September 23, 2014: (NPRM) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Issued a Proposed Rule To Clarify Protection Under the Clean Water Act

The EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have issued a proposed rule to clarify protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands. The purpose of this proposed rule is to clear up the confusion that was caused by the Supreme Court's decisions from 2001 and 2006. The original proposed rule was posted in the Federal Register on April 21, 2014. Public comments will be accepted until October 20, 2014.

Read the original post in the Federal Register

For more information on the Clean Water Act click here

September 25, 2014: API Publishes Industry Standards for Shipments of Crude by Rail

The American Petroleum Institute has published new recommended practices for testing and classifying crude oil for loading into rail tank cars and rail shipment. API’s Recommended Practice for Classifying and Loading of Crude Oil into Rail Tank Cars, also known as RP 3000, will provide guidance in many areas of preparing to ship crude oil by rail. Some of those areas include procedures for initial and ongoing sampling and testing of crude oil for transport classification, criteria for determining the frequency of crude oil sampling and testing, how to assign the correct packing group and establishing a crude oil sampling and testing program.
The President and CEO of API stated “This particular standard is one element of a much broader approach to safety improvement. A comprehensive effort that addresses accident prevention, mitigation and response is essential to achieving our goal of zero incidents for crude by rail shipment.”
At this time API is making the document available to all interested parties at no charge. To view the complete document please visit

September 25, 2014: (NPRM) (HM-253) PHMSA Issues Notice to Extend Comment Period on Reverse Logistics

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is extending the comment period on the notice of proposed rulemaking entitled ‘‘Hazardous Materials: Reverse Logistics’’. The NPRM was originally published in the Federal Register on August 11, 2014 with an October 10, 2014 deadline for comments.The deadline has been moved to November 10, 2014. To read the complete notice and for information on how to submit your comments please see the Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 186.

September 24, 2014: PHMSA Issued Clarification on Fireworks Policy Regarding Display Mines

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a clarification to their policy concerning applications for the classification approval of Display Mines. This clarification was necessary because the fireworks industry standard governing the specification doesn't specifically address Display Mines. In order for the applications to be accepted for review and consideration the Display Mines must not leak pyrotechnic composition during transportation, must be constructed of sturdy materials and pass a thermal stability test. These requirements are in addition to the established requirements that are listed in the APA Standard 87-1.

Read the entire notification as posted in the Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 185

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September 23, 2014: PHMSA and the FAA Have Issued A Notice of Public Meeting

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have issued a notice of public meeting that will be held on October 14, 2014. This meeting is in preparation for the International Civil Aviation Organization’s meeting that takes place later in the month. The joint PHMSA/FAA meeting is being held from 9 am until 12 pm and will take place at the FAA Headquarters Building’s Bessie Coleman Conference Center. A panel from both organizations will be present at the meeting and may ask questions to those presenting comments on the various papers. This meeting is going to be informal and non-adversarial.
For further information on the upcoming meeting please visit Federal Register/ Vol. 79, No. 184

September 16, 2014: (EO) Hazardous Materials: Emergency Restriction/Prohibition Order

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued an Emergency Restriction/Prohibition and Out-of-Order CA-2014-9002-EMRG which prohibits the filling, offering, transportation and welded repair of cargo tank vehichles by National Distribution Services, Inc., TankServices LLC and Carl Johansson. Furthermore, these parties are also prohibited from conducting inspections and/or testing of any cargo tank or cargo tank motor vehicle unless the inspections or testing are conducted by a Registered Inspector. This Emergency Restriction/Prohibition Order has been in effect since August 14, 2014.
To read the complete Emergency Order please visit Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 179

September 12, 2014: (HM-233 E) (NPRM) PHMSA Issues Correction to Special Permit and Approvals Standard Operating Procedures and Evaluation Process

PHMSA is correcting language used in the proposed rule addressing standard operating procedures and criteria used to evaluate applications for special permits and approvals under the HMR that was published on August 12, 2014. The correction to this proposed rule adds language that will clarify the process in which special permits and approval applications are reviewed. An Operating Administration will now review these documents before they are submitted for an automated review. Depending on the completeness of the OA review there may not be a need for the automated review.
To read the complete correction please visit Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 177

September 9, 2014: (NPRM) Securement of Unattended Equipment

The Federal Railroad Administration is proposing to amend the current brake system safety standards for freight and other non-passenger trains and equipment. The proposed changes would strengthen the requirements relating to the securement of unattended equipment. The FRA is planning to codify many of the requirements that are already included in the Emergency Order 28, Establishing Additional Requirements for Attendance and Securement of Certain Freight Trains and Vehicles on Mainline Track or Mainline Siding Outside of a Yard or Terminal. The proposed amendment focuses primarily on trains that transport poisonous by inhalation hazardous materials or large volumes of Division 2.1 (flammable gases), Class 3 (flammable or combustible liquids) and Class 1.1 or 1.2 (explosives) hazardous materials and will include additional securement requirements for unattended equipment. In addition, the FRA is proposing requirements on all locomotives that are left unattended outside a yard to be equipped with an operative exterior locking mechanism. Attendance on trains would be required on equipment not capable of being secured in accordance with the proposed and existing requirements.
Written comments are being accepted until November 10, 2014. The FRA anticipates being able to resolve this rulemaking without a public hearing. However, if a specific request for a public hearing is made before October 9, 2014 a hearing will be scheudled and the FRA will publish a supplemental document in the Federal Register to inform any interested parties of the date, time and location of that hearing.

To read the entire proposed rule and obtain information on where to submit your comments please visit Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 174 /

September 2, 2014: PHMSA Issued a Notice Requesting Comments to Improve the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG)

PHMSA is currently accepting comments on ways to improve the next edition of the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) which is due out in 2016. PHMSA is requesting interested parties, particurlarly those who have experience with the ERG, to provide input that would make the information more accurate, informative and useful to emergency responders.
The Emergency Response Guide, which is developed by transportation agencies in the United States, Canada and Mexico, was first developed in 1980 with the goal that all public emergency response vehicles have immediate access to it. PHMSA has distributed over 13 million copies and developed free online and mobile applications in order to make it more accessible.
PHMSA believes that the latest publication of the ERG will increase public safety by providing consistent emergency response procedures for incidents involving hazardous materials.

To read the complete announcement and for instructions on submitting your comments click here