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Recent Issue Summaries

In This Issue: January/February 2016 Issue

A sampling of topics of interest in the January/February 2016 issue of The Journal of HazMat Transportation.

HAZMAT LEGISLATION
On December 4, 2015, the President signed into law the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act” or “FAST Act.” Included in this law is the “Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2015” (HMTSIA 2015). HMTSIA 2015 authorizes appropriations for DOT’s hazardous materials transportation programs.
FAST Act – What's in it? Hazardous Materials Safety and Improvement

PHMSA ADOPTS 96 SPECIAL PERMITS INTO HMR
Final Rule HM-233F, “Hazardous Materials: Adoption of Special Permits,” was published on January 21, 2016, incorporating widely-used or long-standing special permits (SPs) into the Hazardous Materials Regulations.
PHMSA Issues HM-233F Final Rule Adopting 96 Special Permits into the HMR

REPORT FOR THE 48TH SESSION OF THE UN SCETDG
The United Nation Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UN SCETDG) held its 48th session in Geneva, Switzerland, from November 30 to December 9 2015. The meeting discussed a range of issues from explosives to lithium batteries. The results of discussion here and in the next biennium will culminate in the 20th edition of the UN Model Regulations.
Report of the 48th UN TDG Sub-Committee Meeting: November/December 2015, Second of the Biennium

REPORT FOR THE 25TH SESSION OF THE ICAO DGP
The International Civil Aviation Organization Dangerous Goods Panel (ICAO DGP) met for its 25th session in Montreal, Canada, from October 19 to 30 2015. Amendments agreed to at this meeting will be included in the 2017-2018 Technical Instructions. The DGP also considered decisions made by two previous DGP working group meetings.
A Review of Decisions by the 25th Session of the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel (October 2015): Part I - Lithium Battery Related Changes; Part II - Other Amendments Discussed at the 25th Session of the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel

INTERNATIONAL PROVISIONS FOR MARITIME TRANSPORT
Amendment 37-14 to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code became mandatory at the start of this year, with SOLAS container weight verification becoming in effect in July. Next year holds voluntary and then mandatory dates for Amendment 38-16, pushing further changes to the IMDG Code.
IMO Update: Changes to International Standards for Transportation by Vessel

GHS HARMONIZATION IN THE US
Incorporating labels from the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) into the US hazcom system is raising many issues for those looking to conduct international trade, such as translation requirements and HCS2012 labeling for exports and imports.
Challenges for Supply Chain Hazard Communication Labeling

CLARIFYING AND CORRECTING LIBATT PROVISIONS
Final Rule HM-260 “Hazardous Materials: Editorial Corrections and Clarifications” was published in the Federal Register to correct misspellings, section references, restore text inadvertently deleted in the process of publishing past final rules and, in response to requests for clarification, clarify certain HMR regulatory provisions.
PHMSA’s HM-260 Editorial Corrections Rule Clarifies Lithium Battery Provisions

OVERPACKS AND PACKAGE MARKINGS
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) includes two requirements relating to the marking size requirements for proper shipping names. Finding a basis in the ICAO TI provides a point of reference for interpretation.
Examining the IATA Size Requirements for Proper Shipping Name Markings

DIFFERING MODAL REQUIREMENTS FOR COMBUSTIBLE PLACARDS
Different provisions exist in the HMR for requiring the lower portion of a COMBUSTIBLE placard depending on the mode of transportation.
Placard Requirements for Combustible Goods in Transport

OSHA’S INSPECTION AUTHORITY AND PRIORITIES
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has authority to inspect workplaces and conduct investigations. Due to its workforce restrictions, it must prioritize inspections according to capacity. Employers are advised to be prepared accordingly.
OSHA Inspections: Agency Process and Employer Prerogative

COMMENTS ON DOT LETTERS OF INTERPRETATION
Comments are provided on recent interpretations from DOT concerning the definition of non-bulk and bulk, definition of a “tank car facility,” and inclusion of “limited quantity” on the NOPIC.
Comments on DOT Interpretations