In the vast world called the dangerous goods community, it can sometimes feel like we are specks in the universe, simply just faces in the crowd. The regulations exist, and we follow them. However in certain cases like in the latest NPRM, we do have a voice. What is a NPRM you may ask? It stands for a notice of proposed rulemaking, which derives directly from requests from within the dangerous goods regulatory community to address a variety of provisions within the regulations. That’s right, we can make a difference! The purpose of this is to help clarify, improve, and provide relief from the various regulatory requirements when shipping dangerous goods. As a result of the requests, PHMSA addressed a wide variety of provisions including those addressing packaging, hazardous communication, and incorporation by reference documents. Some of the proposed amendments include revising the basis weight tolerance provided in § 178.521 from ±5% to ±10% from the nominal basis weight reported in the initial design qualification test report for paper shipping sacks, incorporating by reference updated versions of multiple Compressed Gas Association (CGA) publications, and removing the words “manufactured before September 1, 1995” from § 180.417(a) (3) to allow for an alternative report for cargo tanks manufactured after September 1, 1985.
Per PHMSA, these revisions proposed therein are intended to reduce regulatory burdens while maintaining, or enhancing, the existing level of safety. In this NPRM, PHMSA proposes to:
- Prohibit the use of rail tank cars with shells or heads constructed of non-normalized steel used for transportation of poison-by inhalation (PIH) materials after December 31, 2020.
- Harmonize the limited quantity exceptions for more than 100 entries of corrosive materials in the HMT.
- Revise § 173.302(b)(2) to allow a minimum height of 12 mm (0.47 inches) for a proper shipping name marked on a portable tank with a capacity of less than 3,785 L (1,000 gallons).
- Revise § 173.28(c)(1)(i) to add the words “substantially removed” in the context of cleaning metal drums for reuse and clarifying the requisite cleaning standard.
- Revise § 173.5b to allow for the continued use of Portable and Mobile Refrigerator Systems placed into service prior to 1991 that are rated to a minimum service pressure of 250 pounds per square inch (psig).
- Incorporate by reference updated versions of multiple Compressed Gas Association (CGA) publications.
- Remove the reference to Special Provision 103 in § 172.101 from Column (7) for four entries in the hazmat table (HMT) to allow them to be shipped as safety devices.
- Revise the HMT entry for “UN0503, Safety Devices, pyrotechnic” to allow the shipper to use the exceptions provided in § 173.166(d).
- Remove the words “manufactured before September 1, 1995” from § 180.417(a)(3) to allow for an alternative report for cargo tanks manufactured after September 1, 1985.
- Revise the basis weight tolerance provided in § 178.521 from ±5% to ±10% from the nominal basis weight reported in the initial design qualification test report for paper shipping sacks.
- Revise § 173.308(d)(3) to harmonize with the IMDG Code by removing the requirement for a closed transport container to have the warning mark “WARNING – MAY CONTAIN EXPLOSIVE MIXTURES WITH AIR – KEEP IGNITION SOURCES AWAY WHEN OPENING” when transporting lighters.
- Make the “interim” rail tank car specifications the “final” specifications for the transportation of PIH materials.
- Prohibit the use of certain rail tank cars for the transportation of PIH materials after December 31, 2027.
- Allow for all waste materials to be managed in accordance with the lab pack exception and associated paragraphs in § 173.12, irrespective of whether they meet the definition of a hazardous waste per the EPA or the RCRA.
- Incorporate by reference the 2017 version of the ASME BPVC Sections II (Parts A and B, C and D), VIII (Division 1), and IX into the HMR.
- Revise §§ 171.23, 173.302, and 173.304 to permit the import of filled pi-marked foreign pressure receptacles for intermediate storage, transport to point of use, discharge, and export as well as the import of certain pi-marked foreign pressure receptacles filling, intermediate storage, and export.
- Revise the language in § 173.166 to clarify the term “recycle” by adding the word “metal” in front of “recycling.”
- Correct § 171.7(r) to include the address of the Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME) and to incorporate the IME/Association of Energy Service Companies (AESC) JPG Standard, also known as the “Guide to Obtaining DOT Approval of Jet Perforating Guns using 8 AESC/IME Perforating Gun Specifications,” Ver. 02, dated September 1, 2017 as material incorporated by reference.
- Update to the January 1, 2018 version of the APA Standard 87-1, “Standard for Construction and Approval for Transportation of Fireworks, Novelties, and Theatrical Pyrotechnics”, which is currently incorporated by reference in § 171.7(f) of the HMR. II. Review of Proposed Amendments 1. Phase-Out of Non-Normalized Tank Cars Used.
In addition, you may submit any further comments on the above proposed rulemakings within 60 days of the August 14thpublished document below at http://www.regulations.gov.