Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA’s) HM-ACCESS (Hazardous Materials-Automated Cargo Communications for Efficient and Safe Shipments) Project, also known as the Paperless Hazard Communications Pilot Program.
It just kinda’ rolls of the tongue and makes you want to sit down at a computer and start answering on-line survey questions. No? Is that just me? Well, that explains why PHMSA (an administration within the USDOT responsible for the safe transportation of hazardous materials within the U.S.) is extending the deadline for participation in its HM ACCESS pilot Test from its original April 30th to May 15th, 2015.
See below for the text of the original notice and links to the on-line questionnaire and other important information.
What I’ll say about HM-ACCESS is this: The PHMSA is proceeding toward a paperless (i.e. electronic) system for shipping papers used in the transportation of hazardous materials. The result will have a significant impact on everyone involved in the transportation of hazardous materials: Shippers, Carriers, freight forwarders, HazMat Employers, HazMat Employees, emergency responders, and a whole host of “interested parties”. This means you. Here is your chance to join in the conversation and perhaps have an impact on the Final Rule.
I completed the questionnaire in ~30 minutes. So what are you waiting for?
HM ACCESS Pilot Test Extension
Dear HM-ACCESS Interested Party,
You are receiving this reminder invitation in response to you or your company/organization having previously expressed interest in the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA’s) HM-ACCESS (Hazardous Materials-Automated Cargo Communications for Efficient and Safe Shipments) Project, also known as the Paperless Hazard Communications Pilot Program.
PHMSA invites you to participate in an ongoing voluntary online data collection effort to aid in the assessment of potential impacts, including cost-benefit information, associated with using paperless communication systems (e-systems) to transfer hazardous materials (HM) shipping paper information.
If you or your organization has already completed the on-line Impact Analysis Questionnaire, the HM-ACCESS Team thanks you for your participation. If you have not, and are interested in participating there is still time, as the completion date has been extended to Friday, May 15, 2015. The Impact Analysis Questionnaire will be available for completion until the first completed 250 responses are received or until May 15, 2015, whichever comes sooner. Completing the online questionnaire will also require completing the attached Informed Consent Form.
The questionnaire can be accessed via the following link: http://fluidsurveys.com/surveys/dj-HDm/impact-analysis/ . Concurrent with the questionnaire, please complete the attached Impact Analysis Informed Consent Form and send it to HMACCESS@dot.gov.
For your reference, more information regarding the HM-ACCESS program and the online Impact Analysis Questionnaire follows the closing salutation.
Thank you very much for your interest in HM-ACCESS. Please send any questions to HMACCESS@dot.gov.
The HM-ACCESS Team
HM-ACCESS is a pilot program under Section 33005 of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2012 (MAP-21), being led by PHMSA with support from the DOT’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. The purpose of the program is to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of paperless hazardous materials (e-HM) systems to provide a level of safety equivalent to or better than the current HM shipping paper requirement, thereby facilitating commercial efficiency while maintaining and possibly enhancing safety. Under MAP-21, the feasibility and effectiveness evaluation needs to consider the concerns and impacts to a variety of HM stakeholders, including Federal and State authorities, emergency responders, law enforcement investigators, and the HM industry, specifically shippers and carriers.
PHMSA’s HM-ACCESS team has been working with HM stakeholders and developed a plan for conducting the MAP-21 required pilot tests and associated data collection effort. In 2013, PHMSA published 60-Day and 30-Day Federal Register Notices, seeking pilot test participant volunteers, as well as input and comments on the planned data collection activities. In September 2014, PHMSA received approval to proceed with the next steps for conducting the pilot tests and collecting information to support the impact analysis.
PHMSA is currently in the process of conducting pilot tests with volunteer HM stakeholders who prepare (i.e., shippers), move (i.e., carriers), inspect (i.e., law enforcement investigators), and respond to accidents (i.e., emergency responders) involving HM. The pilot tests are being conducted with selected participants, within five US regions (Western, Central, Southwestern, Southern, and Eastern), and will include at least one rural area, as required by MAP-21. The tests are designed to collect data regarding the feasibility, effectiveness, and safety associated with electronic transfer of HM shipping paper data between HM stakeholders during inspection and emergency response simulations utilizing participants’ existing equipment and resources. The pilot tests began on February 17, 2015 and originally were planned to continue for 10 ½ weeks, concluding on April 30, 2015; now, the pilot tests will run for 12 ½ weeks, concluding on May 15, 2015.
Impact Analysis Data Collection
Concurrent with conducting the pilot tests, PHMSA is collecting data to analyze the impacts of using e-systems for communicating HM shipping paper information. Potential impacts to be assessed include benefits, costs, safety, and security impacts on the public, emergency responders, and law enforcement.
In support of this data collection effort, the HM-ACCESS Team has developed an Impact Analysis Questionnaire designed to collect relevant information across all HM stakeholder types (i.e., shippers, carriers, inspectors, and emergency responders). The questionnaire is being administered online and is available to all pilot test participants, volunteers that did not qualify as participants, and other HM stakeholders, including technology vendors, who have previously contacted PHMSA regarding HM-ACCESS. This project area is one where your company’s participation and input is valuable.
Participation in this online information collection effort is completely voluntary and will be limited to the first 250 respondents. Completing the online questionnaire will also require completing the attached Informed Consent Form. Completion of the online questionnaire is expected to conservatively take no more than 60 minutes. PHMSA will not provide any monetary compensation for completing the question set and will make every effort to ensure respondents’ answers remain private to the extent provided by law.
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As always, don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the transportation of hazardous materials.