ICC Attends 33rd Annual DGAC Conference

This week, ICC attended the 33rd Annual Conference and Exposition of the Dangerous Goods Advisory Committee (DGAC), one of the largest trade associations for organizations involved in dangerous goods. The conference, which was held in Tampa, Florida, was well attended by shippers and carriers, as well as companies providing services such as emergency response. ICC’s own Karrie Monette-Ishmael and Barbara Foster were among the exhibitors showing their latest products and services.

The program started with a keynote address from Tim Butters, the Deputy Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). He described how PHMSA was “trying to reopen lines of communication with industry,” that may have been damaged in recent years, and discussed some of their important work on safety and security.

The program itself provided many informative and challenging sessions. Workshops gave a hands-on look at such diverse topics as writing closure instructions for packaging, and compatibility issues between chemicals and packaging. Regulators from North America and Europe gave overviews of issues and upcoming changes to the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, the Hazardous Materials Regulations of 49 CFR, and other related regulations. Speakers from industry were present to give insight into topics such as classification of environmentally hazardous substances. The ever-problematic issue of lithium batteries was addressed by Bob Richard, former Deputy Administrator of PHMSA and now with Labelmaster Services.

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Some questions for you to ponder regarding ERAPs:

  • does your company have an emergency response assistance plan (ERAP)?
  • has it been reviewed by Transport Canada?
  • do you use a third party provider to provide the technical information?
  • do you use a third party provider to respond to the incident site for remediation?

If you are using a third party for incident response, have you:

  • recently audited the provider?
  • ensured that they have the proper tools to handle your products?
  • provided training on your products?
  • ensured that they have the proper equipment, i.e. UN specification packaging, correct specification tankage, hoses, couplings, etc.?
  • checked that they are following the closure instructions for the UN specification packaging?
  • checked to make sure that they are providing the right technical information?
  • checked to make sure that they can respond to wherever the incident is?

Keep in mind that when there is a dangerous goods incident involving an ERAP, it is the ERAP holder who is held responsible for the emergency response.

Are YOU prepared for any emergency?