DOT 49 CFR USA
Updates to PHMSA HM-218H – New Compliance Dates

Winston Churchill and the 49 CFR

As a former high school science teacher, I had a few choice quotes posted around my classroom.  Some were motivational while others were thought provoking. One of my favorites was by Winston Churchill.

“All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes.”
-Winston Churchill

Granted I tweaked it from “men” to “people” so as not to exclude the other genders in my class. My purpose for that one was to prevent frustrations over calculations, lab results, or high school in general.

On June 2, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a final rule on Docket No. HM-218H. That docket number had some as miscellaneous amendments to Hazardous Materials Regulations. Now, two years later we have a corrective rulemaking to HM-218H. Published on June 18, 2018 with an effective date of July 18 and compliance date of September 17, it addresses some appeals and comments to that previous rulemaking. Let’s see what changed or was corrected.

Updated/Changed Sections

  • 604 Emergency Response. Emergency response telephone numbers must be displayed in numerical format only. A shipper is no longer allowed to use alphanumeric phone numbers for the emergency response number. For example, 1-800 CLEAN IT is no longer an acceptable emergency response phone number. It must be listed as 1-800-253-2648 going forward. No enforcement actions will be taken from July 5, 2016 to Continue Reading…
TDG
Transport Canada Moves to Update ERAP Requirements

TDG Update - Man Staring in to warehouse

TDG Emergency Response Assistance Plans (ERAP) Update

On June 30, 2018, Transport Canada issued a proposed amendment to Part 7 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDG). This part covers the requirements for Emergency Response Assistance Plans, or ERAPs. Details can be found on Government of Canada’s website.

Canada’s ERAP requirements are unique, not being adopted from the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. Essentially, they require consignor of significant amounts of high risk dangerous goods to establish a specific protocol, often involving an on-call response team, that can assist local responders in case of a release. Transport Canada must review and approve the plan before the consignor can offer or import affected shipments (although the approval only has to be issued once.) Since the Lac-Mégantic disaster in 2013, improving ERAP requirements has been a particular concern of Transport Canada’s.

The June amendment has four main goals:

  1. To clarify how an ERAP should be implemented;
  2. To enhance emergency preparedness and response;
  3. To reduce the regulatory burden for those affected by the requirement; and
  4. To make some general “housekeeping” changes to keep all parts of the regulations harmonized.

Clarifying Implementation of ERAPs

Currently, the regulations are unclear as to how exactly an ERAP would be implemented – presumably it would be by emergency responders or by the person with control of the released material, but it’s never been Continue Reading…

Radioactive
Class 7 IAEA Regulatory Update – SSR-6 Rev. 1, June 2018

Radioactive material warning sign at the package

Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material

– Specific Safety Requirements No. SSR-6 (Rev. 1)

As expected, the IAEA has published the 2018 amendment to SSR-6 as Revision 1 (SSR-6).

This Revision removes the term “radiation level” from Section 2 “Definitions,” replacing it by “dose rate” to designate the dose equivalent per unit time (e.g. mSv/h). The associated changes to sections referencing the term throughout the document account for many of the other paragraph (para.) changes.

Also deleted from this edition are the requirements for testing LSA-III material for residual water activity below 0.1 A2 in the 7-day leachate test.

Table 2 “Basic Radionuclide Values” has been updated to include entries for:
Ba-135m, Ge-69, Ir-193m, Ni-57, Sr-83, Tb-149 and Tb-161.

Enter SCO-III

Perhaps the most significant change is the expansion of surface contaminated objects (SCO – “a solid object that is not itself radioactive but which has radioactive material distributed on its surface”) to add SCO-III provisions in the regulation. The Table 1 list of UN numbers, proper shipping names and descriptions now includes SCO-III to SCO-I and SCO-II for UN2913.

In addition to meeting the general requirements for the SCO designation, SCO-III objects are defined in para. 413(c) as a large solid object that is too large to be transported in the type of package described in SSR-6. There are other criteria to be met regarding sealing of openings, insides being as dry Continue Reading…

Environmental Update
EPA e-Manifests Open to Waste Generators

Using computer near truck

Are You Ready for e-Manifests?

Paperwork – it’s one of the worst parts of dealing with hazardous waste shipments. In both Canada and the United States, hazardous wastes require a special document, the Waste Manifest that will not only serve as the transportation document for the dangerous goods/hazardous materials transportation regulations, but also allow environmental authorities to track the waste from the generator, who sends it for disposal, through the hands of the carrier, to the end receiver (in the US referred to as a TSDF, for Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility).

In Canada, some jurisdictions have eased the burden by allowing the waste manifest to be created electronically. For example, in Ontario, the HWIN system has been used for years. However, until now, the United States has not had a system for electronic documentation, called e-Manifests. On June 30, 2018, that has changed.

The change has been a long time coming. Although the initial proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was made in 2001, it was not until 2012 that Congress passed the “Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act.” Under the Act, a final rule was published in 2014 that approved the use of such manifests. Since then, the EPA has been working to create an online system that will allow the e-manifest to eliminate substantial chunks of the burden of manifests, as well as Continue Reading…

3D rendered IBC
New ASTM Standard for IBCs

Neatly stacked IBCs

ASTM IBC Standards

Recently I wrote a blog about our boxes meeting ASTM standards. For those that weren’t aware, I described ASTM International as an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary technical standards for a wide range of products including packaging. In addition to providing standards in the development of corrugated boxes, ASTM can provide guidance in testing hazardous materials packaging, specifically in this case hydrostatic testing of Intermediate Bulk Containers.

Hydrostatic Testing for IBCs is outlined in 49 CFR §178.803 and §178.814.

This states:

The hydrostatic pressure test must be conducted for the qualification of all metal, rigid plastic, and composite IBC design types intended to contain solids that are loaded or discharged under pressure or intended to contain liquids.

However, the current regulations have been described as “limited” on the specific details of how to perform the test. (See video below)

This guide provides the detail on how to conduct pressure testing on IBCs and will provide a more consistent process for container manufacturers, testing labs, and regulatory agencies. The new standard will thus help manufacturers pass performance tests and qualify their container designs to meet requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations as well as the United Nations recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods. The new standard will be published as ASTM D8134 and the scope is listed below:

Scope

Help Make the ERG Better

Emergency Response Guidebook

Calling All ERG Users

Many have heard the phrase, “Calling all cars” used in an emergency situation. The phrase references back to the old police radio days. It was used to call all patrol cars to help other officers. The phrase was the title for an old radio show back in the 1930’s, but also more recently as an episode of HBO’s “The Sopranos”.

How is that phrase being used here? The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has put out the call for input on ways to improve the Emergency Response Guidebook, or ERG. The new version is due for publication in 2020. To see the full notice go to https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-05-23/pdf/2018-11055.pdf

What is the ERG?

It is a booklet that provides technical information and advice for those responding to emergencies involving hazardous materials as defined in 49 CFR. It is used mainly by emergency personnel such as police, fire-fighters, paramedics or other emergency responders. First issued in 1973, PHMSA’s goal is for all emergency response folks to have immediate access to it. As time has progressed there is a free online version and a downloadable app. Other countries may also have their own versions of the ERG. It is updated every 4 years.

It is broken down by the following color-coded sections:

  • White pages – At the start of the booklet, gives the instructions for how to use it and Continue Reading…
DOT 49 CFR USA
No Placards, No CDL Endorsement – USA Only

Truck Driving on highway at sunset

Hazmat Certification Under Placarding Exemption

The US DOT recently issued a “Letter of Interpretation” (LoI) regarding the lack of a need for a driver to have a hazmat (hazardous materials) endorsement on the CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) when transporting Class 9 hazmat within the US, despite the presence of Class 9 placards.

Changing Modes without Removing Placards

This situation is likely to occur when foreign shipments arrive which did not have the equivalent to the US 49 CFR §172.504(f)(9) conditional exception for Class 9 placarding, and are to be transported to their US destination.

An example would be if a Class 9 consignment arrives by vessel, which has placarding in conformance with the IMDG Code, and is picked up for road transport without removing the placards.

Even if the placards are not removed, there is not a requirement for the hazmat-endorsed CDL (equivalent to a TDG training certificate- for readers North of the 49th, metonymically speaking).

Note that, despite the exception for an actual Class 9 placard, §172.504(f)(9) does require bulk packages to be marked with at least the UN number.

Key to the Endorsement Exemption

49 CFR §383.93(b)(4) invokes the need for a hazmat CDL when the definition of hazmat in 383.5 is met. For substances defined as hazardous in 49 U.S. Code §5103(a) and (other than infectious substances/ biotoxins in 42 CFR §73) requiring placards, the CDL endorsement is required.

Thus, for most Continue Reading…

Prop 65
California Proposition 65 Warnings – After August 30, 2018

California horizon

California Proposition 65 Update

By now, you may or may not have heard the Prop 65 regulation in California was ‘recently’ updated. Wait, what? Prop 65 was updated? Yes … Yes it was. In August of 2016, the California ‘Office of Administrative Law adopted amendments to Article 6, for Clear and Reasonable Warnings, in the California Code of Regulations’.

The goals of the amendments were to make the necessary warnings stand out more, to give the public more information on what chemicals they are actually being exposed to, to update information to be more in-line with current technology, and to update responsibilities for companies. The changes will be fully in force at the end of this summer, August 30, 2018.

What do the new warnings look like?

The new warning requirements not only require companies to list at least one specifically listed chemical by name, but they also introduce a pictogram component to warnings. A bright yellow exclamation mark triangle.

As an example, a previous liquid chemical product perhaps was sold in a 5 gallon (18.9 Liter) container. The container was big enough to have a fairly large sized label on it, and the product was known to contain Toluene, Naphthalene and Benzene.

Those three chemicals are listed on California’s Prop 65 list as known to cause developmental harm, male reproductive harm, and/or cancer.

Prior to the 2016 amendments, the statement you would Continue Reading…

Countdown to WHMIS Deadline: Safety Data Sheets

WHMIS Update Man reaching across table with SDS

WHMIS 2015 SDS Requirements

Next in our WHMIS 2015 series we’ll discuss the Safety Data Sheet (SDS), formerly known as the Material Safety Data sheet or MSDS.

There were significant changes to the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) when WHMIS 2015 was adopted including the WHMIS 2015 classification and label elements in section 2. In addition, the SDS must be provided in English and French.

The required elements on a WHMIS 2015 SDS are outlined on Government Canada’s Website

Note that when preparing the SDS, each section, heading and specific information element is mandatory, even if you do not have the information to go into that section. When that is the case, “not available” or “not applicable” can be used in place of the data.

The SDS must be available and accurate at the time of sale. The good news, is under the federal rule, the SDS no longer expires. However, provincial rules may require that the SDS is updated every 3 years; this is true for British Columbia and the Yukon territory.

However, there is a requirement to update the SDS when new significant information becomes available. The question becomes, how do you know if new information is available, if you don’t review your SDS on a regular basis.

A few other points of interest regarding the SDS include:

  • The SDS must have the identity of the Canadian supplier. The exception to this Continue Reading…
IATA
IATA 800 Series of Special Provisions

Learning New Regulations

Learning a new transport regulation is tough. Even if you are familiar with other modes, learning the intricacies of a new one is difficult. In our courses, we spend a good deal of time going over a basic shipping description (ISHP) and breaking down each part of it.

Time is also spent on UN versus ID numbers, proper shipping names, hazard classes, and packing groups. We also bring in the Dangerous Goods List (DGL) and talk about where to find the ISHP. This leads to a discussion on technical names, aircraft types, and other symbols shown in the DGL. Eventually we land on the topic of Special Provisions in Column M.

We explain these are additional requirements for any given entry or as I like to call it – the curve balls. Some are helpful and relieve parts of the regulation while others complicate it.

Note – If you ship dangerous goods and are having some trouble with the terms used above, you may need training.

New Special Provisions

IATA added some new Special Provisions a few years ago that cause additional stress for new shippers. I am referring to the A800 series. There are 5 special provisions there starting with A801 and going up to A805. So, what is the big deal with these and new shippers? If we take a moment to look at each one, you’ll see why Continue Reading…