If you’ve ever applied for an interpretation from the U.S. Department of Transportation, or even looked one up online, chances are you’ve found a solution to your problem in a letter signed by Edward Mazzullo, longtime Director of the Office of Hazardous Materials Standards of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Mr. Mazzullo’s commitment to clarifying the complexities of the Hazardous Materials Regulations, as well as his career devoted to developing and improving regulatory standards, has resulted in him being awarded the George L. Wilson Award by the Dangerous Goods Advisory Council (DGAC) at its 40th Annual Summit and Exposition in Arlington, VA.
Each year, DGAC, a major organization for the education of the private and public sectors on transport of dangerous goods issues, presents the George L. Wilson Award to an individual, organization or company that has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the field of hazardous materials transportation safety. Previous winners include former members of the DOT, but also representatives of industry, and international representatives such as Linda Hume-Sastre, who labored for many years on the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations for Transport Canada. Even CHEMTREC, the well-known emergency information service, has received the award.
DGAC presented the award to Mr. Mazzullo at a lunch attended by many hazardous materials professionals who have benefitted from his guidance through the years. We applaud his long service, and dedication to transportation safety.
The Summit, held on October 22-24 in Arlington, VA, was well-attended, and included many significant speakers on transportation issues. The keynote presentation was by Howard “Skip” Elliott, Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), who spoke of the challenges of providing regulatory oversight in a time when regulations are being forced to prove their value and efficiency. PHMSA provided speakers on anticipated changes to the Hazardous Materials Regulations, and we heard from the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Federal Railroad Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard on modal issues. Jennifer Lawless from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) gave an update on changes in the Globally Harmonized System and the U.S. HAZCOM 2012 regulations, and Michel Béland of Transport Canada gave a roadmap of upcoming developments in the Canadian Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations. Michelle Lassiter from the U.S. Postal System gave a very informative talk on “Publication 52,” covering the rules for mailing hazmat in the U.S.
Industry speakers included Bob Richard of Hazmat Safety Consulting, who discussed changes to criteria for Class 8 Corrosives, and also co-presented a case study of a small company’s run-in with inspectors; Wendy Buckley of Specialty Transportation and Regulatory Services who told us what to do when the inspector comes to call (first rule? Don’t panic!); and the always-entertaining Gene Sanders of W.E. Train Consulting who gave a trainer’s-eye view of Competency-Based Training.
One of the more entertaining aspects of this year’s Summit was an invitation for participants to enter posters covering topics of interest in dangerous goods transportation that might be unusual or overlooked. The competition was stiff, but ICC Compliance Center won for “Most Educational,” with a poster summarizing the testing required for a package that exceeded the basic UN specification requirements. (Ironically, we were unable to return with our prize – a bag of fresh Gala apples – to Canada due to agricultural regulations.)
The DGAC Summit and Exposition is always a high point of the year for me as a regulatory specialist. Meeting and mingling with regulators and experts in the hazmat community – people like Ed Mazzullo, who are always happy to encourage and educate others in the field – is one of the most effective ways to learn about upcoming regulations. Listening to people from various industries discuss their views, and issues gives me a much wider view of the issues facing the hazmat community. It’s also a lot of fun, with plenty of “meet and greet” opportunities, and the staff at DGAC always make me feel at home. If you want to expand your professional relationships, consider attending next year’s Summit, which will be held in Baltimore.
Do you have any questions about upcoming changes to hazmat regulations? Contact ICC Compliance Center here at 888-442-9628 (U.S.) or 888-977-4834 (Canada), and ask for one of our regulatory specialists. We can help you find the information you need.