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 https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/regulations-fr/rulemaking/2018-22114.

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…
ICAO
Lithium Ion Batteries to be “Cargo Aircraft Only”

Download links below.

Lithium continues to cause (as well as alleviate) depression!

IATA, reporting on the Feb. 22 ICAO Council acceptance of the ICAO Air Navigation Commission, has announced that they will be adding an Addendum to the 57th Ed. of the IATA DGR to prohibit shipping Lithium Ion Batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft. This applies only to UN3480 (i.e. batteries alone) prepared under PI 965.

The prohibition will take effect April 1, 2016 (along with other announced changes – state of charge limits, number of Sec. II exemption items/consignment, etc.) and will be in effect for an unspecified “interim” period.

This interim period will probably depend on the conclusion of developing performance-based standards announced earlier (see my previous article).

The notice also includes reinforcing the restriction to PI 965 Section II exempted items to 1 per consignment or overpack; and will add the requirement for a Cargo Aircraft Only handling label for these packages/overpacks.

UN3481 lithium ion batteries packed with/contained in under PI 966 and PI 967 are not covered by the prohibition.

The formal issue of ICAO Technical Instructions 2015-2016 4th Amendment and IATA DG 2016 2nd Amendment, introducing this restriction, are expected by Feb. 26th.

Shippers of lithium ion batteries may have to plan soon for alternate delivery modes if customers are not well served by CAO flights.

The pre-amendment notices can be found here:
Lithium Batteries as Cargo in 2016 Update Continue Reading…

Lithium
Back to the Future – Interim ICAO/IATA 2016 Lithium Battery Changes

In addition to changes documented in the IATA 2016 (57th Edition) DGR, and the anticipated 2017 changes outlined in Appendix H (“Impending Changes” to ICAO Technical Instructions), recent incidents with lithium batteries and lithium battery-powered small vehicles (e.g. “Solowheels”, hoverboards, mini-“Segway”, etc.) have caused regulators to re-examine changes and deadlines.

Specifically ICAO intends to require that, in 2016 (date to be confirmed, April 1 proposed):

  1. Lithium ion cells and batteries (UN3480, PI 965) must only be offered for transport when their “state of charge” (SoC) does not exceed 30 % of the rated capacity, as determined by the UN Manual of Tests & Criteria (Section I cells/batteries are only allowed to exceed 30% if the States of Origin & Operator approve in writing).
  2. Not more than 1 package prepared under Section II of PI 965 (UN3480) or PI 968 (UN3090) may be placed in an overpack
  3. Overpacks prepared as above must have both the lithium caution label and “overpack” mark visible.
  4. Packages prepared as above must be offered separately from other cargo and not be loaded into a unit load device (ULD) before being offered to the carrier.

These are interim measures while performance-based standards are developed for lithium batteries; and until changes to UN3481 andUN3091 (packed with/in equipment) take effect in 2017. Some or all of these interim measures may be retained in the future editions of Continue Reading…

Why You Need the Most Updated Regulatory Texts

The Bible, Shakespeare and Transport Regulations

“Woe is me” is a phrase heard by many. It basically means someone is unhappy or distressed. The Bible uses this phrase in several locations including Job 10:15, Isaiah 6:5 and Psalms 120:5. Shakespeare later used this same expression when writing for his tragic character Ophelia in “Hamlet”. Existing and operating in the world of regulations can also bring on this feeling. It is difficult enough learning the basics of any regulation, but to truly “know” it takes time, patience and work. This process is complicated by the fact that many regulations change. Is it really necessary to have the newest, latest regulation? To answer that question it is time to look to the regulations.

International Air Transport Association (IATA):

For many, these are the Air Regulations. In this instance, the regulation is updated YEARLY. A new edition goes into effect on January 1st of any given year and ends on December 31st of that same year. The Regulation is currently on its 56th Edition. To showcase some of the changes that could apply to a variety of shippers, please read the following:

  1. The List of Dangerous Goods has new entries and/or updates to existing substances
  2. Packing Instructions for Lithium Batteries was updated to include not only a change but also a new addition
  3. Section 7 – Marking and Labeling for Limited Quantities has new information

Continue Reading…

Can You Really Ship HazMat/DG Without Following the Regulations?

Can someone ship hazardous materials/dangerous goods without using regulatory publications?

This is often a question we ask ourselves when assisting customers. There are so many if’s, and’s, and but’s in the regulations, it’s hard to imagine someone shipping hazardous products without them. The regulations are just large instruction manuals on how to safely ship dangerous materials. We often have customers call and question why their shipment was rejected. After listening to their story, we can usually find the answer right in the regulations. When we tell a customer why their shipment may have been rejected, customers normally see why having a copy of the current regulations is so important. Every company shipping hazardous materials/dangerous goods should have all the regulatory manuals for the modes of transportation which they ship.

“That’s how we have always done it.”

This is something we hear very often, actually.

Just because that’s how you have always done it doesn’t mean it is compliant. The regulations are updated often for a reason – to ensure safety for everyone involved with shipping hazardous materials/dangerous goods. Recently, many of the regulations have been updated to include new UN numbers. The new shipping names and UN numbers will affect the way that companies label and document these products. This could easily become a scenario where “we’ve always done it this way” may lead to penalties or fines.

“These books are Continue Reading…

A New Year, New Requirements for Identification Numbers

New shipping name labels sizes are required as of January 1, 2014

As the start of a new year approaches, it’s time for parties, resolutions – and to check our dangerous goods/hazmat procedures, and see what’s changing. If you are a shipper of non-bulk packagings, one thing to watch out for is the new size limit for identification numbers that will be introduced in many regulations for 2014.

Identification numbers (which cover UN numbers, NA numbers and ID numbers) are the main way for packages to be identified as to their contents, in a format that does not depend on language. In the past, incidents have occurred because these numbers were marked on dangerous goods packages, but were not large enough to be seen easily. Therefore, the United Nations has, in the UN Recommendations for Dangerous Goods, established minimum size requirements.

The size minimums are:

  • For packages with a capacity of 5 Litres or net mass of 5 kilograms or less, the size should be “an appropriate size,” based on the size of the container.
  • For packages containing more than 5 Litres or kilograms, up to  a maximum capacity of 30 Litres or net mass of 30 kilograms, the letters and numbers of the marking must be at least 6 millimeters (1/4 inch) tall.
  • For packages exceeding 30 Litres capacity, or 30 kilograms net mass, the letters and numbers of the marking must be at least 12 millimeters (1/2 inch) tall.

These size minimums will Continue Reading…

No Harmonization for Combustible Liquids in the US

On May 30, 2012, the DOT rescinded an April 2010 ANPRM regarding Combustible Liquids. The DOT was soliciting comments whether to consider harmonization of the Hazardous Material Regulations (HMR) applicable to the transport of combustible liquids with the international transportation standards as seen in the UN Recommendations.

The ANPRM was to invite public comments on the amendment to the HMR, and make recommendations on how to revise, clarify or relax requirements to facilitate transport and still ensure safety.

Under the HMR, when packaged in non-bulk packagings, a material with a flash point of 100 -140 oF may be reclassed as combustible liquids and are not subject to the HMR when transported by highway or rail. These materials ARE regulated as flammable liquids when transported by vessel under the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code and by aircraft under the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions (ICAO Technical Instructions). In addition, there are some exemptions for combustible liquids when transported domestically in bulk quantities.

The classification system in the UN Recommendations has no combustible liquid category or hazard class. The domestic regulation of these materials is in conflict and may be confusing to both domestic and international shippers and carriers of flammable and combustible liquid shipments.

The Results are In

The majority of the commenters opposed harmonization and elimination of the combustible liquid classification and expressed support for the non-bulk and bulk Continue Reading…

UN Performance Packaging – Filling Limits

UN Packaging codes reveal necessary information about a package’s specifications.  They provide concise answers to questions of:
what it can hold, how much, where it was authorized, when it was made, etc.
The UN packaging code, however, doesn’t always tell the whole story…

Although there may be other test levels achieved, these may not be reflected on the packaging itself.  For example, take a steel drum that has successfully passed the most stringent tests (PG I), and is marked accordingly with the ‘X’ performance level.  This package, in all probability, can/has also passed the less rigorous tests required to meet both the ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ performance level. (Referencing a testing certificate, a test report, or the registration of a successfully tested package, will confirm this.)

So what does this all mean?
Filling limits for single or composite packaging, containing less hazardous material for which they were tested & marked (e.g. PG III material in a PG I packaging), can be re-calculated as per below.

Provided all the performance criteria can still be achieved by the higher relative density product, the following will apply:

For liquids:

a.  A packing group I packaging may be used for a packing group II material with a specific gravity not exceeding the greater of 1.8, or 1.5 times the specific gravity marked on the packaging.

b. A packing group I packaging may be used for a packing group III material with Continue Reading…

ERAP – When?

One of the conundrums of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDG) is the requirement to have an ERAP for a UN number that is not listed in Schedule 1 of TDG.

The problem we run into is that Schedule 1 is only up to the 11th Edition of the UN Recommendations on the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods (model regulations). In section 1.3.1, item 39 in the table of standards indicates that TDG is at the 14th Edition of the model regulations. But since the 13th Edition of the model regulations, the UN has issued over 130 new classifications.

But section 1.10 of TDG states:

A person may use the appropriate classification set out in the ICAO Technical Instructions, the IMDG Code or the UN Recommendations to transport dangerous goods within Canada by a road vehicle, a railway vehicle or a ship on a domestic voyage if these Regulations or the document from which the classification is taken does not forbid their transport.

This means that if the consignor cannot find a classification in TDG, then the consignor can use a classification from the model regulations, ICAO Technical Instructions (TIs) or the IMDG Code. And this is where the conundrum lies. TDG section 7.1(12) states:

Any substance that would require an ERAP if its classification were determined in accordance with Part 2, Classification, requires an approved ERAP if its classification from the Continue Reading…

DGIS VI (Part I)

I attended the sixth Dangerous Goods Instructor Symposium (DGIS VI) hosted by LabelMaster in Memphis TN last week.
Things started on Tuesday evening with the Dangerous Goods Trainers Association (DGTA) meeting. The changes concerning NESHTA, BCSP, IHMM and others were discussed. Bob Richard has suggested the DGTA make application at the UN for consultative status. This would allow DGTA to attend the UNSCOE on TDG as observers or as a NGO (non-governmental organization). The website has been updated, see www.dtga.org/. There was also discussion on which trade shows that DGTA should attend.

Later that night some of us boarded buses to go the the FedEx world hub. Here we were given a tour of the FedEx Memphis Hub (night-side) facilities.

Some interesting points of interest:

  • handles approx. 1.3 million packages daily
  • averages 140 landings per night (every 90 seconds)
  • averages 140 takeoffs per night
  • aircraft unloaded in under 30 minutes
  • fleet of more than 366 aircraft (727s to A300s to 777)
  • 7,000 employees at the hub
  • covers 863 acres
  • approx. 42 miles (68 km) of conveyor belts

Thanks to David Jones of FedEx for arranging the tour.

The Wednesday morning session on the ABCs of Training Objectives. This workshop covered the basics in making brief, concise, clear learning objectives. After lunch, Howard Skolnik of Skolnik Industries did a hands-on session on Writing of packing and closure instructions: an exercise in authorship. Howard gave each table an exercise on writing Continue Reading…