In This Issue: January/February 2014 Issue
A sampling of topics of interest in the January/February 2014 issue of The Journal of HazMat Transportation.
Organizing and Preparing for a Federal or State Audit
Do you know what to expect when a Federal hazardous materials inspector shows up at your facility? This article describes the inspection process used in the Federal Railroad Administration hazardous materials enforcement program and provides guidance for facility personnel in working with inspectors.
Report on the 44th Session of the UN Subcommittee at its November/December 2013 Meeting
The UN Subcommittee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG S/C) held its 44th session from November 25 to December 4, the second of four meetings in the TDG S/C’s 2 year cycle leading to completion of the 19th edition of the UN Recommendations. This report highlights the most important issues addressed at the meeting, covering classification, hazard communication and packaging.
Bulk Packaging and Class 7 (Radioactive) Materials
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has issued a number of interpretations concerning the definition for “bulk packaging” in the Hazardous Materials Regulations. This article describes some of the difficulties involved in applying the definition to packages used for radioactive materials, and continuing confusion over the meaning of the term.
MAP-21 Update: PHMSA's Plan to Reform the Reporting and Assessment of Hazardous Materials Incidents
Pursuant to a Congressional mandate in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), PHMSA is required to assess and improve the collection, analysis, reporting, and use of data related to accidents and incidents involving the transportation of hazardous materials. This article reviews PHMSA’s recent report to Congress, including the agency’s action plan.
Hazardous Materials Transportation – Regulatory Highlights for 2013 And Preview for 2014
In 2013, more than a dozen final rules and half a dozen notices of proposed rulemaking and advance notices addressing the transportation of hazardous materials were published by DOT’s modal administrations and the U.S. Coast Guard. This article summarizes the rulemakings issued in 2013 and previews those anticipated for 2014. References to pertinent HazMat Alerts and Journal of HazMat Transportation articles are provided.
HM-241 Proposes to Adopt 2013 ASME Section XII and National Board Inspection Code for Certain Transport Tanks
PHMSA has proposed a long awaited update of the
Hazardous Materials Regulations to incorporate the latest versions of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ (ASME’s) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC), Section XII, and the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors’ National Board Inspection Code (NBIC). The standards would provide an alternative to current provisions for construction, certification and continuing qualification of cargo tanks, portable tanks, and ton tanks.
Comments on DOT Interpretations, and Stowage During Transportation – Substances that Require Protection from Heat
Comments are provided on interpretations pertaining to an IBC permanently attached to a motor vehicle, the domestic transport of internationally regulated marine pollutants, location of the water resistant ply on a UN 5M2 bag, and vessel stowage of substances requiring protection from heat.
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.
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
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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.