In This Issue: November/December 2013 Issue
A sampling of topics of interest in the November/December 2013 issue of The Journal of HazMat Transportation.
Railroad Safety Advisory Committee Meeting on Rail Safety Issues
The Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC), a Federal Advisory Committee, held a public meeting in Washington, DC, on October 31, 2013 to report on safety issues related to the July 6, 2013 catastrophic accident in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, involving an unattended freight train containing hazardous materials. This article provides a review of federal actions to date and the scope of tasks being undertaken by RSAC to develop recommendations for safety improvements.
Transporting Lithium Batteries
Considering the wide variation in domestic and international regulations, including modal-specific requirements, transporting lithium batteries can be daunting. While not intended to be a guide to compliance, this article provides a general overview of the options available for shippers of lithium batteries.
PHMSA Issues Final Rule on Perishable Hazardous Materials
On October 2, 2013, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a final rule concerning its enhanced inspection, investigation, and enforcement authority. The final rule amends the package opening provision of 49 C.F.R. part 109 to include procedures for a DOT agent to open packages of perishable hazardous materials and to provide notification to the responsible party. This article reviews the provisions of the final rule, industry comments to the proposed rule, and potential impacts of the changes.
24th Session of the ICAO DGP
The International Civil Aviation Organization’s Dangerous Goods Panel (DGP) met from October 28 to November 8 to finalize the 2015- 2016 edition of the ICAO Technical Instructions on the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO TI). The DGP’s workload for the meeting consisted of 80 official working papers, many of them dealing with lithium batteries for transport by air. This article summarizes the significant changes to the ICAO TI, many based on amendments incorporated in the UN 18th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations, and reviews some of the significant issues considered by the DGP.
Report on IMO Editorial & Technical Group
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Editorial and Technical (E&T) group met from September 23 to 27 to firm up amendments to the next edition of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, which will be included in Amendment 37-14 to the Code. Many of the changes are to align with the 18th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations, with revisions as needed to address maritime concerns. This report highlights significant changes and reviews important decisions of the group.
PHMSA’s Revised Civil Penalty Guidelines Clarify the Penalty Assessment Process
On October 2, 2013, PHMSA published revised guidelines for assessing civil penalty amounts for hazardous materials violations. This article describes and analyzes the revisions to the guidelines which increase baseline penalty amounts; remove penalty ranges; include a specific method to calculate the penalty assessed; describe how PHMSA handles multiple counts; and provide guidance on the impact of past violations.
Agenda for the UN 44th Session of the UNSCOE TDG
The UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (SCTDG) meets in Geneva, Switzerland from November 25 to December 4, 2013. Decisions made at this meeting will lead to publication of the 19th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations. The SCTDG agenda includes thirty-four formal proposals and eleven informal (INF) papers. These are summarized in this report, and the documents are available online. A follow-up report on proceedings of the 44th session will appear in the January/February 2014 edition of the Journal.
What You've Missed... July/August 2013 Issue
As a Subscriber, you would have learned:
Report on the 43rd Session of the UN TDG Subcommittee
The UN Subcommittee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG) held its 43rd session in Geneva from June 24 to 28. This is the first of four subcommittee meetings which will be held over a two-year period. Decisions from these meetings will result in publication of the 19th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations and lead to regulatory changes which will go into effect January 1, 2017.
PHMSA Responds to Journal Questions on Closure Instructions
From implementation of HM-181 to present, PHMSA has increasingly focused on closure methods and closure instructions, through both enforcement and regulatory initiatives. In large part, these efforts are intended to reduce closure leaks from non-bulk packages. PHMSA HazMat leaders were asked by the Journal to address a number of questions concerning these initiatives.
Tank Car Design and Safety
This article describes past government/industry efforts to improve the design and safety of DOT Class 112A and 114A tank cars, modern problems related to use of Class 111 tank cars for shipment of ethanol and crude oil, and the current government/industry initiative to improve the design and safety of Class 111 tank cars.
HM-257 Final Rule; Alternative Approval Process for Consumer Fireworks
PHMSA issued an HM-257 final rule on July 16, 2013, which is intended to expedite the approval process for transport of 1.4G consumer fireworks (UN0336). The final rule creates a new type of DOT-approved certification agency, the Fireworks Certification Agency (FCA). These FCAs will provide an optional, alternate agency for manufacturers or designated U.S. agents to submit applications of approval for consumer fireworks.
LPG Odorant Fade Poses Risks
PHMSA has issued a safety alert to warn the public of the risks associated with inadequately odorized liquefied petroleum gases (LPG) and advise shippers and carriers of the recommended procedures to ensure LPG is adequately odorized for all modes of transportation. Odorization is intended to enable the detection, by smell, of unintended releases or leaks of LPG.
Appeals Filed in Response to HM-219 Final Rule
Following issuance of a final rule in March of this year, PHMSA has received appeals related to changes to requirements for packaging certification markings, record retention for packaging manufacturers and testers, and classification and packaging of Division 1.4 smokeless powder.
Safety Advisory on Heating Tank Cars
PHMSA has issued a safety advisory to address the risks posed in heating rail tank cars containing solidified or viscous hazardous materials, in preparation for unloading or transloading. The advisory provides safety precautions and recommended practices for persons responsible for the heating process. It also outlines the applicable regulatory requirements for such operations under PHMSA, OSHA, and EPA regulations and standards.
Comments on PHMSA interpretations
PHMSA's responses to inquiries concerning the domestic transportation of marine pollutants in non-bulk packagings and the use of an overpack when it contains both a fully regulated hazardous material and a Limited Quantity material raise additional questions.
In This Issue: September/October 2013 Issue
A sampling of topics of interest in the September/October 2013 issue of The Journal of HazMat Transportation.
Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security
In response to recent incidents, such as the ammonium nitrate explosion in April of this year in West, Texas, the President has issued an Executive Order which calls for measures to be taken by Federal agencies to improve safety and security of chemical facilities. In a related action, EPA, OSHA and ATF issued advisory guidance on the storage and handling of ammonium nitrate fertilizers at facilities.
Hazardous Materials Transportation Act Reauthorization
This article describes the status of mandates contained in the Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Improvement Act. It also suggests what changes may be warranted, from the perspective of industry stakeholders, in the next reauthorization of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.
FRA Emergency Powers
FRA issued Emergency Order (EO) 28 in response to the recent catastrophic accident in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, Canada. In this article the author describes FRA’s emergency powers, particularly with regard to EOs, and the role played by the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC); and provides an in-depth review of the provisions of EO 28.
PHMSA Final Rule on Vehicle Safety Restraint Devices
PHMSA has issued an HM-254 final rule which relaxes approval procedures for manufacturers of vehicle safety restraint devices (e.g., air bag modules and seat-belt pretensioners), expands packaging authorizations to include packaging currently authorized only under special permits, and provides other exceptions and clarifications of provisions for the offering and transportation of these products.
The Lac-Mégantic Rail Incident Could Lead to Classification Changes for Petroleum Products
This article discusses the possibility of hazard classification changes for crude oil and other petroleum products arising from the investigation of the catastrophic accident in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, Canada, the potential impact of any such changes on other modes, and whether a more restrictive classification would have an effect on emergency response measures.
PHMSA HM-251 Advance Notice Seeks Public Comment on Rail Tank Car Petitions for Rulemaking
PHMSA has issued an HM-251 advance notice of proposed rulemaking to solicit comment on the merits of eight petitions for rulemaking it has received, and four recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board, related to the construction, maintenance and use of rail tank cars. DOT is particularly interested in the potential costs and benefits, including safety benefits, of the proposals and recommendations.
Coast Guard Final Rule Expands Bulk Packaging Authorizations
The Coast Guard issued a final rule that expands the list of bulk packagings authorized for hazardous material transfers to include IMO Type 1 and Type 2 portable tanks, UN portable tanks, and intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) and expands the list of materials authorized in these packagings. The portable tanks and IBCs are primarily used by offshore supply vessels to transport hazardous materials to and from offshore oil and gas platforms.
Comments on PHMSA Interpretations
Issues concerning segregation requirements for highway transport, testing a fiber box, immediate reporting of a battery incident “during transportation by aircraft”, and hazard classification for a potentially toxic dust or mist, are discussed in two articles.
What You've Missed... May/June 2013 Issue
A sampling of what you've missed in the May/June 2013 issue of The Journal of HazMat Transportation...
As a Subscriber, you would have learned:
IMO Editorial and Technical Group Meeting Report
The Editorial and Technical Group (E&T) of the International Maritime Organization recently met to begin the task of incorporating the amendments included in the eighteenth revision of the UN Model Regulations into the IMDG Code. The new edition will be known as amendment 37- 14. In addition, the group approved corrections to IMDG Code amendment 36-12. This report is of vital interest to persons concerned with upcoming changes to the IMDG Code.
Recent ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel Working Group Meeting
The ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel held a working group meeting April 15-19, 2013, to continue work on amendments of the ICAO TI to be included in the 2015-2016 edition. Much of what will be included in the ICAO amendments stems from decisions of the UN Subcommittee taken in 2011 and 2012. In addition, Panel members and other participants submitted their own proposals. The article covers the more significant activities and changes
A DOT Focus on Closures Threatens Increasingly Stringent Instruction Requirements
PHMSA appears to want significantly changed closure instruction requirements. The author notes that ease of enforcement should not a justification for new requirements.
GHS Pictograms on Bulk Equipment – Should They Appear?
PHMSA issued a letter of interpretation on April 5, 2013, that should be of real concern. The questioner observed portable tanks containing placarded hazardous materials also bearing GHS pictograms of the same size and adjacent to the hazmat placards. The questioner asks if this is acceptable. PHMSA responded indicating that this is permitted. You will want to read the insightful comments by the article’s author.
PSCI Given an Update on PHMSA’s Performance Packaging Program
A presentation to the Plastic Shipping Container Institute on April 22, 2013, by Anthony Lima provided an update on PHMSA’s performance packaging program. The article summarizes recent and upcoming PHMSA actions pertaining to package manufacture and package testing. Most uniquely, it provides insight into PHMSA’s position on package testing issues.
A DOT Counsel Addresses Some Very Unique Questions Re: His HazMat Law Division
Joseph Solomey, Assistant Chief Counsel for Hazardous Materials Safety Law, discusses issues related to PHMSA’s hazardous materials program, based on questions submitted by the Journal of HazMat Transportation.
PHMSA Publishes HM-258B Revising DOT Opening of Packages Regulations
On May 22, 2013, PHMSA published a notice of proposed rulemaking, HM-258B. This NPRM proposes changes to the regulations for opening of packages by DOT agents adopted under PHM-7, which became effective on March 2, 2011. The NPRM responds to certain mandates arising from HMTSIA 2012 which became law on July 6, 2012, under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP–21). Specifically, Section 33009 of HMTSIA amends Section 5121 (Administrative) of the Federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Law. The article summarizes these changes
DOT Issues Emergency Recall Order No. 2013-02 and Terminates 3 Special Permits
On May 24, 2013, PHMSA issued Emergency Recall Order No. 2013-02. The emergency recall order mandates a recall of all cylinders manufactured by The Lite Cylinder Company, Inc. and marked as authorized under DOT special permits 14562, 13957 and 13105. PHMSA terminated cylinder requalification approval H706 and manufacturer’s registration number approval M5729. Effective immediately, the recall order will require the removal from service of more than 55,000 two-piece fully wrapped fiber composite cylinders. These cylinders are largely in liquefied petroleum gas service.
NRC NPRM Amending RAM Requirements in 10 CFR 71
On May 16, 2013, the NRC published an NPRM amending radioactive material requirements in 10 CFR 71. This NPRM is in combination with the August 12, 2011, NPRM published by PHMSA to harmonize the domestic Class 7 regulations to the 2009 IAEA Regulations.
President’s FY 2014 Budget for PHMSA HazMat Programs – User Fees
The President’s FY 2014 budget request was released on April 10, 2013. For PHMSA’s Hazardous Materials Safety program, the budget request proposes a gross budget authority of $51.8 million. This amount is $9.2 million more than budget authority for FY 2013. The FY 2014 budget request for the PHMSA hazmat safety program once again includes user fees for special permits and approvals.