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The Journal of HazMat Transportation

A Publication of PRI International, Inc.


Volume 25, Number 3 September/October 2014


In This Issue 1


Summary of U.S. D.O.T. Rule & Rulemaking Activity     42-45

Also go to www., 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, go to, 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 July and August 2014.

By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor



Netherlands UN Proposal to Revise Corrosive Substance Criteria          31

By Frits Wybenga, Senior Technical Advisor

Based on numerous joint working groups of the United Nations TDG and GHS Sub-Committees, the Netherlands has submitted a proposal revising the UN Model Regulations criteria for corrosive substances. Mr. Wybenga finds possible reasons for concern in the proposed revisions.



Use of Packagings Intended to Contain Liquids for Solids           22-23

By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor

Under the UN Model Regulations, there does not appear to be a provision which generally permits the use of packagings intended for liquids as packagings for solids, nor is there a provision that prohibits it. Mr. Mazzullo delves into the complicated question of whether a packaging tested and marked as intended for liquids may be used in place of a packaging tested and marked for solids.



International Harmonization NPRM HM-215M   7-10

By Frits Wybenga, Senior Technical Advisor

On August 25, 2014, PHMSA published its proposed rule, HM-215M, proposing to adopt the most recent changes to international regulations. This report covers the issues having the widest interest: The report covers marine pollutants; incorporations by reference; definitional changes; lithium batteries; standardization of markings, labels, etc; hazmat table changes; shipper, air operator, and vessel operator requirements; packagings, and changes to the model regulations not being adopted;

PHMSA Publishes HM-253 NPRM on Reverse Logistics 32-34

By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor

PHMSA’s August 12, 2014, HM-253 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposes to add a definition for “reverse logistics” to the HMR and a new section containing broad exceptions for materials that are transported in a manner that meets the definition. Read this report for more information on the proposals as well as a review of changes from the July 2012 ANPRM.

PHMSA Issues HM-258A Final Rule to Cease HazMat Operations of Those Who Fail to Pay Civil Penalties         40-41

By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor

PHMSA amended its hazardous materials procedural regulations on August 7, 2014, with the publication of Final Rule HM-258A, prohibiting a person who fails to pay a civil penalty as ordered, or fails to abide by a payment agreement, from performing activities regulated by the Hazardous Materials Regulations until payment is made. This report contains useful information on the final rule’s provisions and application to enforcement agencies.



PHMSA’s HM-224F Lithium Battery Final Rule  37-39

By Frits Wybenga, Senior Technical Advisor

PHMSA published its final rule on lithium batteries on August 6, 2014. For the most part, the new requirements are consistent with what is already required by the 2013-2014 ICAO Technical Instructions which are the basis of current IATA DGR requirements and the IMDG Code. The rule requires careful reading to understand exactly what has been changed. Mr. Wybenga’s report goes into the basics of general requirements, small cell and battery requirements, exceptions for cells and batteries transported by air, and other miscellaneous changes.



Fit for Review: PHMSA Proposes New Standard Operating Procedures and Evaluation Criteria for Special Permits and Approvals        11-14

By Glenn Wicks and Ronce Almond, the Wicks Group, PLLC

PHMSA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on August 12, 2014, to revise the Hazardous Materials Regulations to include standard operating procedures and criteria used to evaluate applications for special permits and approvals. The NPRM follows a long-term effort to reform the special permit and approval process that began before the President signed MAP-21 into law on July 6, 2012, mandating the rulemaking. The Wicks Group provides this look at NPRM HM-233E, reviewing in greater detail the two assessments of the Evaluation Phase, the technical and fitness evaluations.



Unjustified Rejections in Air Transport     29-30

By Geoff Leach, Director of the Dangerous Goods Office Limited

Dangerous goods are occasionally rejected for carriage for very minor reasons, and some argue there is a chance that some unjustified rejections may actually have a negative effect on safety by increasing the likelihood of undeclared shipments. Mr. Leach makes the case for acceptance staff to be able to provide for the acceptance of dangerous goods with minor discrepancies.



Further Reporting on Actions by Federal Railroad’s Railroad Safety Advisory Committee    35-36

By Edward W. Pritchard, Senior Partner, Paladin Consulting Group

Following Mr. Pritchard’s previous reports on the meetings and actions of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee, this report covers topics relevant to recent incidents by rail and regulatory actions: securement of locomotives, classification of crude oil, rail traffic information sharing, train speed restrictions, train routing and risk analysis, emergency response assistance plans, and the future of 111 tank cars.

A Comparison of Recent US and Canadian Regulatory Actions Affecting Rail Transport of Crude Oil and Other Flammable Liquids         17-21

By Jean-Pierre Gagnon

This report goes into great detail on the actions taken by the United States’ and Canadian governments following the July 2013 Lac-Mégantic accident in Quebec, as well as history preceding the incident. They have worked to adopt and propose a number of regulatory changes and issue special orders affecting a number of risk elements associated with high consequence derailments involving flammable liquids.

PHMSA Publishes Proposed Rules for High Hazard Flammable Materials Transported by Rail       15-16

By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor 

On August 1, 2014, PHMSA published two proposed rulemakings in the Federal Register addressing the significant risks posed by petroleum crude oil, ethanol, and similar Class 3 flammable liquids transported in large volume by trains: “HM-251- Hazardous Materials: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains” and “HM-251B - Hazardous Materials: Oil Spill Response Plans for High-Hazard Flammable Trains.” Read Mr. Mazzullo’s report for a summary of the proposed changes.




The Journal of HazMat Transportation’s Exclusive Comments on the U.S. DOT Letters of the Hazardous Materials Regulations                       24-28

By Frits Wybenga, Senior Technical Advisor

- Transport of Empties after an IMDG Code Shipment

- Incident Reporting

- Portable Radiation Detectors Containing Boron Trifluoride


U.S. DOT Letters of Interpretation of the Hazardous Materials Regulations: July and August 2014. Twenty-six letters sorted, indexed and provided verbatim.    


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