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…
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FedEx DROPS “V-PACK” REQUIREMENT

IATA DGR 2019 and FX-02

IATA SIGNIFICANT CHANGES

In keeping with the standard practice of alerting users to modifications in the new edition of the Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) for air transport, the list of Significant Changes and Amendments to the 60th Edition (2019) were released several months ago, and are incorporated into the recently published copies of the DGR.

An overview of these changes was the subject of blogs issued by ICC on August 28th and September 26th of this year.

Typically changes in the State and Operator Variations, in s. 2.8, are not outlined in specific detail in the Significant Changes document, but are referenced as a general reminder. This contrasts with amendments issued between publications which illustrate the actual details of changes.

Which leads us to FX-02…

FX-02 DROPS “V” RATED PACKAGING

A rather significant operator variation in s. 2.8.4 of the IATA DGR was the common application of FX-02 (f) to liquids in specified classes. This limitation, which existed as FX-17 prior to the 57th Ed., required shippers to use the heavy duty UN-standard “V-Pack” (“variation” commonly noted by UN code 4GV) package even though it wasn’t mandated by the Packing Instruction (PI) or other provisions of the DGR.

The limitation was invoked when FedEx customers were choosing to ship under the “International Economy” or “International Freight Economy” designations. Not only was it required in place of PI-required UN standardized 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:
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IATA Electronic Dangerous Goods Declaration INFr8 (eDGD)
Unloading an airplane

Another Step in the Digital Direction

For the most part, the dangerous goods world is one of the few industries that still relies heavily on using paper documentations, specifically when it comes to shipping declarations. In one of my previous blogs, we talked about DG AutoCheck which is simply a system IATA unveiled that digitally checks the compliance of a shipper’s declarations by simply uploading or scanning the paperwork into the system. As a part of IATA’s e-freight initiative, the digital process is being taken one step further with the implementation the INFr8 (eDGD) digital system.

What is INFr8 (eDGD)?

Unlike DG Auto Check which is intended for use by airlines, ground handlers, and freight forwarders, this digital platform is intended to include shippers as well to digitally create and send electronic Dangerous Goods Declarations (eDGD) through the entire air cargo supply chain. The dangerous goods process has traditionally been paper-based due to the lack of digital standards. The eDGD validation module ensures that the information on the shipper’s declaration is correct against IATA regulations and the specific airline’s requirements as well. Currently, airlines can only begin checking the documentation after handover. Thanks to the new electronic system, errors in accompanying documentation can be detected and ironed out before the airline even receives the shipment. This means documentation errors can be detected and eliminated at an early stage, reducing Continue Reading…

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…

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Significant Changes and Amendments to the 60th Edition Published

Airplane in Flight

Change is in the Air – IATA DGR 2019

In keeping with past practice, IATA (International Air Transport Association) has released the summary of significant changes to the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) that will appear in the upcoming 60th Edition effective in January 2019.

This useful summary appears in the “Introduction” section of the IATA DGR and allows users to check for items that may affect their procedures that have changed since the previous edition. There are a variety of changes highlighted that comprise revisions to existing provisions, addition of new items and deletions. While some changes are based on updates to the United Nations Recommendations for model regulations (UN Model), typically adopted in other modal regulations, some are specific to the IATA DGR.

Get your copy of the IATA from ICC.

General UN Updates

There are some editorial changes that relate to the clarification of terminology regarding “risk” versus “hazard”. This mainly affects the designation of subsidiary classifications which will now be referred to as “subsidiary hazards”. This is more logical and conforms to protocols in safety and considers “hazard” as the danger inherent to a substance; compared to “risk” as an indication of the possibility/probability of harm from the danger.

Other UN Model-based changes include adding UN numbers, qualifying ammonium nitrate fertilizer classification, adding additional provisions for classification/packaging group assignment for corrosives and expansion of classification of articles Continue Reading…

Compressed Gas
CSA Cylinder Standards – June 2018 Update

compressed gas cylinders

CSA issues new Editions of TDG Class 2 Cylinder Standards

Transport Canada has issued an update “Notice” to inform the regulated community of recent updates to the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standards addressing the requirements for the manufacture/qualification, selection and use of cylinders used in the transportation of dangerous goods (TDG).

Although these standards are primarily for compressed gases, their use may also be required or permitted for DG substances, other than Class 2, that may produce toxic or flammable vapours. Typically, this information is cited in standard TP14850 by reference in the packing instructions.

The four standards involved are:

CSA B339, CSA B340
(design/manufacture/qualification and selection/use, respectively) regarding cylinders, spheres and tubes, and other similar containers.
CSA B341, CSA B342
(manufacture/qualification and selection/use, respectively) regarding UN pressure receptacles and multi-element gas containers (MEGC).

Why Two Sets? Origins

The B339/B340 set are the seventh revision to the standards based on the older CTC (Canadian Transport Commission, pre-Transport Canada) national standards for these types of containers. These versions are the seventh revision of the original editions commencing in 1983 and 1986 respectively.

This contrasts with the B341/B342 set derived from the standards in UN Recommendation model regulations. The Canadian versions referenced here are the 3rd editions following 2009 and 2015 editions. Issuing these as CSA standards, rather than just adopting the UN Recommendations, facilitates incorporating the country-specific aspects such as special permits, reciprocity, etc.

Details

Although the 2 Continue Reading…

USPS Regulations and Updates
U.S. Postal Service Creating New Rules for Mailing Liquids

Different bottle of perfume on a wooden table

After an Unfortunate Incident USPS New Rules are Being Created

It was a normal day at the Westgate Post Office, on the outskirts of Rochester, NY. Then a strange odor filled the air, irritating people’s eyes and respiratory passages. By the time the emergency crew had finished its investigation, six people had been sent to hospital for observation, and ten more had been evacuated. At last the culprit was discovered, lurking in an innocuous-seeming package. It turned out that a bottle of nail polish remover inside had broken and the liquid was dripping from the box.

Luckily, no one was seriously hurt. “This was unfortunate, but it could have been worse,” said Karen Mazurkiewicz, spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). It isn’t actually illegal for people to ship small amounts of hazardous materials through the mail in the U.S., as long as shippers comply with the “Hazardous Materials Regulations” of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR), as well as the “Postal Service Regulations” in Title 39 of the Code (39 CFR). Guidelines for mailing hazardous materials can be found in USPS Publication 52 – Hazardous, Restricted and Perishable Mail.

Unfortunately, many shippers in private life (and even some in industry) aren’t even aware that these regulations exist. And what was created by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for commercial shippers may not provide workers and Continue Reading…

HazMat box with tape gun
PHMSA Update: Tape Specifications vs Packing Instructions

Man preparing shipment

PHMSA Changes Mind on Tape

If you are a frequent shipper of dangerous goods, then surely you know the importance of the type of tape that you use to close your hazmat packaging. In fact, a while back I wrote a blog on this very topic.

It doesn’t take much to fall out of compliance of the regulations outlined in the 49 CFR 178.601 (4) (ii) when it comes to tape. It’s quite simple, you either use the type of tape the package was tested with and is outlined in the closing instructions, or it is considered non-compliant.

Per the interpretation below, PHMSA even went as far as saying that using a wider version of the same exact type of tape was not permitted when using a UN tested outer box, stating specifically that, “it does not conclusively demonstrate how the package will perform when tested or transported.” Meaning if the box was tested with a type of tape that is 2 inches wide, you couldn’t use a 3-inch wide version of the same exact type.

Read the original interpretation.

However, recently PHMSA seemed to have a change of heart on this topic.

What’s The Change?

Recently PHMSA has decided to rescind the above interpretation, stating that, “increasing the width of the tape from that specified in the packaging test report and closure notification does not constitute a change in design, provided the Continue Reading…

TDG Standards on the Move – Explosives Plus TP14850 & TP14877

TDG Update - Red and white semi truck on the highway

CGSB.43-151 Class 1 Explosives Draft Update

There have been some recent developments in 2 of the packaging standards of potential interest to the DG community involved with Canadian transportation.

  • TP14850- Class 3-6.1, 8 and 9 Small Packaging pre-publication 3rd Edition-Transition to CGSB
  • TP14877- Rail Transition to CGSB

CGSB-43.151 Explosives Packaging Standard

Transport Canada has provided notice of a consultation on a proposed update of the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) standard “Packaging, Handling, Offering for Transport and Transport of Explosives (Class 1),” CAN/CGSB.43-151.

The new edition, to replace the current 2012 edition, will update the list of UN numbers and packing instructions to align with the UN Recommendations 20th edition; and update references to other dangerous goods container standards.

Also proposed in the draft are packing instructions for UN large packaging (ELP) to supplement the existing standards for IBC and portable tanks.

New Canadian domestic packing instructions (CEP 01) for jet perforating guns, used in oil well completion, are also included in the draft. Previously packaging of these (UN0124 and UN0494) had to be authorized on a case-by-case basis as referenced in EP 01.

CEP 02 replaces the previous EP 17 for highway and portable tank transport.

In common with the recent approach in other Canadian standards, changes to the organization of information, as well as regulatory requirement updates and additional definitions are part of the draft.

New or clarified definitions are provided for “IM” and “IMO-type” Continue Reading…