Hazardous Materials; Reverse Logistics (RRR), 39662-39666 [2012-16177]

Download as PDF 39662 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 129 / Thursday, July 5, 2012 / Proposed Rules of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.); • Is certified as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.); • Does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–4); • Does not have Federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999); • Is not an economically significant regulatory action based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997); • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001); • Is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the Clean Air Act; and • Does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994). In addition, these proposed PM2.5 NAAQS attainment determinations do not have Tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the State, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on Tribal governments or preempt Tribal law. List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52 wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Particulate matter, Reporting and record-keeping requirements. Dated: June 26, 2012. Susan Hedman, Regional Administrator, Region 5. [FR Doc. 2012–16438 Filed 7–3–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:29 Jul 03, 2012 Jkt 226001 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration 49 CFR Parts 171, 173, and 178 [Docket No. PHMSA–2011–0143 (HM–253)] RIN 2137–AE81 Hazardous Materials; Reverse Logistics (RRR) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), DOT. ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM). AGENCY: PHMSA is publishing this ANPRM to identify ways to reduce the regulatory burden for persons who ship consumer products containing hazardous materials in the ‘‘reverse logistics’’ supply chain. Reverse logistics is the process that is initiated when a consumer product goes backwards in the distribution chain. It may be initiated by the consumer, the retailer, or anyone else in the chain. Therefore, the process may involve consumers, retailers, manufacturers, and even disposal facilities. Following this ANPRM, PHMSA anticipates publishing an NPRM that will propose to simplify the regulations for reverse logistics shipments and provide avenue means for regulatory compliance that maintains transportation safety. This action is part of DOT’s retrospective plan under EO 13563 completed in August 2011 DOT’s plan is available at: https://www.dot.gov/open/docs/dotfinal-rrr-plan-08-23-2011.pdf. To fully engage the broad spectrum of stakeholders affected by reverse logistics, this ANPRM solicits comments and input on several questions in the context of reverse logistics. Any comments, data, and information received will be used to evaluate and shape the proposals in the NPRM. DATES: Comments must be received by October 3, 2012. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the docket number PHMSA–2011–0143 (HM–253) by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Management System, U.S. Department of Transportation, Dockets Operations, M–30, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 • Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation To Docket Operations, M–30, Ground Floor, Room W12–140 in the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and docket number (PHMSA–2011–0143) or RIN (RIN 2137–AE81) for this notice at the beginning of the comment. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to the docket management system, including any personal information provided. If sent by mail, comments must be submitted in duplicated. Persons wishing to receive confirmation of receipt of their comments must include a self-addressed stamped postcard. Docket: For access to the dockets to read background documents or comments received, go to https:// www.regulations.gov or DOT’s Docket Operations Office (see ADDRESSES). Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of any written communications and comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the document (or signing the document, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 [45 FR 19477] or you may visit https:// www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steven Andrews, Office of Hazardous Materials Standards, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590– 0001, telephone (202) 366–8553. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background In general, ‘‘reverse logistics’’ pertains to the safe return of goods from the marketplace to the original vendor, manufacturer, or supplier. Reverse logistics of hazardous materials affects many industries including high-tech, retail, medical, pharmaceutical, automotive, and aerospace. In effect, reverse logistics is the supply chain in reverse. PHMSA is publishing this ANPRM to identify possible ways to reduce the regulatory burden on retail outlets that ship consumer products containing hazardous materials in the ‘‘reverse logistics’’ supply chain. PHMSA is looking to evaluate the shipment of ‘‘reverse logistics’’ by E:\FR\FM\05JYP1.SGM 05JYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 129 / Thursday, July 5, 2012 / Proposed Rules wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS highway, rail, and vessel. In addition, PHMSA received two petitions from industry regarding the shipping requirements for ‘‘reverse logistics’’ shipments. These petitions are outlined as follows: P–1528 PHMSA received a petition from the Council on the Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles Inc. (COSTHA) outlining issues related to hazardous materials and ‘‘reverse logistics.’’ In its petition for rulemaking (P–1528), COSTHA proposed that the HMR include a definition for ‘‘reverse logistics’’ in § 171.8 and add a new section, § 173.157 to outline the general requirements and exceptions for hazardous materials shipped in the context of ‘‘reverse logistics.’’ In its petition COSTHA identified an unquantifiable exposure to risk presented through undeclared hazmat from retail outlets. This includes retail operations that unknowingly return articles containing hazardous materials to the product manufacturing that are potentially compromised. The purpose of this ANPRM is to gather data on how these hazardous materials are shipped with respect to ‘‘reverse logistics.’’ COSTHA noted that hazardous materials commonly shipped from distribution centers to various retail outlets are often shipped under the ORM–D exception. PHMSA notes that the ORM–D exception allows for a hazardous material, which is a limited quantity and which meets the consumer commodity definition, to be reclassified as an ORM–D and assigned a consumer commodity shipping name. However, in a final rule issued under docket HM– 215K (76 FR 3308, January 19, 2011), PHMSA began phasing out the ORM–D hazard class. Based on the final rule, the phase-out of the ORM–D system will be completed on December 31, 2014. Those materials previously shipped under the ORM–D hazard class may be able to be shipped as consumer commodities under the appropriate limited quantities exception in part 173. COSTHA has indicated that a significant volume of these hazardous materials are returned to the retail outlet by the customer. PHMSA believes based on its enforcement experience that significant quantities of these returned hazardous materials may be in damaged packaging or even leaking prior to their shipment back to the return center. If this is the case, the materials must be repackaged and shipped as fully regulated hazardous materials under the HMR. The HMR generally defines a ‘‘hazmat employee’’ as a person employed on a full-time, part time, or VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:29 Jul 03, 2012 Jkt 226001 temporary basis by a hazmat employer and who in the course of such full time, part time or temporary employment directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety. However, PHMSA recognizes that most retail employees or other related employees are not readily identifiable as ‘‘hazmat employees’’ as defined by § 171.8 of the HMR. Consequently this results in employees that often lack sufficient training and qualifications to classify, package, mark, label, and ship hazardous materials. This may result in unsafe shipping practices (e.g., hazardous materials shipped in containers that are not designed for the safe transportation of hazardous materials.) These occurrences are often exacerbated by hazardous materials being improperly segregated in packages. COSTHA also noted that equipment powered by internal combustion engines may be returned to retail outlets after being used and may contain residual fuel, posing a hazardous materials risk. P–1561 PHMSA received a petition (P–1561) from the Battery Council International (Battery Council). In its petition, the Battery Council requests that PHMSA allow the shipment of used batteries from multiple shippers on a single transport vehicle under the exception provided in § 173.159(e). The Battery Council notes in their petition that currently the exception in § 173.159(e) does not clearly allow for shipment of used batteries from multiple shippers for the purposes of recycling. The petition also notes that, when this regulation was written in 1969, it was not common practice for battery to be recycled using multiple shippers. PHMSA believes that the collection of these used batteries for return, disposal, or recycling falls within the realm of ‘‘reverse logistics.’’ Currently § 173.159(e)(4) prevents a battery recycler from picking up shipments of used batteries from multiple locations. In looking at incident history, PHMSA has not identified any significant incidents involving the shipment of wet lead acid batteries. PHMSA believes that modifying this section to allow battery recyclers to pick up wet lead acid batteries from multiple locations will likely reduce the number of battery shipments on the highway and thus reduce the likelihood of an accident involving hazmat. II. Analysis of the Problem Under the current HMR, consumer products that are no longer suitable for retail sale are considered fully regulated. This presents a problem to PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 39663 retail outlets in that many may not have the necessary training or resources to handle fully regulated hazardous materials. PHMSA is looking to identify ways to potentially reduce the regulatory burden associated with the return of these hazardous materials in the ‘‘reverse logistics’’ supply chain, while at the same time ensuring their safe transportation. According to the Reverse Logistics Association (RLA), the process of reverse logistics represents 3–15% of the Gross Domestic Product, which is estimated between $360 billion and $1.8 trillion. Retail outlets often accept returns of hazardous materials from customers that are ultimately shipped back to distribution centers. Retail sales of goods are a primary driver of goods returned. According to the 2007 Economic Census, wholesale trade in the U.S. reached $6.5 trillion (a 40% increase from the 2002 census) among 435 thousand establishments and 6.2 million employees, while retail sales reached $3.9 trillion (a 28% increase among 1.1 million establishments and 15.5 million employees). In addition, we anticipate that online transactions will cause the quantity of reverse logistics shipments to increase. Data indicate that online purchases of hazardous materials have increased. The National Retail Federation reported that in 2010, over 48% of all retail goods (by value) were purchased from on-line providers with an average return rate of 8%. Third-party logistics providers estimate that up to 7% of an enterprise’s gross sales are return costs. The thirdparty logistics providers themselves earn 12% to 15% in profits on this business. PHMSA is concerned that customers may often return opened or damaged packages containing hazardous materials without any regard for the HMR. This ANPRM seeks comment on whether additional language is needed to clarify how returns of hazardous materials purchased online should be handled. The rapidly expanding market for consumer electronics is another topic of interest with respect to the ‘‘reverse logistics’’ supply chain. As emerging technologies come online, there are an ever increasing number of batteries that come along with consumer devices. As the batteries in these devices become unusable, PHSMA expects to see large quantities of batteries being returned to retail outlets. PHMSA seeks comment on this assumption. This ANPRM is seeking comment on how the retail industry should handle the recycling or disposal of these batteries for use in consumer electronics. E:\FR\FM\05JYP1.SGM 05JYP1 wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 39664 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 129 / Thursday, July 5, 2012 / Proposed Rules In all of these scenarios, PHMSA enforcement efforts have shown that hazardous materials that are returned to the distribution centers or retail outlets are shipped in ways that are inconsistent with the requirements of the HMR. Often, these materials and packages may be damaged or compromised. Very often, the employees at the retail outlets responsible for packing and shipping these materials have little or no hazardous materials training. This may result in inadequate packaging and hazard communication. Below we identify potential problems that may be attributed with the reverse logistics of hazardous materials: 1. Lack of hazardous materials training by the employees at the retail outlet; 2. Different packaging from the original packaging being used to ship the material; 3. Lack of knowledge about the hazard class by the employee; 4. Potential for hazardous materials to be subject to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) waste manifest rules; 5. Items that were once classified as consumer commodities may no longer meet that exception; 6. Undeclared hazardous materials may be shipped within the stream of commerce; 7. Properly-marked and labeled original packaging is being improperly re-used to ship returned products that are either not hazardous materials or hazardous materials for which said packaging is not authorized; and 8. These shipments may not be accompanied by appropriate hazardous communication, such as shipping papers, emergency response numbers, placards, labels, markings, and other requirements of the HMR. PHMSA believes that its enforcement data show that ‘‘reverse logistics’’ issues involving hazardous materials will continue to rise with the increased consumption of goods in a growing economy. PHMSA believes it could be beneficial to identify those areas where PHMSA and the regulated community can work together to facilitate the movement of hazardous materials in the ‘‘reverse logistics’’ supply chain. This could include identifying whether or not there are actually safety concerns involving ‘‘reverse logistics’’ for the transport of hazardous materials as well as identifying potential solutions moving forward. PHMSA invites comments on the data and information contained in this section. How can we work together to better facilitate the movement of hazardous materials in the ‘‘reverse VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:29 Jul 03, 2012 Jkt 226001 logistics’’ supply chain? What data is available regarding the current and anticipated future number of reverse logistic shipments for hazardous materials? assessments and operational procedures? If so, what is a fair estimate of the potential costs? III. Issues To Be Considered As previously noted, the purpose of this ANPRM is to invite comments on ‘‘reverse logistics.’’ PHSMA is considering a definition for ‘‘reverse logistics’’ and a possible new section in the HMR that will clearly identify the regulatory responsibilities of the shipper. To assist PHMSA in getting valuable data and information from commenters, we have compiled questions pertaining to the ‘‘reverse logistics’’ process and welcome input from all interested parties. Below we outline the key issues identified above: PHMSA is considering regulatory relief for ‘‘reverse logistics.’’ We have developed the following questions to solicit comments on the key issues, please provide sources for your data when available: 1. What are the types of hazardous materials and quantities that are frequently returned? 2. What is the volume of returns? Is there a ‘‘rule-of-thumb’’ metric—e.g., 10% of retail sales are returned? • What is the current volume returned by private citizens? • What is the current volume returned by other businesses? • What are the most widely-used methods of return (U.S. Mail, Walk-ins, Commercial Carriers, etc.)? 3. Are returns directed to a disposal facility of the original manufacturer? 4. Should returns be the responsibility of the manufacturer? 5. To what extent should retail employees who package hazardous materials for shipments back to the distribution centers be subject to the training requirements in 49 CFR part 172, subpart H? Are retail employees currently being trained for the shipment of hazardous materials under 49 CFR part 172, subpart H? 6. Are hazardous materials being properly segregated as required by § 177.843 of the HMR when being shipped from retail outlets to their distribution centers? How are they being segregated? 7. Should certain hazard classes/ divisions be excluded when considering regulations for ‘‘reverse logistics?’’ If so, why? 8. Should PHMSA define specification packages for materials shipped under ‘‘reverse logistics’’? If so, why? 9. Are shipping and distribution companies assuring the safety of their employees and the public when allowing drop-box hazardous material returns? If so, how? 10. What precautions, if any, are these companies taking to avoid the mixing of hazardous materials and contamination of other packages that might contain hazardous materials and/or nonhazardous materials? 11. What role(s) do 3rd party logistics providers 1 play in the reverse logistics process, if any? A. Define Reverse Logistics PHMSA is considering a regulatory definition for ‘‘reverse logistics.’’ The definition would likely be added to 49 CFR 171.8. It would clearly define the term ‘‘reverse logistics.’’ Generally, ‘‘reverse logistics’’ is thought of as the flow of surplus or unwanted material, goods, or equipment back to the firm, through its logistics chain, for reuse, recycling, or disposal. By defining ‘‘reverse logistics’’ in the HMR, PHMSA will identify how it can assist the regulated community in ensuring the safe and swift movement of these materials in the ‘‘reverse logistics’’ supply chain. B. Create a Section Pertaining to the Shippers’ Responsibilities With Respect to Reverse Logistics PHMSA is considering adding a section outlining the shippers’ responsibilities with respect to ‘‘reverse logistics.’’ PHMSA believes a section outlining the regulations for materials meeting the definition of ‘‘reverse logistics’’ should address: 1. Classification of materials under the definition of ‘‘reverse logistics’’; 2. Training requirements for employees who handle materials under ‘‘reverse logistics;’’ and 3. Packaging approved for the shipment of hazardous materials under ‘‘reverse logistics.’’ PHMSA believes that, by outlining the responsibilities of shippers with respect to reverse logistics, it will contribute to the safe and efficient movement of these materials in commerce. Do commenters agree that outlining the responsibilities of the shippers with respect to reverse logistics will promote safe and efficient movement of these materials? Would regulated entities incur documentation costs to develop and maintain risk PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 C. Questions and Solicitation for Public Comment 1 The Reverse Logistics Association (RLA) defines 3rd party logistics providers as entities who E:\FR\FM\05JYP1.SGM 05JYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 129 / Thursday, July 5, 2012 / Proposed Rules 12. Have any specific safety risks been observed in returns of hazardous materials products that need to be addressed through rulemaking? If so, how should they be addressed and why? 13. How does the regulated community currently handle hazardous materials that are imported and must then be shipped back in the ‘‘reverse logistics’’ supply chain? 14. What data is available regarding the current and anticipated future number of reverse logistic shipments for hazardous materials? 15. Should PHMSA define ‘‘reverse logistics’’? If so, to what extent should PHMSA define types of shipments that would receive a relaxation under the HRM for ‘‘reverse logistics’’ shipments? If commenters suggest modification to the existing regulatory requirements, PHMSA requests that commenters be as specific as possible. In addition, PHMSA requests commenters to provide information and supporting data related to: 1. The potential costs of modifying the existing regulatory requirements pursuant to the commenter’s suggestions. 2. The potential quantifiable safety and societal benefits of modifying the existing regulatory requirements. 3. The potential impacts on small businesses of modifying the existing regulatory requirements. 4. The potential environmental impacts of modifying the existing regulatory requirements IV. Regulatory Issues wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS A. Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures Executive Orders 12866 (‘‘Regulatory Planning and Review’’) and 13563 (‘‘Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review’’) require agencies to regulate in the ‘‘most cost-effective manner,’’ to make a ‘‘reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs,’’ and to develop regulations that ‘‘impose the least burden on society.’’ Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has been designated a ‘‘significant regulatory action,’’ although not economically significant, under section 3(f) of ‘‘provide services for OEMs, ODMs and Branded Companies. Some of these services include, but are not limited to: Repair, customer service, parts management, end-of-life manufacturing, returns processing order fulfillment, help desk, and many aspects of field service repair.’’ VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:29 Jul 03, 2012 Jkt 226001 Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The ANPRM is considered a significant regulatory action under the Regulatory Policies and Procedures order issued by the Department of Transportation [44 FR 11034]. Executive PHMSA invites comments on this section. How should we approach the ‘‘reverse logistics’’ issue to ensure that we regulate in the ‘‘most cost-effective manner?’’ Please provide any cost or benefit figures to support that approach along with any sources that were used to obtain the information. B. Executive Order 13132 E.O. 13132 requires agencies to assure meaningful and timely input by state and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that may have a substantial, direct effect on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We invite state and local governments with an interest in this rulemaking to comment on any effect that revisions to the HMR relative to reverse logistics may cause. C. Executive Order 13175 E.O. 13175 requires agencies to assure meaningful and timely input from Indian tribal government representatives in the development of rules that ‘‘significantly or uniquely affect’’ Indian communities and that impose ‘‘substantial and direct compliance costs’’ on such communities. We invite Indian tribal governments to provide comments if they believe there will be an impact. D. Regulatory Flexibility Act, Executive Order 13272, and DOT Policies and Procedures Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), we must consider whether a rulemaking would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. ‘‘Small entities’’ include small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations under 50,000. If you believe that revisions to the HMR relative to reverse logistics would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, please submit a comment to explain how and to what extent your business or organization could be affected and whether there are alternative PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 39665 approaches to this regulations the agency should consider that would minimize any significant impact on small business while still meeting the agency’s statutory objectives Any future proposed rule would be developed in accordance with Executive Order 13272 (‘‘Proper Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking’’) and DOT’s procedures and policies to promote compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act to ensure that potential impacts on small entities of a regulatory action are properly considered. E. Paperwork Reduction Act Section 1320.8(d), Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations requires that PHMSA provide interested members of the public and affected agencies an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping requests. It is possible that new or revised information collection requirements could occur as a result of any future rulemaking action. We invite comment on the need for any collection of information and paperwork burdens, if any. F. National Environmental Policy Act The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4321–4375, requires federal agencies to consider the consequences of major Federal actions and prepare a detailed statement on actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. Under regulations promulgated by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), a federal agency may prepare an environmental assessment to determine whether it should prepare an environmental impact statement for a particular action. 40 CFR 1508.9(a). The environmental assessment should (1) briefly discuss the need for the proposed action, alternatives to the proposed action, and the probable environmental impacts of the proposed action and alternatives; and (2) include a listing of the agencies and persons consulted. 40 CFR 1508.9(b). PHMSA welcomes any data or information related to environmental impacts that may result from a reverse logistics rulemaking. G. Privacy Act Anyone is able to search the electronic form of any written communications and comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the document (or signing the document, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act E:\FR\FM\05JYP1.SGM 05JYP1 39666 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 129 / Thursday, July 5, 2012 / Proposed Rules Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477) or you may visit https:// www.dot.gov/privacy.html. H. Executive Order 13609 and International Trade Analysis Under E.O. 13609, agencies must consider whether the impacts associated with significant variations between domestic and international regulatory approaches are unnecessary or may impair the ability of American business to export and compete internationally. In meeting shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues, international regulatory cooperation can identify approaches that are at least as protective as those that are or would be adopted in the absence of such cooperation. International regulatory cooperation can also reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements. Similarly, the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96–39), as amended by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103–465), prohibits Federal agencies from establishing any standards or engaging in related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. For purposes of these requirements, Federal agencies may participate in the establishment of international standards, so long as the standards have a legitimate domestic objective, such as providing for safety, and do not operate to exclude imports that meet this objective. The statute also requires consideration of international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards. PHMSA participates in the establishment of international standards in order to protect the safety of the American public, and we have assessed the effects of the proposed rule to ensure that it does not cause unnecessary obstacles to foreign trade. Accordingly, this rulemaking is consistent with E.O. 13609 and PHMSA’s obligations under the Trade Agreement Act, as amended. wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS I. Statutory/Legal Authority for This Rulemaking 49 U.S.C. 5103(b) authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to prescribe regulations for the safe transportation, including security, of hazardous materials in intrastate, interstate, and foreign commerce. Our goal in this ANPRM is to gather the necessary information to determine a course of action in a potential Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) associated with the VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:29 Jul 03, 2012 Jkt 226001 issue of reverse logistics for the transportation of hazardous materials. J. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) A regulation identifier number (RIN) is assigned to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. The RIN contained in the heading of this document can be used to crossreference this action with the Unified Agenda. Issued in Washington, DC, on June 27, 2012 under authority delegated in 49 CFR part 106. William Schoonover, Deputy Associate Administrator for Field Operations, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. [FR Doc. 2012–16177 Filed 7–3–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–60–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS–R4–ES–2012–0030; 4500030113] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List Maytenus cymosa as Endangered or Threatened Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of 90-day petition finding. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 90-day finding on a petition to list the Maytenus cymosa (Caribbean mayten), a tree, as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), and to designate critical habitat. Based on our review, we find that the petition does not present substantial information indicating that listing M. cymosa may be warranted. Therefore, we are not initiating a status review in response to this petition. However, we ask the public to submit to us any new information that becomes available concerning the status of, or threats to, M. cymosa or its habitat at any time. DATES: The finding announced in this document was made on July 5, 2012. ADDRESSES: This finding is available on the Internet at https:// www.regulations.gov at Docket Number FWS–R4–ES–2012–0030. Supporting documentation we used in preparing SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 this finding is available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office ´ (CESFO), P.O. Box 491, Boqueron, PR 00622. Please submit any new information, materials, comments, or questions concerning this finding to the above address. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marelisa Rivera, Deputy Field Supervisor of the Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES), by telephone at 787–851–7297, or by facsimile at 787–851–7440. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires that we make a finding on whether a petition to list, delist, or reclassify a species presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. We are to base this finding on information provided in the petition, supporting information submitted with the petition, and information otherwise available in our files. To the maximum extent practicable, we are to make this finding within 90 days of our receipt of the petition, and publish our notice of the finding promptly in the Federal Register. Our standard for substantial scientific or commercial information within the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) with regard to a 90-day petition finding is ‘‘that amount of information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the measure proposed in the petition may be warranted’’ (50 CFR 424.14(b)). If we find that substantial scientific or commercial information was presented, we are required to promptly conduct a species status review, which we subsequently summarize in our 12-month finding. Petition History On October 6, 2011, we received a petition, dated September 28, 2011, from Mark N. Salvo of Wild Earth Guardians, requesting that Maytenus cymosa be listed as endangered or threatened, and that critical habitat be designated, under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite identification information for the petitioner, as required by 50 CFR 424.14(a). The Service acknowledged receipt of the E:\FR\FM\05JYP1.SGM 05JYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 129 (Thursday, July 5, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 39662-39666]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-16177]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

49 CFR Parts 171, 173, and 178

[Docket No. PHMSA-2011-0143 (HM-253)]
RIN 2137-AE81


Hazardous Materials; Reverse Logistics (RRR)

AGENCY: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), 
DOT.

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: PHMSA is publishing this ANPRM to identify ways to reduce the 
regulatory burden for persons who ship consumer products containing 
hazardous materials in the ``reverse logistics'' supply chain. Reverse 
logistics is the process that is initiated when a consumer product goes 
backwards in the distribution chain. It may be initiated by the 
consumer, the retailer, or anyone else in the chain. Therefore, the 
process may involve consumers, retailers, manufacturers, and even 
disposal facilities. Following this ANPRM, PHMSA anticipates publishing 
an NPRM that will propose to simplify the regulations for reverse 
logistics shipments and provide avenue means for regulatory compliance 
that maintains transportation safety. This action is part of DOT's 
retrospective plan under EO 13563 completed in August 2011 DOT's plan 
is available at: https://www.dot.gov/open/docs/dot-final-rrr-plan-08-23-2011.pdf. To fully engage the broad spectrum of stakeholders affected 
by reverse logistics, this ANPRM solicits comments and input on several 
questions in the context of reverse logistics. Any comments, data, and 
information received will be used to evaluate and shape the proposals 
in the NPRM.

DATES: Comments must be received by October 3, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the docket number 
PHMSA-2011-0143 (HM-253) by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management System, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Dockets Operations, M-30, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation To Docket 
Operations, M-30, Ground Floor, Room W12-140 in the West Building, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and 
docket number (PHMSA-2011-0143) or RIN (RIN 2137-AE81) for this notice 
at the beginning of the comment. Note that all comments received will 
be posted without change to the docket management system, including any 
personal information provided. If sent by mail, comments must be 
submitted in duplicated. Persons wishing to receive confirmation of 
receipt of their comments must include a self-addressed stamped 
postcard.
    Docket: For access to the dockets to read background documents or 
comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov or DOT's Docket 
Operations Office (see ADDRESSES).
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of any 
written communications and comments received into any of our dockets by 
the name of the individual submitting the document (or signing the 
document, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor 
union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in 
the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 [45 FR 19477] or you 
may visit https://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steven Andrews, Office of Hazardous 
Materials Standards, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety 
Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001, telephone (202) 366-8553.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    In general, ``reverse logistics'' pertains to the safe return of 
goods from the marketplace to the original vendor, manufacturer, or 
supplier. Reverse logistics of hazardous materials affects many 
industries including high-tech, retail, medical, pharmaceutical, 
automotive, and aerospace. In effect, reverse logistics is the supply 
chain in reverse. PHMSA is publishing this ANPRM to identify possible 
ways to reduce the regulatory burden on retail outlets that ship 
consumer products containing hazardous materials in the ``reverse 
logistics'' supply chain. PHMSA is looking to evaluate the shipment of 
``reverse logistics'' by

[[Page 39663]]

highway, rail, and vessel. In addition, PHMSA received two petitions 
from industry regarding the shipping requirements for ``reverse 
logistics'' shipments. These petitions are outlined as follows:

P-1528

    PHMSA received a petition from the Council on the Safe 
Transportation of Hazardous Articles Inc. (COSTHA) outlining issues 
related to hazardous materials and ``reverse logistics.'' In its 
petition for rulemaking (P-1528), COSTHA proposed that the HMR include 
a definition for ``reverse logistics'' in Sec.  171.8 and add a new 
section, Sec.  173.157 to outline the general requirements and 
exceptions for hazardous materials shipped in the context of ``reverse 
logistics.'' In its petition COSTHA identified an unquantifiable 
exposure to risk presented through undeclared hazmat from retail 
outlets. This includes retail operations that unknowingly return 
articles containing hazardous materials to the product manufacturing 
that are potentially compromised. The purpose of this ANPRM is to 
gather data on how these hazardous materials are shipped with respect 
to ``reverse logistics.''
    COSTHA noted that hazardous materials commonly shipped from 
distribution centers to various retail outlets are often shipped under 
the ORM-D exception. PHMSA notes that the ORM-D exception allows for a 
hazardous material, which is a limited quantity and which meets the 
consumer commodity definition, to be reclassified as an ORM-D and 
assigned a consumer commodity shipping name. However, in a final rule 
issued under docket HM-215K (76 FR 3308, January 19, 2011), PHMSA began 
phasing out the ORM-D hazard class. Based on the final rule, the phase-
out of the ORM-D system will be completed on December 31, 2014. Those 
materials previously shipped under the ORM-D hazard class may be able 
to be shipped as consumer commodities under the appropriate limited 
quantities exception in part 173.
    COSTHA has indicated that a significant volume of these hazardous 
materials are returned to the retail outlet by the customer. PHMSA 
believes based on its enforcement experience that significant 
quantities of these returned hazardous materials may be in damaged 
packaging or even leaking prior to their shipment back to the return 
center. If this is the case, the materials must be repackaged and 
shipped as fully regulated hazardous materials under the HMR. The HMR 
generally defines a ``hazmat employee'' as a person employed on a full-
time, part time, or temporary basis by a hazmat employer and who in the 
course of such full time, part time or temporary employment directly 
affects hazardous materials transportation safety. However, PHMSA 
recognizes that most retail employees or other related employees are 
not readily identifiable as ``hazmat employees'' as defined by Sec.  
171.8 of the HMR. Consequently this results in employees that often 
lack sufficient training and qualifications to classify, package, mark, 
label, and ship hazardous materials. This may result in unsafe shipping 
practices (e.g., hazardous materials shipped in containers that are not 
designed for the safe transportation of hazardous materials.) These 
occurrences are often exacerbated by hazardous materials being 
improperly segregated in packages. COSTHA also noted that equipment 
powered by internal combustion engines may be returned to retail 
outlets after being used and may contain residual fuel, posing a 
hazardous materials risk.

P-1561

    PHMSA received a petition (P-1561) from the Battery Council 
International (Battery Council). In its petition, the Battery Council 
requests that PHMSA allow the shipment of used batteries from multiple 
shippers on a single transport vehicle under the exception provided in 
Sec.  173.159(e). The Battery Council notes in their petition that 
currently the exception in Sec.  173.159(e) does not clearly allow for 
shipment of used batteries from multiple shippers for the purposes of 
recycling. The petition also notes that, when this regulation was 
written in 1969, it was not common practice for battery to be recycled 
using multiple shippers. PHMSA believes that the collection of these 
used batteries for return, disposal, or recycling falls within the 
realm of ``reverse logistics.'' Currently Sec.  173.159(e)(4) prevents 
a battery recycler from picking up shipments of used batteries from 
multiple locations. In looking at incident history, PHMSA has not 
identified any significant incidents involving the shipment of wet lead 
acid batteries. PHMSA believes that modifying this section to allow 
battery recyclers to pick up wet lead acid batteries from multiple 
locations will likely reduce the number of battery shipments on the 
highway and thus reduce the likelihood of an accident involving hazmat.

II. Analysis of the Problem

    Under the current HMR, consumer products that are no longer 
suitable for retail sale are considered fully regulated. This presents 
a problem to retail outlets in that many may not have the necessary 
training or resources to handle fully regulated hazardous materials. 
PHMSA is looking to identify ways to potentially reduce the regulatory 
burden associated with the return of these hazardous materials in the 
``reverse logistics'' supply chain, while at the same time ensuring 
their safe transportation.
    According to the Reverse Logistics Association (RLA), the process 
of reverse logistics represents 3-15% of the Gross Domestic Product, 
which is estimated between $360 billion and $1.8 trillion. Retail 
outlets often accept returns of hazardous materials from customers that 
are ultimately shipped back to distribution centers. Retail sales of 
goods are a primary driver of goods returned. According to the 2007 
Economic Census, wholesale trade in the U.S. reached $6.5 trillion (a 
40% increase from the 2002 census) among 435 thousand establishments 
and 6.2 million employees, while retail sales reached $3.9 trillion (a 
28% increase among 1.1 million establishments and 15.5 million 
employees).
    In addition, we anticipate that online transactions will cause the 
quantity of reverse logistics shipments to increase. Data indicate that 
online purchases of hazardous materials have increased. The National 
Retail Federation reported that in 2010, over 48% of all retail goods 
(by value) were purchased from on-line providers with an average return 
rate of 8%. Third-party logistics providers estimate that up to 7% of 
an enterprise's gross sales are return costs. The third-party logistics 
providers themselves earn 12% to 15% in profits on this business. PHMSA 
is concerned that customers may often return opened or damaged packages 
containing hazardous materials without any regard for the HMR. This 
ANPRM seeks comment on whether additional language is needed to clarify 
how returns of hazardous materials purchased online should be handled.
    The rapidly expanding market for consumer electronics is another 
topic of interest with respect to the ``reverse logistics'' supply 
chain. As emerging technologies come online, there are an ever 
increasing number of batteries that come along with consumer devices. 
As the batteries in these devices become unusable, PHSMA expects to see 
large quantities of batteries being returned to retail outlets. PHMSA 
seeks comment on this assumption. This ANPRM is seeking comment on how 
the retail industry should handle the recycling or disposal of these 
batteries for use in consumer electronics.

[[Page 39664]]

    In all of these scenarios, PHMSA enforcement efforts have shown 
that hazardous materials that are returned to the distribution centers 
or retail outlets are shipped in ways that are inconsistent with the 
requirements of the HMR. Often, these materials and packages may be 
damaged or compromised. Very often, the employees at the retail outlets 
responsible for packing and shipping these materials have little or no 
hazardous materials training. This may result in inadequate packaging 
and hazard communication. Below we identify potential problems that may 
be attributed with the reverse logistics of hazardous materials:
    1. Lack of hazardous materials training by the employees at the 
retail outlet;
    2. Different packaging from the original packaging being used to 
ship the material;
    3. Lack of knowledge about the hazard class by the employee;
    4. Potential for hazardous materials to be subject to Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) waste manifest rules;
    5. Items that were once classified as consumer commodities may no 
longer meet that exception;
    6. Undeclared hazardous materials may be shipped within the stream 
of commerce;
    7. Properly-marked and labeled original packaging is being 
improperly re-used to ship returned products that are either not 
hazardous materials or hazardous materials for which said packaging is 
not authorized; and
    8. These shipments may not be accompanied by appropriate hazardous 
communication, such as shipping papers, emergency response numbers, 
placards, labels, markings, and other requirements of the HMR.
    PHMSA believes that its enforcement data show that ``reverse 
logistics'' issues involving hazardous materials will continue to rise 
with the increased consumption of goods in a growing economy. PHMSA 
believes it could be beneficial to identify those areas where PHMSA and 
the regulated community can work together to facilitate the movement of 
hazardous materials in the ``reverse logistics'' supply chain. This 
could include identifying whether or not there are actually safety 
concerns involving ``reverse logistics'' for the transport of hazardous 
materials as well as identifying potential solutions moving forward.
    PHMSA invites comments on the data and information contained in 
this section. How can we work together to better facilitate the 
movement of hazardous materials in the ``reverse logistics'' supply 
chain? What data is available regarding the current and anticipated 
future number of reverse logistic shipments for hazardous materials?

III. Issues To Be Considered

    As previously noted, the purpose of this ANPRM is to invite 
comments on ``reverse logistics.'' PHSMA is considering a definition 
for ``reverse logistics'' and a possible new section in the HMR that 
will clearly identify the regulatory responsibilities of the shipper. 
To assist PHMSA in getting valuable data and information from 
commenters, we have compiled questions pertaining to the ``reverse 
logistics'' process and welcome input from all interested parties. 
Below we outline the key issues identified above:

A. Define Reverse Logistics

    PHMSA is considering a regulatory definition for ``reverse 
logistics.'' The definition would likely be added to 49 CFR 171.8. It 
would clearly define the term ``reverse logistics.'' Generally, 
``reverse logistics'' is thought of as the flow of surplus or unwanted 
material, goods, or equipment back to the firm, through its logistics 
chain, for reuse, recycling, or disposal. By defining ``reverse 
logistics'' in the HMR, PHMSA will identify how it can assist the 
regulated community in ensuring the safe and swift movement of these 
materials in the ``reverse logistics'' supply chain.

B. Create a Section Pertaining to the Shippers' Responsibilities With 
Respect to Reverse Logistics

    PHMSA is considering adding a section outlining the shippers' 
responsibilities with respect to ``reverse logistics.'' PHMSA believes 
a section outlining the regulations for materials meeting the 
definition of ``reverse logistics'' should address:
    1. Classification of materials under the definition of ``reverse 
logistics'';
    2. Training requirements for employees who handle materials under 
``reverse logistics;'' and
    3. Packaging approved for the shipment of hazardous materials under 
``reverse logistics.''
    PHMSA believes that, by outlining the responsibilities of shippers 
with respect to reverse logistics, it will contribute to the safe and 
efficient movement of these materials in commerce. Do commenters agree 
that outlining the responsibilities of the shippers with respect to 
reverse logistics will promote safe and efficient movement of these 
materials? Would regulated entities incur documentation costs to 
develop and maintain risk assessments and operational procedures? If 
so, what is a fair estimate of the potential costs?

C. Questions and Solicitation for Public Comment

    PHMSA is considering regulatory relief for ``reverse logistics.'' 
We have developed the following questions to solicit comments on the 
key issues, please provide sources for your data when available:
    1. What are the types of hazardous materials and quantities that 
are frequently returned?
    2. What is the volume of returns? Is there a ``rule-of-thumb'' 
metric--e.g., 10% of retail sales are returned?
     What is the current volume returned by private citizens?
     What is the current volume returned by other businesses?
     What are the most widely-used methods of return (U.S. 
Mail, Walk-ins, Commercial Carriers, etc.)?
    3. Are returns directed to a disposal facility of the original 
manufacturer?
    4. Should returns be the responsibility of the manufacturer?
    5. To what extent should retail employees who package hazardous 
materials for shipments back to the distribution centers be subject to 
the training requirements in 49 CFR part 172, subpart H? Are retail 
employees currently being trained for the shipment of hazardous 
materials under 49 CFR part 172, subpart H?
    6. Are hazardous materials being properly segregated as required by 
Sec.  177.843 of the HMR when being shipped from retail outlets to 
their distribution centers? How are they being segregated?
    7. Should certain hazard classes/divisions be excluded when 
considering regulations for ``reverse logistics?'' If so, why?
    8. Should PHMSA define specification packages for materials shipped 
under ``reverse logistics''? If so, why?
    9. Are shipping and distribution companies assuring the safety of 
their employees and the public when allowing drop-box hazardous 
material returns? If so, how?
    10. What precautions, if any, are these companies taking to avoid 
the mixing of hazardous materials and contamination of other packages 
that might contain hazardous materials and/or non-hazardous materials?
    11. What role(s) do 3rd party logistics providers \1\ play in the 
reverse logistics process, if any?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The Reverse Logistics Association (RLA) defines 3rd party 
logistics providers as entities who ``provide services for OEMs, 
ODMs and Branded Companies. Some of these services include, but are 
not limited to: Repair, customer service, parts management, end-of-
life manufacturing, returns processing order fulfillment, help desk, 
and many aspects of field service repair.''

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 39665]]

    12. Have any specific safety risks been observed in returns of 
hazardous materials products that need to be addressed through 
rulemaking? If so, how should they be addressed and why?
    13. How does the regulated community currently handle hazardous 
materials that are imported and must then be shipped back in the 
``reverse logistics'' supply chain?
    14. What data is available regarding the current and anticipated 
future number of reverse logistic shipments for hazardous materials?
    15. Should PHMSA define ``reverse logistics''? If so, to what 
extent should PHMSA define types of shipments that would receive a 
relaxation under the HRM for ``reverse logistics'' shipments?
    If commenters suggest modification to the existing regulatory 
requirements, PHMSA requests that commenters be as specific as 
possible. In addition, PHMSA requests commenters to provide information 
and supporting data related to:
    1. The potential costs of modifying the existing regulatory 
requirements pursuant to the commenter's suggestions.
    2. The potential quantifiable safety and societal benefits of 
modifying the existing regulatory requirements.
    3. The potential impacts on small businesses of modifying the 
existing regulatory requirements.
    4. The potential environmental impacts of modifying the existing 
regulatory requirements

IV. Regulatory Issues

A. Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, and DOT Regulatory 
Policies and Procedures

    Executive Orders 12866 (``Regulatory Planning and Review'') and 
13563 (``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review'') require agencies 
to regulate in the ``most cost-effective manner,'' to make a ``reasoned 
determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its 
costs,'' and to develop regulations that ``impose the least burden on 
society.''
    Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both 
costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of 
promoting flexibility. This rule has been designated a ``significant 
regulatory action,'' although not economically significant, under 
section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the rule has been 
reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The ANPRM is 
considered a significant regulatory action under the Regulatory 
Policies and Procedures order issued by the Department of 
Transportation [44 FR 11034].
    Executive PHMSA invites comments on this section. How should we 
approach the ``reverse logistics'' issue to ensure that we regulate in 
the ``most cost-effective manner?'' Please provide any cost or benefit 
figures to support that approach along with any sources that were used 
to obtain the information.

B. Executive Order 13132

    E.O. 13132 requires agencies to assure meaningful and timely input 
by state and local officials in the development of regulatory policies 
that may have a substantial, direct effect on the states, on the 
relationship between the national government and the states, or on the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government. We invite state and local governments with an interest in 
this rulemaking to comment on any effect that revisions to the HMR 
relative to reverse logistics may cause.

C. Executive Order 13175

    E.O. 13175 requires agencies to assure meaningful and timely input 
from Indian tribal government representatives in the development of 
rules that ``significantly or uniquely affect'' Indian communities and 
that impose ``substantial and direct compliance costs'' on such 
communities. We invite Indian tribal governments to provide comments if 
they believe there will be an impact.

D. Regulatory Flexibility Act, Executive Order 13272, and DOT Policies 
and Procedures

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601 et 
seq.), we must consider whether a rulemaking would have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. ``Small 
entities'' include small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that 
are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their 
fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations under 50,000. 
If you believe that revisions to the HMR relative to reverse logistics 
would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities, please submit a comment to explain how and to what 
extent your business or organization could be affected and whether 
there are alternative approaches to this regulations the agency should 
consider that would minimize any significant impact on small business 
while still meeting the agency's statutory objectives
    Any future proposed rule would be developed in accordance with 
Executive Order 13272 (``Proper Consideration of Small Entities in 
Agency Rulemaking'') and DOT's procedures and policies to promote 
compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act to ensure that potential 
impacts on small entities of a regulatory action are properly 
considered.

E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Section 1320.8(d), Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations requires 
that PHMSA provide interested members of the public and affected 
agencies an opportunity to comment on information collection and 
recordkeeping requests. It is possible that new or revised information 
collection requirements could occur as a result of any future 
rulemaking action. We invite comment on the need for any collection of 
information and paperwork burdens, if any.

F. National Environmental Policy Act

    The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4375, 
requires federal agencies to consider the consequences of major Federal 
actions and prepare a detailed statement on actions significantly 
affecting the quality of the human environment. Under regulations 
promulgated by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), a federal 
agency may prepare an environmental assessment to determine whether it 
should prepare an environmental impact statement for a particular 
action. 40 CFR 1508.9(a). The environmental assessment should (1) 
briefly discuss the need for the proposed action, alternatives to the 
proposed action, and the probable environmental impacts of the proposed 
action and alternatives; and (2) include a listing of the agencies and 
persons consulted. 40 CFR 1508.9(b). PHMSA welcomes any data or 
information related to environmental impacts that may result from a 
reverse logistics rulemaking.

G. Privacy Act

    Anyone is able to search the electronic form of any written 
communications and comments received into any of our dockets by the 
name of the individual submitting the document (or signing the 
document, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor 
union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act

[[Page 39666]]

Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 
19477) or you may visit https://www.dot.gov/privacy.html.

H. Executive Order 13609 and International Trade Analysis

    Under E.O. 13609, agencies must consider whether the impacts 
associated with significant variations between domestic and 
international regulatory approaches are unnecessary or may impair the 
ability of American business to export and compete internationally. In 
meeting shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, 
environmental, and other issues, international regulatory cooperation 
can identify approaches that are at least as protective as those that 
are or would be adopted in the absence of such cooperation. 
International regulatory cooperation can also reduce, eliminate, or 
prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements.
    Similarly, the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39), as 
amended by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465), 
prohibits Federal agencies from establishing any standards or engaging 
in related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign 
commerce of the United States. For purposes of these requirements, 
Federal agencies may participate in the establishment of international 
standards, so long as the standards have a legitimate domestic 
objective, such as providing for safety, and do not operate to exclude 
imports that meet this objective. The statute also requires 
consideration of international standards and, where appropriate, that 
they be the basis for U.S. standards.
    PHMSA participates in the establishment of international standards 
in order to protect the safety of the American public, and we have 
assessed the effects of the proposed rule to ensure that it does not 
cause unnecessary obstacles to foreign trade. Accordingly, this 
rulemaking is consistent with E.O. 13609 and PHMSA's obligations under 
the Trade Agreement Act, as amended.

I. Statutory/Legal Authority for This Rulemaking

    49 U.S.C. 5103(b) authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to 
prescribe regulations for the safe transportation, including security, 
of hazardous materials in intrastate, interstate, and foreign commerce. 
Our goal in this ANPRM is to gather the necessary information to 
determine a course of action in a potential Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (NPRM) associated with the issue of reverse logistics for 
the transportation of hazardous materials.

J. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)

    A regulation identifier number (RIN) is assigned to each regulatory 
action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. The 
Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in 
April and October of each year. The RIN contained in the heading of 
this document can be used to cross-reference this action with the 
Unified Agenda.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on June 27, 2012 under authority 
delegated in 49 CFR part 106.
William Schoonover,
Deputy Associate Administrator for Field Operations, Pipeline and 
Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
[FR Doc. 2012-16177 Filed 7-3-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-60-P