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The Journal of HazMat Transportation

A Publication of PRI International, Inc.

Volume 26, Number 5 January/February 2016

In This Issue 1


Summary of U.S. D.O.T. Rule & Rulemaking Activity     61-64

Also go to, Critical Dates. Summaries are linked to our reports and Federal Register notices.

Compliance Dates:  For a summary of important international and U.S. compliance dates, please login to and go to Critical Dates: Compliance Dates.  Summaries are linked to our reports and Federal Register notices.


A Summary Review of Recent and Important DOT Letters of Interpretation of the Hazardous Materials Regulations from November and December 2015.

  • Adding Safety Features to a Tested Lithium Battery 22
  • Marking of the UN ID Numbers on Cargo Transport Units under the IMDG Code 25
  • Overfilling a Cylinder During the Filling Process     26
  • Packaging that Meets Neither Bulk nor Non-Bulk Definitions         31
  • Limited Quantity Description for a Shipment Under the ICAO Technical Instructions       36
  • Marking for Pressure Relief Devices Installed on Cargo Tank Motor Vehicles       37
  • Applicability of HM-251 Requirements to Materials with a Class 3 Subsidiary Hazard     42

By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor


Challenges for Supply Chain Hazard Communication Labeling            17-18
By Michele Sullivan, Ph.D., Technical Advisor

Dr. Sullivan examines some of the issues that may be encountered with the harmonization in the US with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) and the incorporation of GHS labels into the supply chain. Of the topics included are: language for labels; HCS 2012 labeling for USA export and imports, and exporting of hazardous chemicals; HCS 2012 labeling for importing hazardous chemicals; and additional information.

Placard Requirements for Combustible Goods in Transport: Reader Inquiry 44
By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor

Mr. Mazzullo responds to a request for clarification on the requirements for a white lower portion on COMBUSTIBLE placards when used for transportation by highway.


Report of the 48th UN TDG Sub-Committee Meeting: November/December 2015, Second of the Biennium        36-38
By Frits Wybenga, Senior Technical Advisor

From Geneva: Mr. Wybenga reports on the results of the second meeting on the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UN SCETDG) of the biennium; the next 20th edition of the UN Model Regulations will be produced after the next two meetings of the SCETDG. Decisions and discussions focused on: Explosives; listing and classification; lithium batteries; gases; hazard communication; packaging; and corrosivity.


“FAST” Act Makes Changes to Hazmat Transportation Law and Affects HM-251 Tank Car Provisions            6-8
By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor

On December 4, 2015, the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act” (“FAST Act”) was signed into law to provide long-term funding for DOT’s surface transportation programs and makes changes to many of these programs. Included in this 1300+ page law is the “Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2015” HMTSIA 2015. Read for a review of the appropriations for DOT’s hazardous materials transportation programs, amended provisions in Federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Law (FHMTL; 49 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.), and affected provisions in the HM-251 final rule on transport of flammable liquids in tank cars.

FAST Act – What's in it? Hazardous Materials Safety and Improvement         9-12
By JHMT Staff         

This report examines the FAST Act, taking a look at industry priorities and reviewing the Act section-by-section. Particular attention is also paid to the subjects of a hazmat fee increase, funding, effective date, and next steps.


Question Regarding Obligation to Maintain a Security Plan as Prescribed in 172.800.           30
By Frits Wybenga, Senior Technical Advisor

Mr. Wybenga responds in-depth to a question as to the requirements for maintaining a security plan for a treatment facility shipping hazardous waste. His answer takes into account several important factors.


Reader Inquiry: Use of a Single Packaging as an Outer Packaging without Retest      43
By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor

Mr. Mazzullo delves into two letters of interpretation from PHMSA to illuminate the nuances of transporting liquids in packagings with inner receptacles. In some cases, the packaging may or may not need to be retested as a combination packaging; read for additional perspective drawn from previous comments from The Journal on this issue.


A Review of Decisions by the 25th Session of the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel (October 2015)      19-23
Part I - Lithium Battery Related Changes
Part II - Other Amendments Discussed at the 25th Session of the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel    
By Frits Wybenga, Senior Technical Advisor

Frits Wybenga provides this exclusive two-part review of the most recent meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Dangerous Goods Panel (ICAO DGP). Part I focuses on changes related to lithium batteries; Part II reviews other amendments discussed by the DGP, including those affecting classification and packaging.

Examining the IATA Size Requirements for Proper Shipping Name Markings           35
By Frits Wybenga, Senior Technical Advisor

Mr. Wybenga examines the two marking size requirements in Section of the International Air Transport Association’s Dangerous Goods Regulations (IATA DGR) in order to respond to a question regarding proper shipping name markings.


PHMSA Issues HM-233F Final Rule Adopting 96 Special Permits into the HMR       31-34
By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor  

Final Rule HM-233F Hazardous Materials: Adoption of Special Permits was published by PHMSA on January 21, 2016, to incorporate provisions contained in 96 widely-used or long-standing special permits (SPs) into the HMR. Mr. Mazzullo presents the background of the rulemaking and examines changes categorically.


OSHA Inspections: Agency Process and Employer Prerogative             24-29
By Ronce Almond, Glenn Wicks, Marina O’Brien, The Wicks Group, PLLC

The authorities from the Wicks Group provide an overview of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) inspection process. Presented are practical approaches for employers to consider if subject to an OSHA inspection.


IMO Update: Changes to International Standards for Transportation by Vessel        41-42
By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor

This report reviews updates upcoming and past amendments to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code. Also presented is information on compliance dates; revised guidance on the use of IMO portable tanks; and mandatory container weight verification.


PHMSA’s HM-260 Editorial Corrections Rule Clarifies Lithium Battery Provisions  39-40
By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor

On November 23, 2015, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published the HM-260 final rule, titled Hazardous Materials: Editorial Corrections and Clarifications. Read for a highlight on the large number of editorial changes; corrected misspellings and incorrect section references; restored text inadvertently deleted in the process of publishing past final rules; and clarifications of certain HMR regulatory provisions. 


 The Journal of HazMat Transportation’s Exclusive Comments on the U.S. DOT Letters of the Hazardous Materials Regulations               13-16
By Frits Wybenga, Senior Technical Advisor
- Definition of non-bulk and bulk
- Definition of a “tank car facility”
- Inclusion of “limited quantity” on the NOPIC


U.S. DOT Letters of Interpretation of the Hazardous Materials Regulations: November and December 2015, January 2016. Twenty-four letters sorted, indexed and provided verbatim. 


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