxygen and nitrogen. In addition, to accommodate the separate interests of large and small companies that may be affected by the rulemaking and the separate interests of companies that transport propane versus anhydrous ammonia, RSPA has identified as distinct interests small propane distribution companies, large propane distribution companies, small anhydrous ammonia distribution companies, and large anhydrous ammonia distribution companies. Finally, RSPA believes that the interests of companies that manufacture so-called ‘‘bobtail’’ CTMVs (most commonly defined as truck-mounted tanks having a capacity under 3,500 gallons) differ sufficiently from the interests of companies that manufacture ‘‘transport’’ CTMVs (most commonly defined as semi-trailers or full trailers having a capacity greater than 3,500 gallons) as to justify separate representation on the Committee.

In the notice of intent, RSPA requested comments on how best to include manufacturers of cargo tank components, such as internal self- closing stop valves, pumps, meters, and other components of emergency discharge control systems and remote shut-off systems. RSPA believes that component manufacturers have technical expertise that would be valuable to the Committee’s deliberations. As noted in the notice of intent, the convener’s report examined several options for integrating component manufacturers into the negotiated rulemaking process. The convener recommended that they participate as members of work groups that the Committee may establish to gather information and develop proposals for specific issues related to the rulemaking, but not as members of the Committee itself.

Many commenters support the recommendation of the convener’s report and oppose inclusion of component manufacturers on the Committee because these manufacturers may have a vested interest in

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