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Recent Issue Summaries

In This Issue: May/June 2016 Issue

Topics of interest in the May/June 2016 issue of The Journal of HazMat Transportation.

LEGAL ANALYSIS OF WARRANTLESS SEARCHES
Through delegations of authority by the DOT, agencies such as PHMSA assert the ability to conduct warrantless searches, without prior notice or approval, of regulated persons or entities. This article analyzes the “closely regulated industry” exception to Fourth Amendment protection against warrantless searches and its application to the hazardous materials transportation industry, and identifies open issues potentially subject to further judicial review.
Unwarranted Intrusion? Investigating the Closely Regulated Industry Exception to the Fourth Amendment

HM-253 REVERSE LOGISTICS FINAL RULE
In this article we present a comprehensive analysis of PHMSA’s March 31, 2016, final rule implementing provisions to facilitate return shipments of retail products that are hazardous materials. This review covers both a summary of the rule’s provisions and identification of problem areas that may need further clarification or changes to the rules.
PHMSA’s HM-253 Final Rule on Reverse Logistics

ATA PETITION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF CERTAIN HM-253 PROVISIONS
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has petitioned PHMSA for reconsideration of the HM-253 Reverse Logistics final rule. This article examines ATA’s petition addressing a definition for “private carrier,” expansion of reverse logistics exceptions for dedicated carriers and clarification of responsibility for proper packaging.
ATA Files Petition for Reconsideration of HM-253 Reverse Logistics Final Rule

SELECTIVE TESTING OF SINGLE PACKAGINGS
In Part A of this review, published in the March/April Edition of The Journal, we looked at selective testing provisions addressed to non-bulk combination packagings and related guidance derived from letters of interpretation. In Part B, we look at selective testing provisions addressed to non-bulk single packagings.
A Look at Selective Testing Provisions for Non-Bulk Packagings and Related Interpretations—Part B: Single Packagings

PHMSA’S ADMINISTRATOR SHARES VIEWS ON THE HAZMAT PROGRAM
Marie Therese Dominguez, Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, responds to questions from the Journal and shares her views concerning the future of the hazardous materials safety program and insights into other issues of concern to hazardous materials transportation stakeholders.
Questions for Marie Therese Dominguez, Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

PRE-MEETING REPORT FOR THE 49TH SESSION OF THE UN SCETDG
From June 27-July 6, 2016, the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (SCETDG) will hold its 49th session in Geneva, Switzerland. The SCETDG agenda will address 49 formal proposals (working papers) in nine general topic areas as well as 11 informal (INF) papers addressing classification and listing of materials, provisions for explosives and gases, proposals related to the UN Model Regulations and the GHS, and other issues. This is the third of four sessions which will lead to changes in the 20th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations.
Pre-Meeting Report on Proposals to be Discussed at the 49th Session of the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods

STATE REGULATORY ACTION: CALIFORNIA SB-84 HEARING—Part 2
Under recently enacted legislation, California’s newly created Regional Railroad Accident Preparedness and Immediate Response Fund Advisory Committee is charged with assessing fees to chemical companies shipping the top 25 hazardous materials transported by rail. This article provides an update on recent activities of the committee.
State Regulatory Action, Part Two in the Series on California SB-84 Hearing

Highlights from the 30th Session of the UN SCGHS
In December of 2015, the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (SCGHS) held its 30th session in Geneva, Switzerland. This article reviews the work of the SCGHS which focused on labeling of small packagings, GHS labels and transportation, classification and hazard communication for flammable gases, among other issues.
Highlights from the 30th session of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification

Pre-Meeting Report for the 31st Session of the UN SCGHS
From July 5-8, 2016, the UN SCGHS will hold its 31st session in Geneva, Switzerland. The SCGHS agenda will focus on joint work with the TDG Sub-Committee, classification criteria, hazard communication and other issues addressed in informal papers.
Pre-Meeting Report on Proposals to be Discussed at the 31st Session of the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals

COMMENTS ON DOT LETTERS OF INTERPRETATION
Comments are provided on recent interpretations from DOT concerning training requirements for Safety Data Sheet preparers, classification of chlorosilanes and requirements for “empty” oxygen cylinders.
Comments on DOT Interpretations