Notice of PROPOSED Rulemaking: 49 CFR Docket HM-215O

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is at it again. Published on November 27, 2018 is a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that many in the industry want to happen sooner rather than later. It is Docket number HM-215O. This amendment is a giant step towards better alignment of the Hazardous Materials Regulation (HMR), or 49 CFR, with the changes coming in 2019 for several international transport regulations.

Remember, this NPRM is just one step in the process for updating Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. We still have to get through the comment period on this particular docket. Starting today, the comment period is open until January 28, 2019. After that window closes, each comment is reviewed and changes could be made to the amendment. The docket is then published as a Final Rule with a 30- to 60-day phase in period. If you feel strongly about a proposed change, speak now or forever hold your peace.

While what is listed below this is not a comprehensive listing of everything in the PROPOSED amendment, an attempt was made to focus on what could impact a majority of transport professionals. For access to the entirety of NPRM, go to https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/regulations-fr/rulemaking/2018-24620 and view the PDF.

Here are some of the PROPOSED changes in HM-215O:

  • Section 171.7 – This section will now include reference to the 20th Revised Continue Reading…
PHMSA Amendment HM-219

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued another final rule on November 7th. Again, this rule making is the only way to amend or change Title 49 for Transportation in the Code of Federal Regulations. In this case, the docket number is HM–219. Its goal is to “to update, clarify, streamline, or provide relief for miscellaneous regulatory requirements”. It has an effective date of December 7, 2018. While the published rule is only 20 pages long there are many areas of revision. Below is a list of the items that jumped out at me while reading it. If you wish to read the full rule making, please visit https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/regulations-fr/rulemaking/2018-23965.

HM-219 Highlights:

  • Section 172.205 had changes to paragraph (j) which pertains to the Hazardous waste manifest. You are now allowed to use electronic signatures when completing EPA forms 8700-22 and 8700-22A.
  • Section 172.407 had revisions to paragraphs (c) and (f). Paragraph (c) now says “inner border approximately 5 mm inside and parallel to the edge”. It still says the inner border must be 2 mm wide and that the thinner line border labels can be used until the end of the year. Paragraph (f) has included some additional references. It now says, “a label conforming to specifications in the UN Recommendations, the ICAO Technical Instructions, the IMDG Code, or the Transport Canada TDG Regulations … may be used in Continue Reading…
Airplane Icon
IATA Lithium Battery Update for January 1, 2019
AA sized lithium battery cells

Welcome to the ever-changing world of transporting lithium batteries. It feels like just yesterday we were discussing the introduction of the new Class 9 hazard label dedicated to just batteries and the new handling “mark”. Would you believe that started at the end of 2016? In an attempt to clarify things, here is the first of several blogs dedicated to one of the new versions of a transport regulation. The focus will be what changed in regards to lithium batteries for that mode. My first choice, only because it is my favorite regulation, is the 60th edition of the International Air Transport Association or IATA as many of us know it. By the way, ICC will be hosting a training on lithium batteries on January 24th and 25th. Call us today to get registered today.

Listed below are the specific sections, paragraphs, packing instructions and the like that had changes for lithium cells and batteries. If you aren’t overly familiar with shipping batteries, what is below can be a bit overwhelming. You can access our “cheat sheet” for required labels by ground, ocean, and air.

IATA 60th Edition Changes for Batteries:

  • New classification criteria – As part of 3.9.2.6.1 there are 2 new paragraphs around the classification of lithium batteries. One paragraph talks about “hybrid” batteries, which are those that contain both ion and metal while the other is about Continue Reading…
PHMSA Amendment HM-259

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a final rule on October 18th. As you know, the only way to amend or change Title 49 for Transportation in the Code of Federal Regulations is through a rule making process. This particular docket number is HM–259. Its goal is to “align the U.S. Hazardous Materials Regulations with current international standards for the air transportation of hazardous materials”. It has an effective date of October 18, 2018. While the published rule is 23 pages long, I have attempted to hit the highlights here.  If you wish to read the entire final rule with the discussion on comments received, you can go to https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/regulations-fr/rulemaking/2018-22114.

Highlights of HM-259

  • 172.101 – Removal of A3 and A6 from Column 7 for multiple entries in the HMT. Provision A3 will be removed from all Packing Group I entries. Provision A6 will be removed from all liquid entries to which it is assigned.
  • 172.102 – A3 revised and now reads as follows: “For combination packagings, if glass inner packagings (including ampoules) are used, they must be packed with absorbent material in tightly closed rigid and leakproof receptacles before packing in outer packagings.” There is no longer a mention of using “tightly closed metal receptacles”.
  • 175.10(a)(18)(i) – Revised portable electronic devices by passengers and crew. This section has been expanded to include portable medical electronic devices with lithium metal Continue Reading…
ICC Top 10 List
OSHA’s Top Ten Most-Cited Standards for 2018

It is the end of October. This is the signal for many exciting things. First, autumn is well under way; no more temperatures in the high 90’s. Second, pumpkin spice everything is available. My personal favorite though is plain old pumpkin pie. Finally, OSHA publishes their list of top ten most-cited standards for the previous fiscal year. This is always announced at the National Safety Council’s Congress and Expo. The timing fits with OSHA’s fiscal year that runs from October 1 through September 30. So, without further delay….

Most-Cited OSHA Standards for Fiscal Year 2018

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements: Standard 1926.501 with 7,720 violations
  2. Hazard Communications: Standard 1910.1200 with 4,552 violations
  3. Scaffolds/Scaffolding: Standard 1926.451 with 3,336 violations
  4. Respiratory Protection: Standard 1910.134 with 3,118 violations
  5. Lockout/Tagout: Standard 1910.147 with 2,944 violations
  6. Ladders: Standard 1926.1053 with 2,812 violations
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks: Standard 1910.178 with 2,294 violations
  8. Fall Protection: Training requirements: Standard 1926.503 with 1,982 violations
  9. Machine Guarding: Standard 1910.212 with 1,972 violations
  10. Personal Protective Equipment and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection: Standard 1926.102 with 1,536 violations

Here are some things I notice about this year’s list.  First of all, the top five are the exact same ones and in the exact same order as last year, and all the way back to fiscal year 2014. The next four on the list are the same as well. The only difference is the order of them going back through Continue Reading…

Web address monitor icon
OSHA’s Website on Workplace Chemicals
Laptop on wood table

New Tools for Chemical Data

Chemical data and information are an integral part of my work. Data is needed for a shipper of hazardous materials or dangerous goods.  It is needed for an author of Safety Data Sheets (SDS). It may also be needed for OSHA workplace labeling. Sometimes you need several websites or resources open all at once to gather the needed data.

As such, OSHA has created a tool that you may find helpful. It is called the “OSHA Occupational Chemical Database”. The link for it is https://www.osha.gov/chemicaldata/.  It is a compilation of data from several agencies and organizations put into one online resource. The first paragraph on the site calls this “OSHA’s premier one-stop shop for occupational chemical information”. For chemicals found on the website, there is information on some or all of the following topics:

  • Physical/Chemical properties
  • Synonyms
  • Exposure limits – OSHA, NIOSH, ACGIH
  • NFPA ratings
  • Sampling information
  • Additional Resources and Literature References

The site is searchable mainly by chemical name, CAS number or alphabetically. There is even a feature that will allow you to search for chemicals under certain topics. The site allows you to group chemicals by Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL), Carcinogenic classification and Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health hazards (IDLH). That aside, once you have found your chemical, this site provides a variety of information. Simply click on the link listed Continue Reading…

Fire Safety
NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week 2018
2018 Fire Prevention Week -  Look Listen Learn

October 7 – 13 Is Fire Prevention Week

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has designated the week of October 7th-13th as Fire Prevention Week. This date was chosen as the Great Chicago fire started on October 8, 1871. Each year a theme for the week is chosen in an effort to keep fire safety present in people’s minds. This year’s theme is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere.

Those 3 words are simplistic but necessary when it comes to fire prevention, preparedness and risk. It carries over from the home, to the workplace and more. Look is for people to look around their home, office and workplace. Listen is mainly focused on the sound of smoke or fire alarms. Learn is about knowing multiple ways out of a room. Here are some further thoughts on each word for you to consider.

Look for places fire could start:

  • Cooking areas
  • Heating equipment
  • Electrical and lighting equipment
  • Candles

Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm:

  • Take them seriously
  • Know where are they located in the home, office and workplace
  • Test them monthly
  • Replace any over 10 years old

Learn two ways out of every room:

  • Have an escape plan in the home, office and workplace
  • Set a meeting place
  • Know the path from each exit to the outside
  • Keep the areas near the exit points easily accessible

The NFPA Continue Reading…

United Nations Logo
2018 United Nations Regulatory Updates
Palais des Nations in Geneva

What’s New at the UN for Transport?

At this time of year all the regulatory updates start. Every time a notation comes across my desk or email I can’t help but think about a famous line in the movie “Sixteen Candles”. That particular line is “What’s happening hot stuff?” Click here to see the actual movie clip. One of these days, I want a presentation to start with this. It would sure break the ice on some rather detailed subject matter.

Having prepared you for thinking about what’s happening or changing, we have to start at the UN level specifically. Much of this information comes from a presentation by Duane Pfund at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. We need to focus on is what changed from the 2015 – 2016 biennium. That biennium gave us Revision 20 of the UN Model Recommendations for the Transport of Dangerous Goods. Revision 20 is what will drive the changes starting in January 2019.

What’s Happening or Changing for 2019?

  • Class 8 Corrosive Materials:
    • A new alternative method for classifying these mixtures is being introduced. It revolves around using the GHS Purple Book bridging principles and calculation methods. Note that flammable gases and explosives are on the list for this same concept in the current biennium.
  • Dangerous Goods in Articles:
Prop 65
Proposition 65 List Updated – Again

California Prop 65 Updates

Sometimes I feel behind in the regulatory world. It is just a fact that regulations often change faster than one has time to process.  A good case for this is California’s Proposition 65. Not only are there multiple changes for how to represent substances that are on the list, but the list itself changed in May 2018.  For more information on “how to represent” and the August 30, 2018 changeover date, take a look at ICC’s blog found here

To refresh your memory, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 is the official name for California’s Prop 65.  The list has to be revised and republished at least once per year.  California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is the agency responsible for Prop 65 implementation.  They consider adding chemicals to the list when some other “authoritative body” makes a determination regarding a substance’s ability to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. Shown below are all of the new substances that were added and or removed by month. They are listed by name, type of toxicity and Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (CAS).

Now would be a good time to see not only if you are up to date on the new required “warnings” but if any of your products or substances were added to the new list.

Proposition 65 – Continue Reading…

Black steel drums
What Does that Word Mean? (Chime)

Blue Hazmat Drums

Updated Training

ICC Compliance Center constantly evaluates our courses to be sure they are the most up-to-date with current versions of the regulations.  Our Regulatory Team works hard to make sure the information we get you is complete and correct. In that regard, I am in the process of revising and updating our course on shipping reduced amounts of materials. It will focus on the options outlined in the US 49 CFR and the IATA regulation. We are talking about a focused course on the topics of small quantities, excepted quantities, limited quantities and consumer commodities.

During the course of the update, I came across an odd word in regards to drums under the Excepted Quantities exception. It was one not familiar to me at all even after 10 years of being in the “business.” Of course, my first thought was to look in the definitions or glossary section of the regulations. It wasn’t there. Then I tried to Google it. No luck. At this point, it was time to reach out to the Team. Sure enough, within minutes there was the answer and even where I could find it for future reference.

Defining “Chime”

What was the word? It was the word “chime.” In both 49 CFR and IATA for Excepted Quantities is the package test requirement that must be met for drums. It says that when the package is in the shape of Continue Reading…