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Changes to the Hazardous Materials Regulations, such as additions, deletions, and corrections must be accomplished through rulemakings.
Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) apply to carriers, shippers, and drivers who transport hazardous materials in the United States.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issues all rulemakings that change the Hazardous Materials Regulations.
PHMSA will often issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in which suggested changes are discussed and comments are requested on the possible options.
If the changes are not very complicated, or after comments from an ANPRM have been reviewed, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) will be issued. The NPRM will have the exact wording and changes as they could appear in a final rule. Comments on the proposed changes are requested.
After comments on an NPRM are reviewed, a Final Rule will be issued. This Final Rule will contain the changes to the regulations. The changes may become effective on the date of publication or at a date specified in the rulemaking. The date when the changes become effective is when they actually change the regulations. Compliance with the changes may be mandatory on the effective date or it could be delayed, in some cases for several years.
Even after the Final Rule is issued, comments can still be submitted, and appropriate changes may be made by PHMSA. If these changes are made, they will be issued in another final rule.