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

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…
PHMSA Update
Finally . . . HM-215N

Final Rule HM-215N

At long last, HM-215N is officially in place. The Department of Transportation was published in the Federal Register on Thursday, March 30, 2017. This much-anticipated final rule harmonizes the 49 CFR regulations with the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods—Model Regulations (UN Model Regulations), International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code), and the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO Technical Instructions).

Some of the Notable Changes from HM-215N Include:

New entries in the hazardous materials table (HMT) including:

  • UN3527 Polyester Resin Kit, solid base material
  • UN3528 Engine, internal combustion, flammable liquid powdered or Machinery, internal combustion, flammable liquid powered
  • UN 3529 Engine, internal combustion, flammable gas powered or Engine, fuel cell, flammable gas powered or Machinery, internal combustion, flammable gas powered or Machinery, fuel cell, flammable gas powered
  • UN 3530 Engine, internal combustion or Machinery, internal combustion

Amended Proper Shipping names

UN 3151, Polyhalogenated biphenyls, liquid or Polyhalogenated terphenyls, liquid and

UN 3152, Polyhalogenated biphenyls, solid or Polyhalogenated terphenyls, solid by adding “Halogenated monomethyldiphenylmethanes, liquid” and “Halogenated monomethyldiphenylmethanes, solid”

New Special provisions including:

New special provision 422 is assigned to the HMT entries “UN 3480, Lithium ion batteries including lithium ion polymer batteries“; “UN 3481, Lithium ion batteries contained in equipment including lithium ion polymer batteries; “UN 3481 Lithium ion batteries packed with equipment including lithium ion polymer batteries“; “UN Continue Reading…

OSHA Update
2 Million Plus Workers Get Protection From Deadly Dust! (Part 2)

Silicosis and OSHA Standards

As you may recall in my last blog, I spoke of a tragic story out of West Virginia. It was the Hawk’s Nest Industrial Incident and the repercussions on the people of that time in the 1930s. Up to date each year illness continues takes the lives of thousands of workers. One of these illness still present is caused by a deadly dust – crystalline silica which can cause Silicosis. It is approximated that 2.3 million people in the U.S. are exposed to silica at work. Over time workers have come to count on OSHA to adopt standards to be enforced in the workplace. These standards aid in the reduction of the risks to workers from contracting illness or injury in the workplace.

Let’s review what crystalline silica is. Crystalline silica is an important industrial material found largely in the earth’s crust and is commonly found in the likes of sand, stone, rock, concrete, brick, block, and mortar. It is found in materials that we see every day in the construction of roads, buildings, and sidewalks. Silica dust occurs in the workplace when operations involve cutting, sawing, drilling, and crushing of concrete, brick, block, rock, and stone. It can also be found among operations that use sand products, such as glass manufacturing, foundries, sand blasting, and hydraulic fracturing.

Crystalline silica (respirable) is hazardous to workers who Continue Reading…

Special Permits
Adoption of Special Permits into the HMR (HM-233F)

There was a Legislative act signed by US president Barack Obama in July of 2013 called Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act or MAP-21. As a result, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is making changes to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). These changes will incorporate some provisions from some of the special permits that have a proven safety record and have been widely used over an extended period of time. The intent in doing this is to provide widespread access to regulatory flexibility normally offered in special permits and removing the need for abundant renewal requests. The adopted amendments will also reduce paperwork burdens and help commerce while sustaining an appropriate level of safety.

Special permits set out variances to the requirements found in the regulations, but still has a level of safety that is equal to the safety level required otherwise in the regulations. The MAP-21 legislation required PHMSA to take a look at the special permits that have been in effect for 10-years. PHMSA conducted an investigation of all active special permits and categorized them, as appropriate, as suitable for inclusion into this rulemaking.

The result is PHMSA amending the regulations, 49 CFR Parts 171–180, by accepting requirements within 96 existing special permits. These amendments are based on the review they did of all active special permits as of January Continue Reading…

CPSC Declines to Incorporate GHS Classification for Sensitizers

In a set-back for harmonization between U.S. regulations for consumer products and workplace chemicals, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has decided not to adopt the classification for sensitizers used by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

In a Final Rule published in the Federal Gazette on February 14, 2014 (CPSC Docket No. CPSC-2013-0010), the CPSC has revised the supplemental definition of “strong sensitizer” under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA). The FHSA addresses various chemical hazards for consumer products. This new definition is intended to:

  • remove subjective factors currently found in classifying sensitizers, and creating a more objective definition;
  • eliminate overlap in regulations regarding this area;
  • help introduce new technologies for determining the potential for sensitization, such as in silico testing (computer-simulated evaluation);
  • reorder the criteria used to classify sensitizers in their order of importance;
  • define “severity of reaction” as applied to sensitizers; and
  • provide for the use of a “weight of evidence” approach for classification.

This new rulemaking rationalizes the consumer classification approach for products containing sensitizers within the CPSC’s own regulations. However, the CPSC has turned down requests by some commenters to move the consumer regulations closer to the OSHA’s HAZCOM 2012 standard (found in in Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (29 CFR) section 1910.1200). In its comments on the rulemaking, the CPSC stated that:

“Implementation of the GHS by the Commission would be broad-reaching, with potential Continue Reading…

HM-244C Minor Editorial Corrections and Clarifications

In this September 1st final rule, PHMSA is correcting typographical errors, incorrect CFR references and citations, inconsistent use of terminology, misstatements of certain regulatory requirements and inadvertent omissions of information.

Some of the editorial corrections include sections:

  • 107.117-Correction of the Federal Motor Carrier Administration telephone contact information.
  • 107.329-Corrections to the minimum civil penalty.
  • 71.7-Removal of the Compressed Gas Association’s (CGA) publication from 171.7(b) and paragraph (g) (6) from 180.205.
  • 172.604-(b) (1) adding the word "information" to then read, "emergency response information (ERI provider)" and clarification in (b)(2) that the person registered with the emergency response provider must be identified by name or contract number on the shipping paper.
  • 172.800-To clarify security plan requirements for Division 4.3 materials.
  • 177.843-Requirements for surveying for contamination on motor vehicles used to transport Class 7 radioactive materials.

As the amendments do not impose new requirements, public comment procedures are unnecessary. The changes will appear in the next revision of 49 CFR.

Read the full text of the final rule at the U.S. Government Printing Office’s website.