December 30, 2013: (NPRM) PHMSA – Adoption of ASME code

(HM-241): Hazardous Materials: Adoption of ASME Code Section XII and the National Board Inspection Code

PHMSA is proposing to amend the Hazardous Materials Regulations applicable to the design, construction, certification, recertification and maintenance of cargo tank motor vehicles, cryogenic portable tanks and multi-unit tank car tanks (ton tanks) in response to petitions for rulemaking from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors (National Board), and the Pressure Vessel Manufacturers Association (PVMA). Specifically, this NPRM proposes to allow the use of the 2013 edition of the ASME’s Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section XII (Section XII) for the design, construction, and certification of cargo tank motor vehicles, cryogenic portable tanks and ton tanks. PHMSA also proposes to authorize the use of the 2013 edition of the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors’ National Board Inspection Code (NBIC), as it applies to the continuing qualification and maintenance of ASME constructed cargo tank motor vehicles, cryogenic, portable tanks, and ton tanks constructed to standards in ASME’s Section XII, and existing cargo tank motor vehicles and portable tanks constructed to Section VIII, Division 1. If adopted, these amendments will allow for regulatory flexibility, without compromising safety.

Submit comments by March 31, 2014. To the extent possible, PHMSA will consider late-filed comments as we determine whether additional rulemaking is necessary.

TDG – Canada’s TSB establishes website for info on Lac Megantic derailment

*Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has established a website to inform the public about the status of their investigation into the derailment and fire at Lac-Megantic on July 6, 2013. TSB’s website includes all Safety Advisory Letters, safety issues identified, photos, maps, the investigation process, details about the investigators themselves, and much more.

November 28, 2013: (SA) PHMSA & FRA – Joint Safety Advisory

Safety Advisory

PHMSA and FRA issued a Safety Advisory today to reinforce the importance of proper classification and to reiterate their expectation that offerors of hazardous materials, crude oil in particular, should be updating their safety and security plans as required by Emergency Order 28.

October 31, 2013: (FR) PHMSA – Corrections & Response to Administrative Appeals

(HM-215K, HM-215L, HM-218G, HM-219) (effective 10/31/2013 but please click the link above to review compliance dates for the affected regulations)

This final rule corrects editorial errors and amends certain requirements in response to administrative appeals submitted by persons affected by certain final rules published in the Federal Register.

October 2, 2013: (FR) PHMSA – Enhanced Enforcement Procedures

Resumption of Transportation After Packages are Opened by DOT Inspectors (HM-258B) (effective 11/1/2013)

PHMSA is addressing certain matters identified in the Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2012 related to the Department’s enhanced inspection, investigation, and enforcement authority. Specifically, PHMSA is amending the package opening provision to include procedures for an agent of the Secretary of Transportation to open packages of perishable hazardous materials and to provide notification to the responsible party that an agent has exercised a safety inspection or investigation authority. In addition, we are establishing equipment requirements for agents. The Department’s enhanced inspection, investigation, and enforcement procedures were previously established through notice and comment rulemaking and thoroughly address the hazardous material transportation matters identified by Congress. This final rule is required to codify changes to Federal hazardous materials transportation law and to ensure transparency and consistency for hazardous materials inspectors across all modes of transportation. As it affects only agency enforcement procedures, there are no additional compliance costs to industry associated with this final rule.

October 2, 2013: (FR) PHMSA – Corrections

Minor Editorial Corrections & Clarifications (HM-244F) (effective 10/1/2013)

This final rule corrects editorial errors, makes minor regulatory changes and, in response to requests for clarification, improves the clarity of certain provisions in the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). The intended effect of this rule is to enhance the accuracy and reduce misunderstandings of the regulations. The amendments contained in this rule are non-substantive changes and do not impose new requirements.

October 2, 2013: (FR) PHMSA – HM Penalty Guidelines

HM Penalty Guidelines (HM-258C) (effective 10/1/2013)

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is publishing this revised statement of policy to update baseline assessments for frequently-cited violations of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) and to clarify additional factors that affect penalty amounts. This revised statement of policy is intended to provide the regulated community and the general public with information on the hazardous materials penalty assessment process.

September 25, 2013: (FR) FMCSA & PHMSA – Highway-Grade Crossing Safe Clearance

(HM-255) (effective 10/25/2013)

FMCSA and PHMSA amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs), respectively, to prohibit a driver of a commercial motor vehicle or of a motor vehicle transporting certain hazardous materials or certain agents or toxins (hereafter collectively referenced as “regulated motor vehicle”) from entering onto a highway-rail grade crossing unless there is sufficient space to drive completely through the grade crossing without stopping. This action is in response to section 112 of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Authorization Act of 1994, as amended by section 32509 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The intent of this rulemaking is to reduce highway-rail grade crossing crashes.

September 24, 2013: (NPRM) PHMSA – Failure to Pay Civil Penalties for HM Violations

(HM-258A)

PHMSA proposes to amend the hazardous materials procedural found under our regulations. Specifically, this proposed action would prohibit a person who fails to pay a civil penalty as ordered, or fails to abide by a payment agreement, from performing activities regulated by the Hazardous Materials Regulations until payment is made.

September 12, 2013: (FR) IATA & IMDG – Changes to Regs for 2014

Significant changes to IMDG and IATA for 2014 (effective 1/1/2014) IATA and IMDG regulations have issued their changes for 2014. Please see the significant changes here: IATA-2014 Changes for 55th DGR; IMDG-2014 Amendments. These updates are Mandatory 1/1/2014. Need help navigating these changes? We can help….please contact us about cost-effective training.

September 6, 2013: (ANPRM) FRA – Improve the Safety of Railroad Tank Cars

(HM-251) (effective 11/5/13: comment period extended until 12/5/2013)

PHMSA is considering revisions to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to improve the regulations applicable to the transportation of hazardous materials by rail. The revisions are based on eight petitions received from the regulated community and four National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Recommendations which are referenced by a petition. In this ANPRM, we outline the petitions and NTSB recommendations, identify a preliminary estimate of costs and benefits from the petitions, pose several questions, and solicit comments and data from the public. Under Executive Order 13563, Federal agencies were asked to periodically review existing regulations. The questions posed in this ANPRM and responses by commenters will be used in conjunction with a retrospective review of existing requirements aimed to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal existing rules that are outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome.

August 12, 2013: (MTG) FRA – Emergency Meeting of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC)

FRA Announces an Emergency Meeting of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) in Response to the July 6th Lac-Megantic, Quebec Train Derailment.

FRA is holding an Emergency RSAC meeting to be held Thursday, August 29, 2013 from 9:00 am to approximately 4:30 pm at the National Housing Center, 1201 15th ST NW, Washington, DC 20005. The public and the media are invited to attend and observie the proceedings, space permitting, but are not going to be allowed to participate in any way.

Remarks will be given by the FRA Administrator, Committee members will be briefed on the preliminary findings of the accident, and discussions will involve the safety issues related to the July 6 accident.

August 7, 2013: (EO) FRA – Emergency Order #28 & Safety Advisory

FRA Issues Emergency Order #28 and a Safety Advisory to Prevent Unintended Hazardous Materials Train Movement in Response to the July 6th Lac-Megantic, Quebec Train Derailment.

In the Safety Advisory, FRA publishes for review the Directive Ordered by Transport Canada for Railroad Companies which dictates actions to be taken to prevent a similar incident in the future. While they advise that the cause is still unknown, Transport Canada believed the severity of the accident warranted immediate action.

Following the incident in Canada, FRA performed an internal review of defect and violation data regarding securement of railroad equipment. FRA’s inspection data since January 2010 shows significant non-compliance with FRA’s securement regulations, 49 CFR 232.103(n), with nearly 4,950 recorded defects in that time. Moreover, FRA has seen a number of serious accidents during rail transportation of flammable liquids since 2009, and there has been significant growth in these types of rail shipments since 2011. As a result of this analysis, FRA is ordering that each railroad take the following actions on mainline track or mainline siding outside of a yard or terminal to ensure the safe transportation by rail of hazardous material (the following information is abridged; for the complete version please review the Emergency Order as Published in the Federal Register):

1.    No train or vehicle transporting hazardous materials … shall be left unattended on a mainline track or mainline siding outside of a yard or terminal until the railroad develops, adopts, complies with, and makes available to FRA upon request, a plan that identifies specific locations and circumstances when such trains or vehicles may be left unattended.

2.    Develop processes for the securement of unattended trains or vehicles transporting hazardous materials … on mainline track or mainline siding outside of a yard.

3.    Review and verify, and adjust as necessary, existing procedures and processes related to the number of hand brakes to be set on all unattended trains and vehicles and ensure the means of verifying that number is appropriate.

4.    Implement operating rules and practices requiring the discussion of securement for any job that will impact or require the securement of any train or vehicle in the course of the work being performed.

5.    Develop procedures to ensure that a qualified railroad employee inspects all equipment that any emergency responder has been on, under, or between for proper securement before the train or vehicle is left unattended.

July 30, 2013: (FR) PHMSA – updates to UN3268 for automotive industry

HM-254 re: Approval and Communication Requirements for the Safe Transportation of Air Bag Inflators, Air Bag Modules, and Seat-Belt Pretensioners.

Effective Date: August 29, 2013 but voluntary compliance is authorized immediately. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is amending the Hazardous Materials Regulations applicable to air bag inflators, air bag modules, and seat-belt pretensioners. The revisions incorporate the provisions of two special permits into the regulations. In addition, PHMSA is amending the current approval and documentation requirements for a material classified as a UN3268 air bag inflator, air bag module, or seat-belt pretensioner. These revisions are intended to reduce the regulatory burden on the automotive industry and facilitate commerce, while continuing to maintain an equivalent level of safety.

July 18, 2013: (MTG) PHMSA & FRA – improving rail transportation of HM

PHMSA and FRA to Host a Joint Public Meeting to Discuss: Improving the Safety of Railroad Transportation of Hazardous Materials.

Please find summaries from Day 1 – a rewrite of 49 CFR 174 and Day 2 – an open session.

This meeting was held August 27-28, 2013 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm in the Oklahoma Room in the DOT Conference Center, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

There will also be a teleconference number available if you are unable to attend in person but still wish to listen to the proceedings. You may also make a comment or brief presentation during the meeting if you provide prior notice that you wish to do so.

For the conference number or to make a statement during the meeting, please contact Mr. Kurt Eichenlaub, Railroad Safety Specialist, Hazardous Materials Division, Office of Safety Assurance and Compliance, FRA, at least 4 business days prior to the date of the public meeting. Mr. Eichenlaub can be reached at (202) 493-6050 or Kurt.Eichenlaub@dot.gov. You may also submit your comments in writing in advance by visiting http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

July 16, 2013: (FR) PHMSA – fireworks

 PHMSA issues FINAL RULE HM-258B regarding Fireworks.

Effective Date: August 15, 2013. PHMSA is revising the Hazardous Materials Regulations applicable to the approval of Division 1.4G consumer fireworks (UN0336 Fireworks) and establishing DOT-approved fireworks certification agencies that provide an alternative to the approval process for Division 1.4G consumer fireworks. PHMSA is also reformatting the procedural regulations pertaining to certification agencies.

May 10, 2013: (NTC) PHMSA – Extension of deadline re: addtional marking req’s for DOT-SP9275

 EXTENSION OF DEADLINE: Extension of Additional Marking Requirements for DOT-SP9275
DOT SP-9275 authorizes certain limited quantities of liquids and solids containing ethyl alcohol (i.e., the shipment of beverages, foods, cosmetics, medicines, medical screening solutions, and concentrates) classed as flammable liquids or solids containing a flammable liquid (ethyl alcohol) to be shipped without having to meet some of the hazmat transportation regulations, such as marking requirements. However, the new language would require the package to be marked with the Company Name, and “Contains Ethyl Alcohol, exempted quantity.” The original date of implementation was September 1, 2012 but this has twice been extended, with current implementation set for July 1, 2014. There are many companies and organizations opposing the implementation of these additional requirements but so far, PHMSA has not given any indication that this plan will be cancelled. This SP is being considered for incorporation into the regulations under HM-233C.

February 13, 2013: (FR) IATA – amendment II to 54th DGR (2013)

Amendment II to 54th Ed. of IATA DGR (2013)

This amendment includes changes to operator variations as well as the removal of Special Provision A51 from UN3480, Lithium Ion Batteries as A51 is only applicable to UN 2794, Batteries, wet, filled with acid and UN 2795, Batteries, wet, filled with alkali.

January 1, 2014: (EO) Transport Canada Issues Emergency Directive

Emergency Directive Pursuant to Section 33 of the Railway Safety Act

Safety and Security of locomotives in Canada

To:  Companies Listed at the bottom of this posting or on Transport Canada's Website at http://www.tsb.gc.ca/eng/recommandations-recommendations/rail/2014/rec-r1404.asp

Section 33 of the Railway Safety Act (RSA) gives the Minister of Transport the authority to issue an emergency directive to any company when the Minister is of the opinion that there is an immediate threat to safe railway operations or the security of railway transportation.

On July 23, 2013 following the tragic events in Lac-Mégantic, an emergency directive was issued to all railway companies and all local railway companies. On the same day, an order was issued under section 19 of the Railway Safety Act, requiring those same companies to formulate rules respecting the subject matters covered by the emergency directive.

Given that no rule has yet been approved or established under section 19 for the companies listed in Appendix A, and in the interest of ensuring the continued safety and security of railway transportation, I am of the opinion that there remains an immediate need to clarify the regime respecting unattended locomotives on main track and sidings and the transportation of dangerous goods in tank cars using a one person crew to address any threat to the safety and security of railway operations.

Therefore, pursuant to section 33 of the RSA, the companies listed in Appendix A are hereby ordered to:

  1. Ensure that all unattended controlling locomotives on main track and sidings are protected from unauthorized entry into the cab of the locomotives;

  2. Ensure that reversers are removed from any unattended locomotive on main track or sidings.  During sub-zero temperatures, this item does not apply to locomotives that do not have a high idle feature;

  3. Ensure that their company&rsquos’ special instructions on hand brakes referred to in Rule 112 of the Canadian Rail Operating Rules is applied when any locomotive coupled with one or more cars is left unattended for more than one hour on main track or sidings;

  4. Ensure, when any locomotive coupled with one or more cars is left unattended for one hour or less on main track or sidings, that in addition to complying with their company&rsquos’ special instructions on hand brakes referred to in item 3 above, the locomotives have the automatic brake set in full service position and have the independent brake fully applied;

  5. Ensure that no locomotive coupled with one or more loaded tank cars transporting “dangerous goods” as this expression is defined in section 2 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act (TDGA)  is left unattended on main track; and

  6. Ensure that no locomotive coupled with one or more loaded tank cars transporting “dangerous goods” as this expression is defined in section 2 of the TDGA is operated on main track or sidings with fewer than two persons qualified under their company&rsquos’ requirements for operating employees.

For the purpose of this emergency directive an “unattended locomotive” or a “locomotive coupled with one or more cars that is left unattended” means that it is not in the immediate physical control or supervision of a qualified person acting for the company operating the locomotive or car(s) in the case of items 3 and 4 above or a person acting for the company operating the locomotive or car(s) in the case of items 1, 2 and 5 above.

For the purpose of this emergency directive, “main track” and “sidings” do not include main track or sidings in yards and terminals.

For greater certainty, nothing in this emergency directive relieves a company of the obligation to comply with Rule 112 of the Canadian Rail Operating Rules.

Pursuant to section 33 of the RSA, this emergency directive will take effect on January 1, 2014 and will remain in effect until July 1, 2014.

Companies affected:

Boundary Trail Railway
Canpotex (Rail Serve)
Chemin de fer Roberval Saguenay (Rio Tinto Alcan)
Compagnie du Chemin de fer Québec Central
Corporation du chemin de fer de la Gaspésie
Essar Steel Algoma
International Bridge and Terminal Company
Lake Line Railway Company
Minnesota, Dakota & Western Railway Company
Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd.
Northwood Pulp
Orford Express
Port Stanley Terminal Railway Incorporated
RailServe
Rio Tinto Alcan
Southern Ontario Locomotive Restoration Society
Southern Rails Cooperative Ltd.
Stewart Southern Railway
Thunder Rail Ltd. (Arborfield)
Torch River Rail Inc.
Train touristique de Charlevoix
West Coast Railway Museum
Union Pacific Railway Company
York-Durham Heritage Railway Association
White Pass and Yukon Route

May 30, 2013: (NPRM) EPA – air quality: revision to definition of volatile organic compounds

Exclusion of Benzotrifluoride

This direct final with parallel proposal would revise EPA’s definition of voltile organic compounds (VOC) for purposes of preparing state implementation plans (SIPs) to attain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone. The action would add benzotrifluoride to the list of compounds excluded from the definition of VOC on the basis that this compound makes a negligible contribution to tropospheric ozone formation. VOC exemption petition submitted by Kowa American Corp. (Prior: OCC) on 7/29/12.