July 11, 2014: USDOT and PHMSA Release Update to Class 7 Rules

The Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration published a final rule in the July 11, 2014 edition of the Federal Register that conforms certain regulations within the US 49 CFR Hazardous Materials Regulations to those of the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA). PHMSA has made the following summary of what they are deeming notable amendments:
1. Revise §§ 172.203(d)(3) and 172.403(g) to clarify that the total activity indicated on the shipping paper and label must be the maximum activity during transportation.
2. 173.25(a)(4) to adopt the new TS–R–1 requirement for the marking of all overpacks of Class 7 (radioactive) packages with the word ‘‘OVERPACK.’’
3. Revise Table 1 in § 172.504 to additionally require conveyances carrying unpackaged LSA–I material or SCO–I, all conveyances required by §§ 173.427, 173.441, and 173.457 to operate under exclusive use conditions, and all closed vehicles used in accordance with § 173.443(d) to be placarded. This change is a result of internal PHMSA review.
4. Update definitions in § 173.403 for contamination, criticality safety index (CSI) for conveyances, fissile material, LSA, and radiation level. These changes are proposed primarily to align with definitions in the TS–R–1, and the change to the definition of ‘‘criticality safety index’’ is made to align with the NRC definition.
5. Extend the retention period for Type A, Type IP–2, and Type IP–3 package documentation from one year to two years, to coincide with the minimum retention period currently required for shipping papers. PHMSA is also including more detailed language describing the kinds of information required to be included as part of the Type A package documentation. This change is being made based on internal PHMSA review of existing regulations, and is intended to ensure proper testing and preparation of these packages prior to being offered for transportation.
6. Require that any conveyance, overpack, freight container, tank, or intermediate bulk container involved in an exclusive use shipment under § 173.427 or § 173.443(b) be surveyed with appropriate radiation detection instrumentation after each such shipment, and not be permitted to be used for another such exclusive use shipment until the removable surface contamination meets package contamination limits and the radiation dose rate at each accessible surface is no greater than 0.005 mSv/h (0.5 mrem/h). These changes are a result of internal PHMSA review.
7. Update matter incorporated by reference to align with updated references in the TS–R–1 in § 171.7 and applicable sections.
8. Clarify labeling requirements for radioactive shipments with subsidiary hazards in § 172.402. This change is a result of internal PHMSA review.
9. Require that, when it is evident that a package of radioactive material or conveyance carrying unpackaged radioactive material is leaking or suspected to have leaked, access to the package or conveyance must be restricted and, as soon as possible, the extent of contamination and the resultant radiation level of the package or conveyance must be assessed in § 173.443. This will more closely align with the requirements in TS–R–1.

Be sure to read the full extent of regulatory changes

July 23, 2014: UN TDG and GHS Reports for June/July 2014

The official reports of the UNSCOE – Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG 45th session) and the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS 27th session) meeting that was held in Geneva in June and July 2014 have been released.

The following are some important points to take note of:

1. Leakproofness Testing – paragraph 111, page 22
2. Packagings for Water-Reactive Materials – paragraph 41-42, page 12
3. Assignment of Flammable Liquids of PG II According to their Viscosity – paragraph 40, page 12
4. Use of the Terms “Mark” and “Marking” – paragraph 102, page 21
5. Corrosivity Criteria – paragraph 126-130, page 24-25
6. Joint TDG/GHS Working Group on Corrosivity Criteria – paragraph 31-35, page 8

ECOSOC Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG) AC.10/C.3 Reports

ECOSOC Sub-Committee of Experts on the GHS AC.10/C.4 Reports

July 23, 2014: (NPRM) (ANPRM) DOT Announces Comprehensive Proposed Rule on Flammable Materials

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx held a press conference today at 10:00. He was accompanied by FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo, PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman and the DGAC. Secretary Foxx announced that the Department of Transportation will be issuing a comprehensive rule making proposal (NPRM) to improve the safe transportation of large quantities of flammable materials by rail, in particular crude oil and ethanol. The NPRM focuses on new operational requirements for “high hazard flammable trains”. Trains will fall into this category if they are comprised of 20 or more carloads of flammable liquids.
Some of the items covered by the NPRM include restricting speeds, doing risk assessments of routes, notifying state emergency response commissions, enhanced tank car standards and requiring higher standards for classifying and testing mined gases and liquids. It also proposes to phase out the use of DOT-111 tank cars within two years unless they have been retrofitted with new tank car design standards for shipments of PG 1 flammable liquids that includes most crude oil. Three options have been laid out for improving the design requirements of tank cars that are built after October 1, 2015. They include proposing thicker, more puncture resistant shells, enhanced braking and rollover protection.
Secretary Foxx announced they are releasing a report that includes testing results from Operation Classification and indicated that the study has confirmed Bakken crude oil is on the high end of volatility compared to other crude oils.

Proposed Rule Making

Additional Rule Making Proposal

Operation Safe Delivery Update

In depth breakdown of proposal

July 2, 2014: (NPRM) Transport Canada’s New Tank Car Proposal & TDG Regulatory Amendment

On July 2, 2014 Transport Canada adopted new requirements for TC/DOT-111 tank cars that are used to transport dangerous goods by rail by incorporating the technical standard TP14877, Containers for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Rail (CPC 1232). The new requirements establish a minimum threshold for rail cars that transport dangerous goods, including but not limited to petroleum crude oil and ethanol.
Transport Canada is contemplating the development of specifications for an even more robust class of tank cars (Class TC-140) that will be based on both the industry and the Association of American Railroad Tank Car Committee proposals in addition to technical discussions with PHMSA. The technical discussions have led to the development of stricter requirements which include full head-shields, thicker steel, electronically controlled braking systems and improved bottom outlet valves.
Once the standard is adopted in the TDG Regulations, Transport Canada expects the industry to manufacture any new rail tank car that is coming into flammable liquid service to meet the new Class TC-140 requirements and to retrofit all TC/DOT-111 tank cars that transport flammable liquids within the time frame outlined by the proposed regulations.
Stakeholders are being asked to provide their comments regarding the new proposed Class TC-140 tank car to Transport Canada on or before September 1, 2014.
For further instructions on where to submit your comments and to read the proposal in full please visit Transport Canada: Regulatory Proposals under Development

July 14, 2014: Comments Requested on Updated National Hazardous Materials Route Registry

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is requesting comments on the updated National Hazardous Materials Route Registry. The NHMRR is a complete list of both restricted and designated roads and highway routes for the transportation of controlled quantities of Class 7 radioactive and non-radioactive hazardous materials. Provided they meet the standards established by 49 CFR of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, State and Tribal Governments are permitted to designate and limit highway routes that hazardous materials may be transported per section 5112 of the Federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Law.
FMCSA is requesting comments on the new route ordering approach, table structure and content, or other related specific route issues from the following states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Texas and the District of Columbia. All comments must be submitted no later than September 12, 2014.
Read the full notice and obtain instructions on submitting comments here

July 15, 2014: (NPRM) (HM233D) Hazardous Materials: Requirement for the Safe Transportation of Bulk Explosives

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is proposing to amend the Hazardous Materials Regulations by establishing standards for the safe transportation of bulk explosives in response to two petitions that have been submitted by industry representatives. The first petition, P-1557, focused on the continued use of renewal applications while the second petition, P-1583, focused on the incorporation of an industry standard publication. Under the proposed rule, the requirements would mirror the majority of provisions contained in nine special permits that are either widely used or long standing and have established safety records.
The goal of these revisions are to eliminate the need for future renewal requests while still maintaining an appropriate level of safety. The requirements would authorize the transportation of specific explosives, ammonium nitrates, ammonium nitrate emulsions and other hazardous materials in bulk packagings that are not otherwise authorized under the regulations.
Comments about this proposed ruling must be submitted by September 15, 2014. Please see the official notice for further instructions on submitting your comments

July 11, 2014: (FR) (HM250) PHMSA Final Rule Affects the Transportation of Class 7 Materials

On July 11, 2014 PHMSA issued a final rule amending the Hazardous Material Regulations on radioactive materials. The purpose of this ruling is to clarify the HMR concerning the transportation of such materials. In addition to their own changes PHMSA also incorporated changes that were adopted from the 2009 publication of the IAEA Safety Standards.
PHMSA worked closely with the NRC during the development of this rule. Although they do expect the NRC to publish a parallel final rule there is no date currently set for that so there is a risk of differences in overlapping proposals that may affect the compatibility of both the PHMSA and NRC regulations.
Read the complete final rule here

July 2, 2014: (FR) Regulations Amending the Transportation of Dangerous Goods in Canada

On July 2, 2014 Canada issued new regulations concerning Dangerous Goods Safety Marks. There have been several changes in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations in order to update standards and harmonize requirements with those currently in the U.S. Hazardous Materials Regulations. The new regulations will go into effect on July 14, 2014.

The new Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations are as follows:

1. Add the terms “overpack” and “consolidation bin”
An “overpack” is defined as an enclosure that is used by a single consignor to consolidate one or more small means of containment for ease of handling, but is not a minimum required means of containment
A “consolidation bin” is defined as bin used in a road vehicle to secure one or more small means of containment so that, under normal conditions of transport, they will not shift in a way that might compromise their integrity; and to allow small means of containment to be added or removed during transport

2. Revise the “Limited Quantity” mark to authorize a reduced size marking on packages on which a full size mark is not able to be displayed

3. Requires that an overpack display the word “Overpack” as well as other required markings displayed on the inner packaging

4. Redefines the conditions under which a “DANGER” placard may be displayed on a large means of containment

5. Adopt new markings for organic peroxides, marine pollutants and limited quantities

6. Allows the display of 4 labels or 2 placards on intermediate bulk containers of up to 3000 liters

7. Provides an exception from placarding for certain hazard classes of dangerous goods having a gross mass of 500 kb or less in or on a road vehicle or railway vehicle

8. Require additional markings on means of containment used to transport materials which are toxic by inhalation

Read the full article in the Canada Gazette.

July 2, 1014: (SA) PHMSA – Unauthorized Certification of Compressed Gas Cylinders

The Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Advisory (PHMSA) has issued a safety advisory to the public concerning any DOT-Specification or DOT-Special Permit high pressure compressed gas cylinders that were marked as complying with the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) by Always Safe Fire Extinguisher and Safety (ASFES), located in Yonkers NY, are not authorized for the transportation of hazardous materials in commerce. It is important to note that ASFES has never been authorized by PHMSA to perform these regulatory functions. Cylinders that were serviced by ASFES from 2008 through present day and contain markings that list the date as a 2 digit month – star – 2 digit year may not have been properly tested. These cylinders are to be considered unsafe and not authorized for the filling of hazardous material unless they have been properly tested by an individual or company authorized to re-qualify DOT specification and special permit cylinders. Using cylinders that have not been re-qualified may result in a rupture of the cylinder which could cause extensive property damage, serious personal injury or death.
Read the entire safety advisory