This Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Inspector General Report (OIG) "presents the results of [an OIG] review of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA) Special Permits and Approvals Program. PHMSA is the lead agency responsible for regulating the safe transport of hazardous materials, including explosive, poisonous, corrosive, flammable, and radioactive substances. PHMSA regulates up to 1 million daily movements of hazardous materials. Many hazardous materials are transported under the terms and conditions of special permits and approvals, which provide relief or exceptions to the Hazardous Materials Regulations. On September 10, 2009, [the OIG] testified before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure regarding our review of PHMSA's Special Permits and Approvals Program. [The] review disclosed serious deficiencies in how PHMSA processes and oversees special permits and approvals. This report summarizes the results of [the] review and transmits [OIG] recommendations to strengthen the Special Permits and Approvals Program by addressing the issues [the OIG] presented in [its] testimony. [The OIG] audit objectives were to evaluate the effectiveness of PHMSA's (1) policies and processes for reviewing and authorizing special permits and approvals, (2) coordination with the affected Operating Administration before issuing any of these special authorizations, and (3) oversight and enforcement of approved parties' compliance with the terms and conditions of these authorizations."
Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General, Report No. AV-2010-045
United States Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General: http://www.oig.dot.gov/