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Pages 1-352: Submissions to Darrell Issa regarding Federal Regulation: February 7, 2011

Pages 1-352: Submissions to Darrell Issa regarding Federal Regulation: February 7, 2011

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Published by CREW
In December 2010, Representative Darrell Issa, Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to more than 150 companies, trade groups, and research organizations asking them to identify federal regulations that adversely affect job growth. On February 7, 2011, Chairman Issa released all of the submissions he has received to the public. These documents are smaller, searchable versions of what he released.
In December 2010, Representative Darrell Issa, Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to more than 150 companies, trade groups, and research organizations asking them to identify federal regulations that adversely affect job growth. On February 7, 2011, Chairman Issa released all of the submissions he has received to the public. These documents are smaller, searchable versions of what he released.

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Published by: CREW on Feb 08, 2011
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10/24/2012

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AGRICULTURALRETAILERS
ASSOCIATION
1156
15 h
StreetNW
Suite
302·
Washington,DC20005T202.457,0825F202.457,0864
www r dc rg
TheHonorableDarrellIssaTheCommitteeonOversightandGovernmentReform2157RayburnHouseOfficeBuildingWashington,DC20515January11,2011DearChairmanIssa:Onbehalf
of
themembership
of
theAgriculturalRetailersAssociation(ARA),wesubmitthefollowingcommentsinresponsetoyourDecember
8 2010
letterthatrequestedinformationongovernmentregulationsthathaveanegativeeconomicimpactonourindustry.Weappreciatetheopportunitytocommentonseveralregulationsthatconcernagriculturalretailersanddistributors.ARA
is
anot-for-profittradeassociationthatrepresentsAmerica sagriculturalretailersanddistributors.ARAmembersprovidegoodsandservices
to
farmersandrancherswhichinclude:fertilizer,cropprotectionchemicals,seed,cropscouting,soiltesting,customapplication
of
pesticidesandfertilizers,anddevelopment
of
comprehensivenutrientmanagementplans.Retailanddistributionfacilitiesarescatteredthroughoutall50statesandrangeinsizefromsmallfamily-heldbusinessesorfarmercooperativestolargecompanieswithmultipleoutlets.Thefollowingregulationsarecurrentlynegativelyimpactingretailers income,ortheyareproposalsbeingconsideredthatareconcerningtotheagriculturalretailanddistributionindustry:
Department
of
Transportation
(DOT)
Hours
of
Service
AgriculturalExemptionInterpretation:
In1995,theNationalHighwaySystemDesignationAct(P.L.104-59)wasenactedintolaw,amendingthehours
of
serviceagriculturalexemptionbydroppingtheterm retail toclarifythattheHOSagriculturalexemptiondoesnotapplysolely
to
farmersandfarmretailersbutshouldcoverALLmoveswhichareessentialtothetimelyplantingandharvesting
of
crops.
In
addition,theareawasextendedtoa
1
air-mileradiusfroma50-mileradius.CongressalsoprovidedtheStateswiththeauthority
to
adopttheexemptionandestablishthe plantingandharvestingseasons withinthestate
in
ordertodesignatethetime
of
yeartheexemptionwouldbeineffect.(Section345)Inthesummer
of2008
aDOTenforcementofficialcitedacarrier
of
anhydrousammonia(NH3)forabusingthe
HaS
agriculturalexemption.ThecarrierwastransportingNH3froma
 
terminal/pipelinetoanagricultureretailfacilityandFMCSAinterpreted(forthefirsttime)thattheagricultureexemptionwasonlyfortransport
of
productfromretailtofarmandnotfromterminaltoretail.In20I
 
FMCSAissueda2yearwaiverfortransportation
ofNH
undertheagriculturalexemptionfromtheterminal/distributionpointtotheretaillocationorfarm.Theinterpretationmade
in
2008limitstheagriculturalHOSexemptiontoonlyretailmoves
of
farmsuppliesdirectlytothefarmandclearlydoesnotfitthereality
of
thefarmsupplychain.Also,it
is
notinlinewithcongressionalintent-toincludecriticalmovement
of
agriculturalcommoditiesandfarmsuppliesthatareessentialtothetimelyplantingandharvesting
of
crops.Withouttheexemptionitwouldrequireaninvestmenttomorethandoublethecurrenttruckscarryingproductwhichisnoteconomicallyfeasibleforbusinesseswhichutilizeassetsforsuchashortseasonalperiod.Theincreaseintruckswouldrequireadditionaldriversand·wouldfaceincreasedsafetyconcernsduetoadditionalinexperienceddriversontheroad.Thealternativetoincreasingassetswouldbetocarrylessproduct,whichwouldadverselyaffecttheyieldsoncropsaroundthenationshrinkingouroverallfoodsupply.
Hazardous
 aterialSTransportationSpecialPermitProgram
ThePipelineandHazardousMaterialsSafetyAdministration(PHMSA)conductsthespecialpermit(SP)program,whichpermitsapersontoperformafunctionthatisotherwise
not
permittedbytheregulations.SPareonlyissuedwhentheapplicantdemonstratesthattheSPwillachievealevel
of
safetyatleastequaltothatrequiredbytheregulation.TheSPallowsprivateindustry
to
investinresearchandusetechniquesthatallowforsaferhazardousmaterialstransportationwhentheregulationsaredated.InreactiontoCongressionaloversightinFall2009,
PHMSA s
workrearedtoahaltandtheadministrationceasedprocessingspecialpermitandapprovalapplications,whichleftbusinesseseitherout
of
businessorout
of
compliance.InMay2010,PHMSAissuedapolicyannouncementthatitwouldnolongerissuespecialpermitstotradeassociationsonbehalf
of
theirmemberships.Thosecompanieswouldnowneedtogothroughacompany fitnessdetermination todetermineeligibilitytoparticipate
in
theSP
or
approvalprograms.Thecriteria
of
the fitnessdetermination areuncleartoindustry.Furthermore,
PHMSA
hasanincrediblebacklog
of
unprocessedSPandapprovalapplicationsinadditiontothethousands
of
companiesaffectedbythepolicyannouncementthattradeassociationscannotapply.InAugust2010,PI-IMSAproposedtoincorporatetwo
SP s
intotheregulationsthatarewidelyusedintheagriculturalretailindustry-SP13554andSP10950.These
SP s
allowretailerstousecertainequipment
in
thetransportation
of
anhydrousammoniafertilizer.Sincetheoriginalgrantee
of
these
SP s
isatradeassociation,
by
incorporatingtheselong-standingandwidelyused
SP s
intotheregulations,PHMSAwouldbesavingtheindustryandtheAdministrationfrommuchpaperworkanddelay.However,the
SP s
havenotbeenincorporated
by
FinalRuleintotheregulationsyet,andPI-IMSAhasstoppedprocessingpaperworkontheseSP s.Sononew2
 
companiescanhaveaccesstothe
SP s
inorder
to
stayin compliancewiththelaw,andPHMSA
 s
notprocessingrenewalsforexpiringpermits.
PHMSA s
inabilitytoprocessapplicationshascrippledmanybusinesses,andhasleftmanybusinessesout
of
regulatOlycompliancenotbecause
of
thebusiness slack
of
safety,but
PHMSA s
lack
of
action.Duplicative
CommercialDrivers
License(CDL)
Background
Checks
and
Credentialing:Toobtainthepropercredentialstocarryhazardousmaterials,acarriermustpayforandundergoobtainingmultiplecredentialsandundergomultiplebackgroundchecks.Agriculturalretailersareburdenedbythecost
of
theduplicativebackgroundchecksandcredentials.
 
s
alsodifficulttohirecarrierswhoareabletocarrymaterialsacrossmultiplejurisdictionsbecause
of
thelargehurdle
to
obtainandmaintainallapplicablelicenses.Thesafeandsecuretransportation
of
hazardousmaterials
 s
bestachievedthroughuniformregulatoryrequirements.Tothisend,CongressexplicitlyprovidedpreemptiveauthoritytoDOT.CongressshouldclarifyDOTauthority
to
preemptstate/localregulationsthatimposeanunreasonableburdenoncommerce.Currently,DOTdoesnotapplythisstandard,forcingparties
to
resolvetheseissuesincourtratherthanthroughthemoreefficientpreemptionprocess.Also,thereshouldbearisk-basedapproachtobackgroundchecks
of
driversthattransporthazardousmaterials.Thisrisk-basedapproachwouldrequireDHS
to
workwithDOT,NRCandHHStopromulgatearulethatcreatesasubset
of
hazardousmaterialsthatare securitysensitive .Individualsthattransportsecuritysensitivehazardousmaterialswouldundergoafingerprint-basedbackgroundcheckandobtainaTransportationWorkerIdentificationCredential(TWIC)asevidence
of
theirfitness
to
transportthesematerials.TheTSAwouldcontinuetoperformname-basedbackgroundchecksfordriversseekingtoobtainorrenewtheirhazardousmaterialsendorsementstotheircommercialdrivers licenses.Redundantsecuritybackgroundchecksandduplicativesecuritycredentials,whichareasignificantfinancialburdenupondrivers,wouldbeeliminated.
HazardousMaterials
Safety
Permit
Implementation
Thehazardousmaterialssafetypermit(HMSP)is
 
itsthirdpermittingcycle.Sincetheprogram sinception,however,theprogramhasbeenfraughtwithcomplaints.Programdata
 s
missing.Stillrecordsshowthattherehavebeenthousands
of
administrativepermitdenialssimplybecauseDOTdatabasesarenotlinked.Ratherthansettingastandard
of
safetyandallowingallcarrierstoaspiretomeetthestandard,theprogramoperateswithafloatingstandardthatresultsincarriersbeing safe inonepermittingcycleandthoughnothingintheiroperationschanges,theyaredeemed unsafe inthenextcycle.Theapplication
of
separate,arbitrary30percentdisqualificationthresholdsresultsinadisqualificationrate
of
about50percent.
3

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CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) released dozens of letters that businesses sent the Chairman of U.S. House Committee on Oversight/Government Reform identifying federal regulations adversely effect job growth. Follow @citizensforethics for the latest breaking DC news!
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CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) just released dozens of letters that businesses sent the Chairman of U.S. House Committee on Oversight/Government Reform identifying federal regulations adversely effect job growth. Follow them at http://www.scribd.com/citizensforethics for the latest breaking D.C. news
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