Monday, October 26, 2020


PHMSA’s Spring Agenda
Senior Technical Advisor Ed Mazzullo, PHMSA’s former Director of Standards, updates readers on the agencies Spring 2020 Unified Agenda. The report reveals a substantial number of NPRM’s, many of which offer regulatory relief, actions that have yet to finalized.

Storage Of Sanitizing Agents
While PHMSA has gone to great lengths to provide relief from the HMR provisions for regulated sanitizing agents given the Covid-19 pandemic, no relief has been granted to fire code provisions and regulations for the storage of flammable materials.

Relationship Between EU CLP and Transport Regulations
The EU “Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures” is based on the GHS. Only a member competent authority may proposed a change to a harmonized entry, thus creating challenges for organizations seeking a change to a provision.  This report addresses such a question raised by a reader and explains the effect, if any, on transport regulations.

Competency Based Training
CBT has been advanced by certain organizations at the UN level over the last several years. The problem as defined in this report is that there were “no criteria which would define the credentials of instructors and what is a trained employee.”  PHMSA did not address CBT in final rule HM-215O as ICAO did not include provisions in its 2018-2019 Technical Instructions.

Comments on PHMSA Letters of Interpretation
Two important LOI’s are addressed: 1) Meaning of Different Packaging 178.601(c)(4)(ii).  2) We address an LOI applying to § 178.601(c)(4)(ii), and § 180.509(d) on the clarification on the training requirements for the visual inspection of rail tank cars. The revised interpretation letter is more closely aligned with The Journal’s previous comments from our May/June 2020 issue on the earlier PHMSA letter.

Classification of Mixtures
For materials that are clearly environmentally hazardous, issues arise less frequently.  But When classifying substances that are on the borderline between EHS and non-hazardous, these classification differences can lead to disputes. 

IMDG Code: Classification of Environmentally Hazardous Substances
Over ten years ago, new criteria were established for the classification of Environmentally Hazardous Substances.  The Journal followed by publishing a major two-part report by Senior Technical Advisor Frits Wybenga on the subject.  These reports are presented to our readers as part of a new “best of” series of reports.  Newer readers ought to see them an excellent reference tool.

Results of ICAO DGP Meeting
The ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel met in Montreal on 16 to 20 September 2019 to discuss and adopted a wide range of papers for incorporation into the next edition of technical instructions.  Included  are new provisions for batteries, as well as a new document titled, “Competency Training Requirements.”  A review of key changes to the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations is also provided.

Classification Issues
A reader asked, are there any specific references that require the shipper to class the material based upon characteristics of material at the time of shipment as opposed to testing data on the “fresh” material.  Regulatory definitions and a situation analysis are provided in addressing this inquiry.

Risk Management
Dr. Burke concludes her series on risk management where she extensively has addressed the subject over the last several issues. In this report, she addresses the concept of risk elimination vs. risk elimination which she notes  is hardly feasible when transporting dangerous goods.

Opening Of DG Packages in Transport
The provisions and restrictions for doing so are quite clear.   So why is it happening in certain circumstances with freight forwarders and airlines, and in this case with the transport of packages containing dry ice?

Defining a HazMat Employer
A reader asks whether they as a generator of hazardous waste at a specific plant facility qualifies as a hazmat employer per §171.8 when “using” the contractor to transport hazardous waste in commerce.  The situation involves a special permit for lab packs.

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