The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has the primary responsibility for the issuance of DOT special permits and approvals for hazardous materials and for natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines. Special permits authorize a person to perform a function outside of PHMSA regulations or to not perform a function currently required under the PHMSA regulations. Approvals authorize the transportation of designated hazardous materials (i.e. explosives) or the performance of a designated hazardous materials function (i.e. cylinder retester) under the PHMSA regulations. Use the menu on the left to learn more about special permits and approvals for hazardous materials and pipelines.
Hazardous Materials Safety
PHMSA has the primary responsibility for the issuance of DOT special permits and approvals to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). A special permit is a document which authorizes a person to perform a function that is not currently authorized under the authority of the HMR. An approval is a document that is issued under specific authority granted in the HMR (for example this authority covers the approval of explosives, organic peroxides, and chemical oxygen generators).
An operator of natural gas or hazardous liquid pipelines may request a Special Permit from satisfying Federal pipeline safety regulations if they feel compliance would not be appropriate due to unique circumstances. PHMSA may grant a Special Permit, at its discretion, if sufficient alternative safeguards to the public safety are implemented.