January 7, 2013: (NPRM) PHMSA – comments on lithium battery proposals

PROPOSED RULE: PHMSA seeks comment on specific lithium battery proposals. HM-224F

PHMSA throws out many of the previous lithium battery rules they have been considering (mostly proposed rules from a 1/11/2010 NPRM) and instead seeks comments on several new and specific questions. In fact, they list several questions for which they will not consider comments at this time.

Instead, PHMSA is now considering the long-term impacts of permitting shippers and carriers to choose between compliance with the existing HMR, or compliance with the ICAO Technical Instructions 2013–2014 edition, when transporting batteries domestically by air. This question boils down to this: Do you want to ship Lithium Batteries under a dual system (DOT domestically, ICAO/IATA internationally) or would you prefer that they were harmonized so that DOT matches ICAO/IATA. PHMSA is seeking comment on whether to require mandatory compliance with the 2013–2014 ICAO Technical Instructions for all shipments of lithium batteries by air, both foreign and domestic.

Based on the comments received, PHMSA may issue a final rule to revise the HMR to reflect the lithium battery provisions specified in the 2013–2014 Edition of the ICAO Technical Instructions. Comments must be received by March 8, 2013.

Author: Wendy Buckley

Wendy has been in the hazardous materials industry for over 17 years. She worked for both the Federal Railroad Administration and New Jersey State Department of Transportation as a Railroad Hazardous Materials Safety Inspector. Wendy was an Investigator with the Office of Inspector General at Amtrak, a Multi-Modal HazMat Instructor and Auditor with a premier training and consulting company, and managed the Regulatory Affairs department at a multi-billion dollar, multi-national laboratory supply company. Wendy started her career as a Hazardous Materials Technician and Firefighter and today she is the President & Founder of Specialty Transportation and Regulatory Services, a hazardous materials and hazardous waste management consulting firm. Wendy has multiple degrees from several private and public Universities.