June 25, 2014: Comments Requested on Provisions for Insulation of Packages Containing Dry Ice

On June 25, 2014 PHMSA submitted a paper entitled Provisions for Insulation of Packages Containing Dry Ice to the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. The paper, which was based on research that was conducted by the Transportation Research Board, suggested that fiberboard packaging that contains dry ice should be insulated in order to reduce the production of carbon dioxide from the packaging. The DGAC is requesting comments from members on this paper and is expected to provide PHMSA some the comments they receive. If you are interested in submitting a comment please do so no later than July 18, 2014. Submit your comments to the attention of Del Billings in the DGAC Members Only Section.
Provisions for Insulation of Packages Containing Dry Ice

April 14, 2014: (NPRM) ICAO – ICAO Adopts Proposal to Forbid Transport of Lithium Metal Batteries on Passenger Aircraft

The ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel held a meeting in Montreal on Lithium Metal Batteries. The proposed banning of such batteries on passenger aircraft was accepted but will not include those packed with or contained in equipment or those carried by passengers in the cabin of the aircraft. There was concern on how to get the essential batteries to locations that were only serviced by passenger aircraft. To meet these needs a special provision A201 was adopted. This provision states that a shipment of lithium metal batteries may be transported only with prior approval from both the appropriate authority of the State of Origin and the State of the Operator under written conditions established by those authorities. Authorities issuing these approvals must provide a copy to the Chief of the Dangerous Goods Section within three months of issuance.

The Air Navigation Commission is expected to approve this decision during their scheduled meeting later this month. As of now the effective date is January 1, 2015 but that date could change depending on how the discussions proceed at the upcoming ANC meeting.

Read the ICAO Lithium Battery Meeting Report

June 6, 2014: (FR) IATA – Second Addendum to 55th ed. of IATA DGR

IATA has published a second addendum to the 55th edition of the DGR (2014). One significant change: for transportation of dangerous goods to, from, or within the United Sates, if the material contains two or more hazardous substances, at least two hazardous substances, including two with the lowest reportable quantities (RQs) must be identified on the Shipper’s Declaration and in association with the proper shipping name on package marking.

Please read the entire addendum here: IATA DGR55 Amendment 2

June 13, 2014: Court Documents Show Only 7 Brakes Set in Lac-Megantic Explosion

The ongoing investigation into the derailment and explosion that took place in Lac-Megantic, Que. last year has revealed that the engineer, Thomas Harding, only applied seven hand brakes prior to the incident. According to the MM&A instruction manual there must be a minimum of nine manual brakes applied for a convoy of 70-79 cars. The crude oil train at the center of the explosion contained 72 cars. Police have questioned several MM&A engineers who stated they would apply between 10-15 hand brakes when parking their convoys. An independent expert that was hired by police stated “Taking into account the weight, length and slope of the railway, the convoy should have had 15 cars with manual brakes activated.” This derailment and explosion killed 47 people which led to several employees of MM&A being charged with 47 counts of criminal negligence causing death.

To read the full article click here

April 17, 2014: AAR Issues Safety Appliance Alert

The Association of American Railroads has issued an important safety alert for all railroads. Recently a razor blade was discovered on a covered hopper car by a shop worker in Bay St. Louis, Missouri. The blade was found wedged into a safety appliance handhold. A second razor blade was discovered in Logansport, Indiana hidden on the cable guard. Thankfully no serious injuries were reported in either incident.
To read the full article and view photos of the razor blade locations click here

May 7, 2014: (EO) DOT Issued Emergency Order for Transportation of Bakken Crude Oil

The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued an Emergency Order that will require all railroads that are operating trains containing more than 1,000,000 gallons, roughly 35 tank cars, of Bakken crude oil to provide the State Emergency Response Commissions notification about the movement of those trains through counties in that state. The SERC notification must include the estimated amount of crude oil, the route that the oil will be transported and the anticipated train traffic. Furthermore, the SERC is to be given the contact information for one responsible party at the host railroad.
To read the full Emergency Order click here