January 19, 2016: ICAO Issues Addendum to 57th Edition DGR

ICAO has issued an addendum to the 57th edition DGR for hazardous materials shipped by air that became effective January 1, 2016. The addendum includes significant changes to various areas of the DGR, including the  packaging and transportation of lithium batteries.

Packages that contain two or more pieces of equipment that contain lithium batteries must be labeled. The addendum also includes Appendix H which shows some additional changes being made. They include changes to some UN numbers, proper shipping names, several changes to packaging instructions, revisions to some existing entries, and some new entries.


January 29, 2016: Final Authorization of State Initiated Changes of Approved State Hazardous Waste Management Program

The Environmental Protection Agency has reviewed Arkansas’ regulations and identified two minor state initiated changes to the hazardous waste program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The EPA feels the changes meet the requirements for final authorization and is authorizing the changes through this direct final action.
Under RCRA the EPA is allowed to authorize states to operate their own hazardous waste management programs in lieu of the federal programs.
EPA expects this rule to become effective on March 29, 2016 unless they receive adverse comments. Interested parties may submit comments until February 29, 2016.

EPA–R06–2015–2015–0661; FRL–9940–27– Region 6

January 26, 2016: Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities

On December 28, 2015 FRA submitted an Information Collection Request for a new form, Positive Train Control Implementation Plan (PTCIP)
Template, under Emergency Processing Approval. The request was granted by OMB on January 6, 2016 for a period of 180 days. FRA is now requesting the extension be given for a period of 3 years in order to assist railroads with revised PTCIPs. Interested parties may submit comments until March 28, 2016.

 Docket No. FRA 2016–0002–N–2

January 26, 2016: Information Collection Request Submitted; Hazardous Chemical Reporting: Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Forms

The Environmental Protection Agency submitted a request for an extension on the Information Collection Request “Hazardous Chemical Reporting: Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Forms”. The current ICR is approved until March 31, 2016. The extension, if granted, would allow an additional 30 days for public comments. Interested parties may submit comments until February 25, 2015.

EPA–HQ–SFUND–2010–0763; FRL–9941– 70–OEI

January 20, 2016: FRA Issues Fiscal Year 2015 Enforcement Report

FRA has issued its Fiscal Year 2015 Enforcement Report. This tells anyone with time and a computer whether your railroad or company had compliance issues and whether a civil penalty was issued for the apparent non-compliance. Our goal at Specialty Transportation and Regulatory Services is to help you stay in compliance so you will not have to worry about ever being on this list.  Our customized programs will lift you above the razors edge of minimum federal standards and ensure that your products are delivered to your customers safely and efficiently. Give us a call and let us talk about a customized program for your business needs.

Fiscal Year 2015 Enforcement Report

January 19, 2016: PHMSA To Add 96 Special Permits to the HMR

PHMSA has amended the Hazardous Materials Regulations to include 96 widely used or longstanding special permits with established safety records in an effort to provide wider access to the regulatory flexibility that is currently offered in special permits. The amendments will also eliminate the need to renewal requests.

Docket No. PHMSA-2013-0042 (HM-233F)

January 13, 2016: Petition for Waiver of Compliance

Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) submitted a petition for waiver of compliance from the requirement that passenger trains must be equipped to respond to the intermittent inert Automatic Train Stop (ATS). SCRRA will be leasing no more than 40 freight locomotives from BNSF Railway that are not equipped with ATS. They are, however, equipped with an Inter-operable Electronic Train Management System that is compatible with their current rail equipment.
At this time FRA has no plans to hold a public hearing on this matter but will accept comments from interested parties until February 12, 2016.

Docket Number FRA–2008–0134

January 11, 2016: Petition for Waiver of Compliance

National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) petitioned for a temporary waiver of compliance from the standards for emergency lighting system design for passenger cars until December 31, 2016. The waiver would allow Amtrak time to continue bring 70% of the passenger rolling stock fleet into compliance and test between 201 and 408 cars that are located across the country. At this time FRA has no plans to hold a public hearing but will accept comments until February 25, 2016.

Docket Number FRA-2015-0139

January 11, 2016: Petition for Waiver of Compliance

On December 21, 2015 American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association submitted an amended waiver of compliance from the federal hours of service laws that require train employees to receive 48 hours off duty following an on-duty period of six consecutive days.
ASLRRA’s petition seeks to add two member railroads to their existing waiver of compliance, Plainsman Switching Company and South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad Company. The existing waiver was granted on February 27, 2012 and allows train employees to initiate an on duty period each day for six consecutive days followed by 24 hours off duty instead of 48 hours.
Interested parties may submit comments until February 25, 2016.


December 30, 2015: (HM-213D) PHMSA Withdraws Proposed Rulemaking

As of December 30, 2015 PHMSA has withdrawn its proposed rulemaking concerning transporting flammable liquid materials in unprotected external product piping on cargo tank motor vehicles. PHMSA will continue to analyze data and consider ways to improve the safe transportation of flammable liquids.

Docket Number PHMSA-2009-0303 (HM-213D)