NPGA and Hazmat Transporters Remove Satellite Tracking Provision

Washington, DC (July 28, 2017) — The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), working with other hazardous material transporters, has succeeded in removing an expensive satellite tracking technology mandate provision from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) authorization legislation. The first draft of H.R. 2825 released by the House Homeland Security Committee contained a provision weakening the statutory ban on DHS that prevents it from mandating the installation of satellite tracking technologies on trucks transporting hazardous materials.

NPGA notes that in the absence of the statutory ban, DHS could proceed with a regulation to require satellite tracking technology on certain hazardous materials, in addition to the electronic logging devices required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The association in June joined other hazardous materials transporters in sending a letter to the House Homeland Security Committee outlining objections to the provision.

NPGA reports that as the committee was reviewing the bill it continued to lobby against the provision. A conservative cost estimate of requiring tracking technology would be $1000 per vehicle. Aside from the cost, the association observes there are concerns about the cybersecurity of a tracking database, providing an opening for hackers to exploit the transportation sector.

Subsequently, NPGA learned ahead of the committee markup of H.R. 2825 that the provision would be removed. The legislation overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives July 20. The final version of the bill did not include the tracking provision, keeping in place the statutory ban on implementing a rule.