PHMSA Update
A Small Victory for Harmonization … For Now (HM-215N)

PHMSA Withdraws Final Rule

—PHMSA Update HM-215N

The Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) of the Department of Transportation (DOT) has withdrawn a Final Rule that was intended to be published in the Federal Register on January 26.

The Final Rule, HM-215N, would have updated the U.S. “Hazardous Materials Regulations” to reflect international standards. This was due to the new administration’s Regulatory Freeze executive memorandum, issued January 20, 2017.

Harmonization

HM-215N would have harmonized the 49 CFR regulations to the latest version of the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, the ICAO Technical Instruction’s on the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods, the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code.

New lithium battery label     New Lithium Battery Mark and Pictogram
New marks and labels introduced in the upcoming international regulations.

 

This delay has made it particularly confusing for shippers of lithium batteries, who have transitioned to the new handling mark, and hazard class 9 label, shown in these international regulations.

Usage

Last week, PHMSA issued a Notice that allows offerors and carriers to use the 2017-2018 versions of the international regulations without fear of enforcement. In addition, it is allowing users to mark and label packages in accordance with either the 2015-2016 or 2017-2018 IATA/ICAO and IMDG regulations.

This notice is limited to 49 CFR Parts 171.4(t) and (v). This notice is expected to be in place until HM-215N is release, or this notice is otherwise rescinded or otherwise modified.

For a full version of the Continue Reading…

OSHA & PHMSA Working Together

OSHA & PHMSA Issue Joint Guidance Memorandum

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a joint guidance memorandum that is intended to provide clarity on the applicability and relationship between, DOT’s labeling requirements under the HMR and OSHA’s labeling requirements for bulk shipments under the HCS 2012.

PHMSA’s hazardous materials regulations require labeling of hazardous materials in transportation, while OSHA requires labeling on containers in the workplace.

When OSHA released its Hazcom 2012 (29 CFR Part 1910.1200) revisions, Appendix C.2.3.3 stated that “If a label has a DOT transport pictogram, the corresponding HCS pictogram shall not appear.” The Hazardous Materials Regulations state “No person may offer for transportation and no carrier may transport a package bearing any marking or label which by its color, design, or shape could be confused with or conflict with a label prescribed by this part” (49 CFR Part 172.401(b)).

This raised many questions with stakeholders, and shortly thereafter, OSHA published a brief that stated that PHMSA does not view the pictograms as a conflict, and both may appear. OSHA continues on in the brief to state they intend on revising C.2.3.3, but in the meantime, they will allow both to appear. This new guidance document further confirms this position.

The Joint Guidance Memorandum can be found at https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/joint_phmsa_memo_09192016.html


ICC is your source for compliant DOT/OSHA Continue Reading…

No Smoking
Up in Smoke – Transport Bans on E-Cigarettes

On almost every corner in St. Louis recently are signs for “vapor rooms” or “vaping” locations. Curious, I did some research. These are locations where the newly popular electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are sold and used. We now have electronic devices that are alternatives to real cigarettes, pipes, cigars and chewing tobacco. Some of these devices are called an e-cigarette, e-pen or even an e-hookah. They work by using a lithium battery to heat an internal coil which vaporizes a mixture of various chemicals and flavorings, including nicotine which is then inhaled.

Last week one of our local news stations, Fox 2 Now, aired a story about injuries received from electronic smoking devices exploding or catching fire while in the hands or pockets of some users. The full story can be found here. Please be warned some of the images are graphic in nature.

As someone in the “safety business,” I was curious in regards to what regulations are currently in place for these items. Back in January of 2015 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an alert that air carriers require these devices only in the cabin of the aircraft. This was followed by a June 2015 ICAO addendum that “prohibits the carriage of e-cigarettes in checked baggage and restricts the charging of these devices while on board the aircraft.” In May of this year, the US Department Continue Reading…

PHMSA
Correction to HMT in 49CFR

On Monday, April 25, 2016 the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a correction to the 49CFR Hazardous Materials regulations in the Federal Register.

The correction states:

“In Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, parts 100 to 177, revised as of October 1, 2015, on page 269, in § 172.101, in the Hazardous Materials Table, for the entry ‘‘Phenylmercuric compounds, n.o.s.’’ add ‘‘G’’ in the first column.”

The federal register notice can be viewed here: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-04-25/pdf/2016-09615.pdf

The “G” in the first column of the Hazardous Materials Table (HMT) identifies proper shipping names for which one or more technical names of the hazardous material must be entered in parentheses, in association with the basic description. The technical name(s) must be shown on package marking and shipping papers. Failure to comply with the corrected information can result in non-compliant shipments.

When an Ordinary Box Isn’t so Ordinary After All (HazMat Box)

We have all used a fiberboard (or cardboard as most people call it) box to ship something. It may have been a box of gifts for a friend or family member, or a package of merchandise for a client at work. Most of the time, you probably didn’t give much thought to the box other than to make sure it was sturdy enough and big enough to contain what you were shipping. For these typical kinds of shipments, that ordinary box will do just fine. HazMat (or dangerous goods) shipments, however, aren’t ordinary and neither is the box that they need to be shipped in.

The packaging industry is a science in itself, with ever evolving processes, techniques, materials, treatments, and regulations. HazMat packaging is a specialized area of packaging technology, and it has some very specific requirements that must be followed. Even though a HazMat box may look identical to a standard shipping carton, there are some significant “behind the scenes” differences between them!

  1. Material matters! When dealing with HazMat boxes, there are specific tolerances for manufacturing. The combination of materials used to make up the fiberboard has very little wiggle room once the design has been approved and certified. Changes in the material may invalidate the certification and make the boxes non-compliant.
  2. Proven performance! HazMat boxes have to be put to the test before they can be Continue Reading…
PHMSA Issues NPRM HM-215M for Harmonization with International Standards

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has been committed to ensuring that the domestic Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) are kept current with international standards. Since these standards are updated at the United Nations (UN) level every two years, this requires frequent amendments. The latest round of amendments has been started with the issue of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on August 25.

The NPRM has been issued by DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) as Docket Nos. PHMSA-2013-0260, HM-215M. It contains revisions necessary for harmonization with the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, the ICAO Technical Instructions for Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air, and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG). The comment period is until October 24, 2014. PHMSA’s goal is to ensure harmonization with the above regulations for the 2015-2016 biennium.

You can follow the links at the bottom of this article to read the proposed rulemaking or comment on it at the Federal Rulemaking Portal.

Shipping Hazardous Materials by Ground in the USA certification »

The extensive docket is about 90 pages long, and covers a number of areas for change.

HMR Significant Updates HM-215M:

  • Marine pollutants – the NPRM would exempt packages of small packages of marine pollutants (up to 5 Liters or 5 kilograms) from the HMR, due to the low risk for these goods in transport. Also, Chlorotoluenes will Continue Reading…
Reverse Logistics: When the Shipper Becomes the Receiver

PHMSA is submitting a Notice of Proposed Rule-Making (NPRM) to revise the Hazardous Materials Regulations applicable to return shipments of certain hazardous materials. By creating an exception from existing regulations for certain reverse logistics shipments, this NPRM offers opportunities for reduced compliance costs among hazmat shippers and carriers, without sacrificing safety. PHSMA proposes to establish a new section in the regulations to provide an exception for materials that are transported in a manner that meets the definition of “reverse logistics.”

The proposed definition of Reverse Logistics is:

… the process of moving goods from their final destination for the purpose of capturing value, recall, replacement, proper disposal, or similar reasons.

In addition to defining reverse logistics PHMSA is also trying to:

  • Establish regulations for the shipment of hazardous material in the reverse logistics supply chain
  • Establish clear applicability to the training requirements associated with “reverse logistics” shipments
  • Provide authorized packaging for reverse logistics shipments
  • Establish segregation requirements for reverse logistics shipments
  • Allow more flexibility for the transportation of lead acid batteries to recycling facilities

When goods are transferred from a manufacturer to a user, we call this downstream. Many hands change in-between before it lands in your own hands.  For example, Paint is manufactured at a plant, sent to a store, where it is purchased and often used by you-the downstream user. Careful thought and vast amounts of resources and dollars are set in motion Continue Reading…

PHMSA Issues a “No Pay-No Play” Regarding Civil Penalties

On August 7, 2014 DOT Secretary of Transportation announced regulations to require a person who is delinquent in paying civil penalties to cease any activity regulated under the Hazmat Law until payment has been made in full or until an acceptable payment plan has been arranged. PHMSA believes that persons who fail to comply with the Hazmat Law and fail to pay civil penalties are not fit to transport hazardous materials, as they are more likely to jeopardize public safety and/or the environment. The ruling does not apply to those filed under Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

A summary of the rule is as follows:

Under the provisions of this final rule, the agency that issued the final order outlining the terms and outcome of an enforcement action will send the respondent a Cessation of Operations Order (COO) if payment has not been received within 45 calendar days after the payment due date or a payment plan installment date as specified in the final order. The COO would notify the respondent that it must cease hazardous materials operations on the 91st calendar day after failing to make payment in accordance with the agency’s final order or payment plan arrangement, unless payment is made. A respondent will be allowed to appeal the COO within 20 days of receipt of the order according to the procedures set forth by the agency issuing Continue Reading…

PHMSA Modifies HMR Lithium Battery Provision

PHMSA modifies HMR Lithium Battery Provision — Harmonizing with UN Model Regulations, IATA, and IMDG Provisions

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a final rule establishing new standards for air cargo shipments of various types of lithium batteries, including packaging requirements and safeguards for power cells that have been damaged or are headed for recycling.

PHMSA, in conjunction with the FAA, is modifying the HMR regarding the transportation of lithium batteries. These changes with help to ensure that battery shipments are able to withstand transport conditions and are packaged properly to reduce the possibility of damage while in transit.

The intent of the rule making is to strengthen the current regulatory framework by imposing more effective safeguards, including design testing to address risks related to internal short circuits, and enhanced packaging, hazard communication, and operational measures for various types and sizes of lithium batteries in specific transportation contexts. The rulemaking would respond to several recommendations issued by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The final rule is expected be published in the Federal Register sometime in the next 10 business days. According to DOT, voluntary compliance is encouraged when the final rule is published, but compliance is mandatory beginning six months after publication, around in February, 2015.

The final rule will:

  • Enhance packaging and hazard communication requirements for lithium batteries transported by air
  • Replace equivalent lithium content with Continue Reading…
DOT Issues Emergency Provisions on Crude Oil Shipments

In the wake of a number of serious incidents involving rail transport of crude oil, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued an emergency order regarding these shipments. In order to improve public safety, the DOT will require that crude oil shipments be tested to ensure accurate classification, and that rail shipments of crude oil shipments be classified as Packing Group I or II, until further notice. This order was published on February 25, 2014.

The emergency order is issued under Docket No. DOT-OST-2014-0025, and can be viewed here. It establishes two main requirements for rail shipments of petroleum crude oil:

  1. Persons identified by the order must, prior to offering for transport, ensure that petroleum crude oil is properly tested and classified, as given in the Hazardous Materials Regulations of 49 CFR, Parts 172 and 173.
  2. Petroleum crude oil, UN1267, must be classified, handled and transported as Packing Group I or II; Packing Group III is forbidden during the timeframe of this order.

The order applies to all persons who offer for transportation or transport petroleum crude oil by rail in commerce within the United States. It covers organizations as well as officers and directors of organizations, employees, subcontractors and agents.


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According to the order, “[m]isclassification is one of the most dangerous mistakes to be made when dealing with hazardous materials.” Not only Continue Reading…