WSR 97-03-118

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

[Filed January 21, 1997, 3:30 p.m.]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: WAC 468-300-210 Transporting hazardous materials on Washington state ferries.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 47.56.030 and 47.60.326.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The Washington State Transportation Commission is considering modifying WAC 468-300-210, relating to the transportation of hazardous materials on Washington state ferries. More particularly, the question relates to transportation in bulk of such commodities as gasoline and certain chemicals used in a variety of manufacturing processes.

As currently drafted, the rule allows the shipment of such commodities, on a cost reimbursement basis, on special vessel runs that are conducted when vessels are not engaged in the transportation of passengers. Although the rule applies system wide, the issue is particularly important for the San Juan Islands and for Vashon Island, as alternative means of transporting such commodities to the residents of those islands are either limited or nonexistent.

Among the specific proposals that the commission will be considering are the following:

Adding a requirement that shippers who use the ferry system runs for transporting hazardous materials provide proof of insurance for property damage and liability and name the ferry system as an additional insured on the shippers' policies. The current recommendation is that such coverage be at least $1 million ($2 million for pollution coverage). The commission will also be considering whether the amount or type of coverage recommended is sufficient, and would appreciate comments on same.

Adding language to the rule that makes it clear the current practice of including dead head or stand by time in the costs that are recovered under the provisions of the current rule.

In addition the commission is interested in receiving comments or suggestions as to other changes that it should consider, or not consider, in connection with this rule, WAC 466-07-210 (dealing with exclusive chartering of WSF vessels) or the issue of transporting hazardous materials on ferries in general.

In addition to the two issues identified above, a number of proposals have been suggested for the commission's consideration. These proposals could increase costs of service or have an economic impact on individuals, businesses or the public at large. The commission is interested in receiving comments on the cost or economic impact of these proposals. They include, without being limited to, the following:

Not providing transportation of such materials if there are alternative means available to transport the materials to a particular location.

Establishing an annual rate for transporting hazardous materials, rather than making seasonal adjustments per the current rule. Given that the establishment of an equitable annual rate could be complex, the commission is interested in suggestions on how such an annual rate should be calculated, and whether an annual rate is frequent enough to accurately assess and recover the costs.

Establishing a fixed price, either per vessel run or per vehicle for those vessel runs involving the transportation of hazardous materials, rather than charging actual costs for a particular run and dividing them according to the number of shipments involved in a particular vessel run (costs under the current rule vary depending on staffing and vessel availability, etc.).

Treating hazardous transportation runs as "charters" under WAC 466-07-010 (2)(b), and applying the "costs plus fifty per cent" formula of that rule in calculating costs.

Changing the method of calculating the charge for exclusive charters under WAC 466-07-010 (2)(b) by increasing, decreasing or eliminating the "surcharge" required under the current rule.

After receiving public comments and input on the issues, the commission will decide which, if any, of these issues should be pursued further. If there is to be consideration of changes to the current provisions of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), specific rules setting forth the proposed changes will be filed and published in the Washington state register in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. A public hearing will be conducted before any final action is taken by the commission.

Please direct your written comments to Washington State Transportation Commission, P.O. Box 47308, Olympia, WA 98504-7308, or e-mail your comments to the commission at transc@wsdot.wa.gov. Comments must be received by March 1, 1997.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.

Process for Developing New Rule: Regular rule-making process.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by sending written comments to Washington State Transportation Commission, P.O. Box 47308, Olympia, WA 98504-7308, FAX (360) 705-6802, e-mail transc@wsdot.wa.gov, phone (360) 705-7070.

January 21, 1997

Chris R. Rose

Administrator

Legislature Code Reviser

Register

Washington State Code Reviser's Office