PHMSA issued a final rule revising the minimum and maximum civil penalty that can be issued for a knowing violation of the federal hazardous materials transportation law, regulation, order, special permit, or approval.
Effective April 19, 2017, the minimum amount that can be issued for a knowing violation is $471. The maximum amount, with no severe or fatal injuries resulting from the violation, is $78,376. However, if serious illness, severe injury, or fatal injury does occur the maximum amount of the civil penalty will be increased to $182,877.
Docket No. PHMSA–2016–0041 (HM–258D)
The Federal Railroad Administration published a request for comments on July 1, 2016, regarding the interim final rule on the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 – as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.
No comments were received so the rule will not be changed. It will be effective as of April 13, 2017.
Docket No. FRA–2016–0021; Notice No. 3
PHMSA has issued a final rule amending the Hazardous Materials Regulations in an effort to maintain consistency with the current international regulations and standards.
Some of the amendments include changes to proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups and authorizations, quantity limitations for air transportation, and vessel stowage requirements.
The rule will be effective as of March 30, 2017. The only exception to the effective date is Instruction 22 which will be effective on January 2, 2019.
Docket No. PHMSA–2015–0273 (HM–215N)
The Federal Railroad Administration has updated the reporting regulations for accidents and incidents. Railroads submitting accident and incident reports to FRA will be required to send them to : RsisAiReports@dot.gov. The final rule is effective as of December 7, 2016.
Update to Email Address for the Electronic Submission via the Internet of Certain Accident/Incident Reports
The Environmental Protection Agency has made changes to the regulations regarding importing and exporting hazardous materials into and out of the United States.
The changes were made in an effort to provide more protection to human health and the environment, to ensure the regulations were consistent with current import/export requirements for shipments between members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and development, and to enable electronic submittal of all documents relating to the import/export of hazardous materials.
The final rule will be effective as of December 31, 2016.
EPA–HQ–RCRA–2015–0147; FRL–9947–74– OLEM
The Environmental Protection Agency has released a final rule regarding revisions to the hazardous waste generator regulatory program that was proposed by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act in 2015.
The approved revisions include reorganization to the hazardous waste generator regulations to make it more user friendly, providing a better understanding of how the program works, allowing greater flexibility for these generators to manage hazardous waste in a more cost effective manner, addressing gaps in current regulations in an effort to strengthen environmental protection, and removing obsolete references to programs that no longer exist.
The final rule will be effective as of May 30, 2017.
EPA-HQ-RCRA-2012-0121; FRL 9947-26-OLEM
PHMSA issued a final rule that updates the Hazardous Materials Regulations to include requirements set forth in the FAST Act.
The FAST Act requires a revised phase-out schedule for all DOT-111 tank cars that are used for transporting unrefined petroleum, ethanol, and Class 3 flammable liquids. In addition, all tank cars that have been built according to DOT-117 specifications and all non-jacketed tank cars that have been built to DOT-117R specifications are required to have a thermal blanket no less than 1/2 inch thick and meet existing thermal protection standards. The FAST Act also sets minimum top fittings protection requirements on DOT-117R specification tank cars.
The final rule is effective as of August 15, 2016.
Docket No. PHMSA–2016–0011 (HM–251C)
FRA has issued a final rule that will require commuter and intercity passenger railroads to develop and implement a system safety program. The purpose of these programs, which can be tailored to each railroad’s specific operations, is to proactively identify and mitigate or eliminate hazards. The final rule will be effective as of October 11, 2016. All petitions for reconsideration must be received no later than October 3, 2016.
Docket No. FRA–2011–0060, Notice No. 3
As as result of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, FMCSA was required to conform its regulations in order to ensure they remain current and consistent with the statutory requirements. The final rule containing the changes will be effective as of July 22, 2016. All petitions for reconsideration must be turned in no later than August 22, 2016.
Docket No. FMCSA–2016–0091
FRA has announced an increase to the minimum and maximum allowable civil penalty amounts for railroad safety violations. The minimum penalty has been increased to $839. The ordinary maximum penalty was increased to $27,455. In the event of gross negligent violations or repeated violations that have created an imminent hazard of death or injury, the maximum penalty will be $109,819.
The new civil penalty amounts will be effective as of August 1, 2016.
Docket No. FRA–2016–0021; Notice No. 1
PHMSA has announced changes to the minimum and maximum civil penalty amounts for knowingly violating federal hazardous materials transportation laws, regulations, orders, special permits, and approvals.
Effective August 1, 2016, the minimum civil penalty for any violation related to training has increased to $463. The maximum civil penalty has increased to $77,144 unless the violation results in serious illness, severe injury, or death. Under those circumstances, the maximum penalty will now be $179,933.
Docket No. PHMSA–2016–0041 (HM–258D)
The Hazardous Materials Safety Permits rules have been updated to incorporate the April 1, 2016 edition of the out-of-service criteria. This final rule is effective as of June 17, 2016.
Docket No. FMCSA–2016–0120
OSHA recently revised the Hazard Communication Standard to ensure it conforms with the UN Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Manufacturers and importers of chemicals must ensure their products are classified and labeled according to the new standard and are required to create and distribute Safety Data Sheets.
In response to these revisions, EPA has made changes to the hazardous chemical reporting regulations and the hazard categories for hazardous chemical inventory forms.
The final rule will be effective on June 13, 2016 and has a compliance date of January 1, 2018.
EPA–HQ–SFUND–2010–0763; FRL 9945–07–OLEM
FRA has issued a final rule to clarify the Roadway Worker Protection regulation. The amendments include, but are not limited to, the adoption of certain terms, clarification of various interpretation issues, and changes to the qualification requirements for roadway workers. The final rule will be effective on April 1, 2017.
Petitions for reconsideration must be received by August 9, 2016. Interested parties may submit comments until September 13, 2016.
Railroad Workplace Safety; Roadway Worker Protection Miscellaneous Revisions (RRR)
In response to a petition for reconsideration of the final rule, National Highway-Rail Crossing Inventory Reporting Requirements, that was issued in January 2015, FRA has issued additional amendments in an effort to address practical implementation concerns. The amendments to the final rule will be effective June 10, 2016.
Docket No. FRA–2011–0007, Notice No. 6
FRA has made two adjustments to the drug and alcohol regulations. Maintenance of Way employees will now be subject to the same policies and protection as Roadway Workers. FRA has also withdrawn its proposed peer support requirements. As a result, subpart K now includes a revised version of the troubled employee identification requirements that was previously listed in subpart E.
The final rule will go into effect on June 12, 2017. Interested parties may submit petitions for reconsideration no later than August 9, 2016. Comments regarding any of the reconsideration petitions must be submitted by September 13, 2016.
Docket No. FRA–2009–0039, Notice No. 3
PHMSA has issued a final rule, effective July 5, 2016, that makes several amendments to the Hazardous Materials Regulations in an effort to simplify, clarify, and update certain regulatory requirements.
The goal of the amendments is to encourage safer transportation practices, address NTSB safety recommendations, respond to petitions for rulemaking, make editorial corrections, and promote international commerce.
Some of the amendments include removing PG II designations for certain organic peroxides, self reactive substances, and explosives; incorporating requirements for trailers of manifolded acetylene cylinders; provide requirements to allow for shipments of damaged wet electric batteries; and revisions to the requirements for the packaging of nitric acid.
Docket No. PHMSA–2013–0225 (HM–218H)
PHMSA has issued a final rule regarding lithium batteries on board aircraft. Passengers and crew members will no longer be permitted to have any type of battery-powered electronic smoking device in their checked luggage. In addition, these devices and their batteries can no longer be charged on board aircraft. Passengers and crew members will be able to have the devices in carry-on luggage.
This final rule will be effective as of June 20, 2016.
Docket No. PHMSA–2015–0165 (HM–262)
PHMSA has issued a direct final rule that will provide non-specification manufacturers and DOT and UN specification packaging manufactures with an opportunity to utilize the most current technology, materials, and practices to aid in maintaining a high level of safety.
The ASME reference standard 1998 edition will be replaced with the ASME standard 2015 edition for boiler and pressure vessels. The 1998 referenced standard of ASME’s Transportation Systems for Liquids and Slurries: Pressure Piping will be replaced with the 2012 edition. The rule will be effective as of June 28, 2016.
As permitted in the Administrative Procedure Act, PHMSA has issued the direct final rule without prior notice or public comments.
Docket No. PHMSA–2015–0271 (HM–261)
The final rule regarding the reverse logistics of certain hazardous materials being transported by road will be effective as of March 31, 2016. As part of the final rule, the HMR will be adjusted to include a definition of reverse logistics with provisions for the transportation of hazardous materials. The current exceptions relating to the transportation of used automobile batteries between retail facilities and recycling centers will also be expanded as a result of the final rule.
Docket No. PHMSA–2011–0143 (HM–253)