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The Journal of HazMat Transportation

A Publication of PRI International, Inc.


Volume 26, Number 1 May/June 2015


In This Issue


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

Also go to www.hazmatship.com, 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, also go to www.hazmatship.com, 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 March and April 2015.

  • Affixing Placards to Non-Hazardous Cargo
  • Labeling a Package Placed in an Overpack
  • Reduced Size Labels and Marks
  • Exceptions for Used or Spent Dry Batteries
  • Remote Visual Inspection of Cylinders by an Independent Inspection Agency
  • Shipment of Misfired Small Arms Blank Ammunition
  • Transporting Class 7 Materials aboard Passenger Aircraft

By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor



Pre-Meeting Report on Proposals to be Discussed at the 47th Session of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods
Compiled by JHMT Staff and Reviewed with Comments from Frits Wybenga, Senior Technical Advisor

From June 22 to 26, 2015, the UN SCTDG will hold its 47th session in Geneva, Switzerland. This report summarizes each proposal, categorized by subject.



Hazard Communication Label Challenges
By Michele Sullivan, PhD

With the change of OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard from a performance-oriented standard to a specification standard, certain challenges arise in ensuring labels are both compliant as well as easily understood. Dr. Sullivan looks at potential complications, providing information on CPSC rules and OSHA labels, labeling for combination packaging, Canadian and EU regulations, among other areas.

Marking Requirements for Bulk Packaging: A Reader Inquiry
By Frits Wybenga, Senior Technical Advisor

A question regarding harmonization in the international shipping of bulk packagings asks about consistency in marking requirements. Mr. Wybenga provides clarification and some history on the changes in the regulations.



PHMSA Safety Advisory: Unauthorized Certification of Compressed Gas Cylinders
By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor

PHMSA issued an advisory in April notifying the public that permit cylinders taken to or received from Liberty Industrial Gases and Welding Supplies Inc., from April 1986 through October 2014, may not have been properly tested. Read for more information.

PHMSA Issues Notices In Response to a Court Order Regarding Carriage of Spare Fuel Cell Cartridges Containing Flammable Gas on Aircraft and to Clarify Fireworks Approval Policy
By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor

Mr. Mazzullo reviews a March 30 notice from PHMSA providing an explanation for its prohibition of the carriage of spare fuel cell cartridges containing flammable gas in passenger and crew member checked baggage. This report additionally covers PHMSA’s April 2 revision of procedures for approving product name changes for previously approved fireworks and guidelines for adding or changing a firework’s name.



Transporting Lithium Batteries Connected as a Unit via Ground
By Frits Wybenga, Senior Technical Advisor

A reader submitted a question regarding the transportation of batteries via ground, when they are connected as a unit. Mr. Wybenga provides a detailed answer and information on the applicable requirements.



Looking at Hazmat Training as Addressed in DOT Letters of Interpretation
By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor

Mr. Mazzullo reviews common questions regarding training requirements for hazmat employees through answers provided by DOT in letters of interpretations. Recurrent training, the definition of a hazmat employee, requirements in accordance with international regulations training, and other topics are addressed.



Comparison of US DOT and Transport Canada Recent Rules for Safer Rail Transportation of Flammable Liquids
By Jean-Pierre Gagnon, Dangerous Goods Rail Transportation Expert

As the issue of safely transporting crude oil by rail faces North America, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox and Canadian Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt jointly announced upcoming final rules on May 1. Canada parallels PHMSA’s HM-251 Final Rule with an amendment to the TDG Regulation, and Mr. Gagnon goes into exhaustive detail comparing the background, details, and ramifications of the actions taken by the two federal governments.

Railworthiness Directive Identifies Unapproved McKenzie Tank Car Valves
By Edward W. Pritchard, Senior Partner, Paladin Consulting Group

On March 13, 2015, FRA issued a Railworthiness Directive applicable to railroad tank cars equipped with certain valves marketed and sold by McKenzie Valve & Machining LLC. This Directive impacts over 43,000 tank cars; owners of tank cars need to ensure they identify and appropriately remove and replace these valves with approved valves consistent with Federal regulations. FRA’s May 12 letter (its second Directive) follows Mr. Pritchard’s report.  It responds to requests made by the Railway Supply Institute by revising provisions of the first Directive.

DOT Interim Rail Safety Actions: An Emergency Order and Three Safety Advisories
By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor

Preceding the issuance of Final Rule HM-251, FRA and PHMSA took a number of actions to address the risks of transporting large volumes of flammable liquids in tank cars. Mr. Mazzullo summarizes these actions: FRA’s Emergency Order 30, three safety advisories, and increased information collection requirements.

Analysis: PHMSA’s HM-251 Final Rule: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains
By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor

In coordination with the Federal Rail Administration, PHMSA issued Final Rule HM-251, intending to reduce the consequences and probability of accidents for certain trains transporting large volumes of flammable liquids. Read for detail on key provisions of the Final Rule, such as construction standards, retrofit provisions, enhanced braking, and reduced operating speeds, among others.



Recent FMCSA Notices: Penalty Inflation Adjustments, National HazMat Route Registry, ATA Application for Hours of Service Exemption 
By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor

In April, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a final rule to adjust civil penalty amounts in order to account for inflation; FMCSA also issued an update to the National Hazardous Materials Route Registry. In May, FMCSA published a notice and request for comments on an application requesting an exemption on behalf of all motor carriers that transport hazardous materials shipments requiring security plans under the HMR. 

PHMSA Issues Best Practices Guide for Cargo Tank Loading/Unloading 
By Ed Mazzullo, Technical Advisor

After withdrawing the HM-247 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking intended to reduce the risks associated with the loading and unloading of CTMVs used for the transport of hazardous materials, PHMSA indicated it would issue a guidance document as an alternative. Mr. Mazzullo reviews this Guidance, released in May.



Results of the 2015 ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel Working Group Meeting 27 April – 1 May
By Frits Wybenga, Senior Technical Advisor

The second of two Dangerous Goods Panel (DGP) working group meetings was held in Montreal in preparation for the 25th session of the Dangerous Goods Panel. Mr Wybenga presents the most significant points from the meeting with regards to proposals adopted, not adopted, or deferred to DGP25.



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

By Frits Wybenga, Senior Technical Advisor

  • Definition of a lithium ion battery
  • Securement of packages



U.S. DOT Letters of Interpretation of the Hazardous Materials Regulations: March and April 2015. Twenty-six letters sorted, indexed and provided verbatim.     

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