DOT 49 CFR USA
Updates to PHMSA HM-218H – New Compliance Dates

Winston Churchill and the 49 CFR

As a former high school science teacher, I had a few choice quotes posted around my classroom.  Some were motivational while others were thought provoking. One of my favorites was by Winston Churchill.

“All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes.”
-Winston Churchill

Granted I tweaked it from “men” to “people” so as not to exclude the other genders in my class. My purpose for that one was to prevent frustrations over calculations, lab results, or high school in general.

On June 2, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a final rule on Docket No. HM-218H. That docket number had some as miscellaneous amendments to Hazardous Materials Regulations. Now, two years later we have a corrective rulemaking to HM-218H. Published on June 18, 2018 with an effective date of July 18 and compliance date of September 17, it addresses some appeals and comments to that previous rulemaking. Let’s see what changed or was corrected.

Updated/Changed Sections

  • 604 Emergency Response. Emergency response telephone numbers must be displayed in numerical format only. A shipper is no longer allowed to use alphanumeric phone numbers for the emergency response number. For example, 1-800 CLEAN IT is no longer an acceptable emergency response phone number. It must be listed as 1-800-253-2648 going forward. No enforcement actions will be taken from July 5, 2016 to July 18, 2018.
  • 158 Nitric Acid. Paragraph (e) on packaging certain shipment of nitric acid was amended. It specifically speaks to glass bottles placed into wooden or fiberboard outer packagings. Again, no enforcement actions will be taken from July 5, 2016 to July 18, 2018. The re-written section reads as follows:

    (e) Nitric acid of less than 90 percent concentration, when offered for transportation or transported by rail, highway, or water may be packaged in 4A, 4B, or 4N metal boxes, 4G fiberboard boxes or 4C1, 4C2, 4D or 4F wooden boxes with inside glass packagings of not over 2.5 L (0.66 gallon) capacity each. Beginning September 17, 2018, when placed in wooden or fiberboard outer packagings, glass inner packagings must be packed in tightly-closed, intermediate, packagings and cushioned with absorbent material sufficient to absorb the entire contents of the package. The intermediate packaging and absorbent material must be compatible with the nitric acid.

  • 101 Hazardous Materials Table (HMT). Two entries of the table were amended. All references to Packing Group II in the HMT for UN0501 Propellant, solid and UN0190 Samples, explosive, other than initiating explosives are removed as explosives are not assigned packing groups.
  • 129 Class 5, Division 5.2 – Assignment of Packing Group. This section originally states that all Division 5.2 Organic Peroxides must be assigned to Packing Group II. When HM-218H first was published though, it removed the packing group requirement from all organic peroxides in the HMT in §172.101. However, the information in §173.129 was left in place. With this new rulemaking, this entire section will now be deleted. Organic peroxides in Division 5.2 no longer have packing groups.
  • 407(c)– Requirements for test and inspection of specification cargo tanks. The biggest change is in the table of compliance dates. For MC331 cargo tanks dedicated for propane services and delivery there is now a 10-year interval period for pressure and internal visual inspection certain conditions. Paragraphs (g) and (j) are also being revised.

For full access to the update, go to https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/regulations-fr/rulemaking/2018-12961.

Overall, PHMSA has learned from their mistakes from 2 years ago. Winston Churchill would be proud! They are always open to comments and appeals to certain the regulations. If those comments and appeals are found to be valid and improve safety or clarity, then changes will occur.

It is so important to stay on top of the changes as they occur. It is also necessary for shippers to have current copies of the regulations are needed. With that in mind, the new printing of the 49 CFR will be available later this year. You can also go ahead and pre-order your new IATA and IMDG Code..  We even have some great upcoming training opportunities for you. Give us a call today.

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