Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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In This Issue: May/June 2014 Issue

A sampling of topics of interest in the May/June 2014 issue of The Journal of HazMat Transportation.

This report reviews the evolution of rail and tank car requirements in the U.S. and Canada and discusses new challenges posed by the exponential growth of ethanol fuel and crude oil rail transport. Overview of Major Developments in Rail Tank Car Safety Regulations in the US and Canada, Since the 1970s, page 18-24

This report reviews the April 7-11 meeting of the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel Working Group on lithium batteries. Decisions from the meeting and anticipated future actions are discussed. Report on the DGP Lithium Battery Special Meeting, page 7-9

From June 23 to July 2, 2014, the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (SCTDG) will meet in Geneva, Switzerland. This report summarizes the sixty-one formal proposals (working papers) and other informal (INF) papers to be addressed. A full report on the proceedings of the 45th session will appear in the July/August 2014 edition. Pre-Meeting Report on Proposals to Be Addressed at the 45th Session of the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, page 38-44

This report reviews the DOT Emergency Order issued to rail carriers that transport large quantities of petroleum crude oil originating from the Bakken shale formation. It also reviews the FRA and PHMSA jointly issued Safety Advisory to shippers and carriers concerning the selection and use of tank cars for packaging Bakken crude oil. HazMat alert 2014-22 May 8, 2014 DOT Issues another Emergency Order and a Safety Advisory Concerning Bakken Crude Oil, page 15

This article reviews some of the problems associated with packaging provisions, definitions, and DOT interpretations with regard to use of a single packaging as the outer packaging of a combination package. The Complexity of Package Configurations: Two Case Studies, page 27-31

This article reviews the security regulations of the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration related to rail security-sensitive hazardous materials. A review of DOT security requirements appeared in the March/April edition. Security Requirements for both DOT and TSA-Part 2, page 32-34

This report reviews the recently released report from the American Fuel & Petroleum Manufacturers (AFPM), entitled A Survey of Bakken Crude Oil Characteristics Assembled for the U.S. Department of Transportation, which examines the characteristics of Bakken crude oil. Report on the Results of the Bakken Crude Oil Analysis, page 16-17

Recent rulemaking activities of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, including notices of proposed rulemakings on prohibiting coercion of commercial motor vehicle drivers and allowing use of electronic documents and signatures, are reviewed in a summary report, and in several HazMat Alerts. Recent FMCSA Regulatory Activity, page 25-26

Comments are provided on recent interpretations from DOT addressing flashpoint testing for classification, consideration of subsidiary risks in security plans, transport off wet batteries with other hazmat and trays used for packaging ORM-D materials. Comments on DOT Interpretations, page 10-14

In This Issue: March/April 2014 Issue

A sampling of topics of interest in the March/April 2014 issue of The Journal of HazMat Transportation.

DOT and TSA Security Requirements
Both DOT and TSA have regulations concerning the security of hazardous materials. This article reviews pertinent security requirements. Security Requirements for both DOT and TSA

ICAO Meeting on Lithium Batteries
ICAO convened a multidisciplinary meeting on lithium batteries in February to discuss a potential ban on the transport of lithium metal batteries on aircraft. This report reviews the discussion and comments on the issues. ICAO Holds Multidisciplinary Meeting on Lithium Batteries

HM-233C Final Rule Adopts Special Permits and Competent Authority Approvals
A recently issued final rule should eliminate the need for a number of special permits and approvals, and provide wider access to the regulatory relief that had been provided through them. PHMSA Issues HM-233C Final Rule to Incorporate Certain Special Permits and Competent Authority Approvals into HMR

PHMSA Authorizes Use of Electronic Shipping Papers in New Special Permit
A precedent-setting special permit, SP 15747, allows UPS to use electronic shipping papers in the transport of hazardous materials. DOT Issues Special Permit Authorizing Electronic Shipping Papers

OSHA Hazard Communication Labeling Interpretations
This article reviews certain interpretations pertaining to compliance with labeling under OSHA’s HCS2012 hazard communication system. HCS2012 implements provisions based on the UN Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. OSHA Interpretations Provide Guidance for Complying with the Harmonized System of Classification Labeling Requirements

Comments on DOT Interpretations
This month’s review provides comments on recent DOT interpretations concerning the repair of composite IBCs, definition of a friction-type closure, and periodic retesting of combination packagings with different closures on inner packagings. Comments on DOT Interpretations

DOT Emergency Order Imposes Restrictions on Petroleum Crude Oil Shipments
In an emergency order issued February 25 and amended March 6, DOT imposes restrictions on the classification and packaging of petroleum crude oil, which are discussed in this article. DOT Emergency Restriction/Prohibition Order Expanded and Clarified

Shipping Name and Identification Number Markings on IBCs
This article discusses somewhat confusing requirements for marking proper shipping names and identification numbers on intermediate bulk containers. Marking the PSN and UN ID Number on IBCs

HM-247 Cargo Tank Loading/Unloading Rule Withdrawn by PHMSA
PHMSA reassesses the need for rulemaking as proposed in its March 2011 notice and decides to withdraw the rulemaking and pursue non-regulatory alternatives to improve safety of loading and unloading operations. PHMSA Withdraws HM-247 Cargo Tank Motor Vehicle Loading/Unloading NPRM

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.

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.


  • 2014-38 July 21, 2014 Transport Canada Requests Comment on Proposed New Class of Tank Car (TC-140) and Retrofit of TC/DOT-111 Tank Cars

  • 2014-37 July 18, 2014 OMB Concludes Review of HM-224F Revisions to Requirements for the Transportation of Lithium Batteries

  • 2014-36 July 15, 2014 PHMSA Proposes Adoption into HMR of Provisions for Bulk Vehicles Used for Explosives under Special Permits

  • 2014-35 July 14 2014 FMCSA Issues Updated National Hazardous Materials Route Registry

  • 2014-34 July 11, 2014 PHMSA Publishes HM-250 Final Rule Harmonizing Class 7 Radioactive Provisions with IAEA