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 Continue Reading…
As a frequent traveler, for both business and pleasure, I am often passing though airport security checkpoints before whisking off to my final destination. Because of the industry I am in, I always seem to notice things that most travelers don’t. Most passengers tend to know the rules regarding carry on liquids. They usually know that they need to take off shoes and remove laptops from bags before x-ray screening. While waiting in line, I start thinking about how many of them really understand how many hazardous materials we may be taking on vacation with us and that there are additional rules for carrying them on aircraft.
During my most recent trip, I noticed a sign while in the queue for the security checkpoint at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. It seemed odd to me that they would choose to display this sign in a passenger area. While the information provided on the sign is accurate and useful, it is not appropriate for the audience it is reaching. Those passengers who actually stop to read the sign will likely think it does not apply to them because they are not traveling with packages as pictured. In my opinion, a more effective sign for this location would warn that lithium batteries that are used with personal electronics can start fires if they are dropped or improperly charged. Showing photos of Continue Reading…
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) No.10017 on October 10, 2010. The subject of this SAFO pertains to the “Risks in Transporting Lithium Batteries in Cargo by Aircraft” and is intended to alert operators to the recent findings from the FAA William Hughes Technical Center test results on the particular propagation characteristics that are associated with lithium batteries. FAA tests follow the United Parcel Service (UPS) Flight 006 crash in the United Arab Emirates on September 3, 2010. Although investigation of the crash is still underway, and the cause of the crash has not been determined, investigators are aware that the plane’s cargo did include large quantities of lithium batteries. In coordination with the FAA, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is considering the best course of action to address the risk posed by lithium batteries. In the interim, SAFO 10017 includes recommended action that carriers should consider adopting when transporting lithium batteries.
FAA tests have demonstrated how lithium ion cells are flammable and capable of self-ignition that occurs when a battery short circuits, is overcharged, is heated to extreme temperatures, is mishandled, or is defective. Lithium ion batteries, like lithium metal batteries, can be subject to thermal runaway. Thermal runaway is a chain reaction that occurs when Continue Reading…
This year’s COSTHA Forum was held in Long Beach, California from March 29 – April 1.
Some of the speakers were:
Geoff Leach, Civil Aviation Authority, UK
Janet McLaughlin, Divisions Manager, US DOT FAA
Duane Pfund, Director International Standards, US DOT PHMSA
Robert Richard, Deputy Associate Administrator, US DOT PHMSA
Brendan Sullivan, Manager, Cargo Standards, IATA
William Schoonover, Federal Railroad Administration
Dave Madsen, Hazmat Analyst, AutoLiv, Inc.
L’Gena Prevatt, Delta Air Lines, Inc.
Josefine Gullo, Swedish Rescue Services Agency
Chen Zhegcai, Director of Transport and Safety, Ministry of Transport, China
Sean Broderick, Regulatory Compliance Manager, Procter & Gamble
and the list goes on. But in looking at the list, someone is missing.
There were two federal agencies from over the pond—UK and Sweden—plus one federal agency from half way around the world – China.
The federal agency that was conspicuous by its absence, Transport Canada, is right next door to the host country. Where were they? In this time of harmonization of regulations, it would have been nice to have representation from Transport Canada to give the Canadian perspective on this issue.