USDOT/PHMSA Releases Final Rule HM-215M, Harmonizing Requirements with UNMR, ICAO, IMDG Code Changes

In the January 8th 2015 edition of the US Federal Register, the United States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a final rule under Docket # PHMSA-2013-0260 (HM-215), RIN 2137-AF05 under which the agency sets forth specific changes to the US 49 CFR Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to harmonize its regulations more closely with those of the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Model Regulations (UNMR), the International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO TI), and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code).  This is an annual exercise in which the US regulations change to accommodate and/or reflect related changes in the above named international regulations.  This helps to keep US law current with that in use by most of our major trading partners, thus easing such trade.  Even more importantly, it implements the newest guidelines that improve the safety of transport of this important group of materials.

This year’s group of changes is quite extensive, running the gamut from changes to the Hazardous Materials table (HMT) to very extensive changes to some packaging, marking, labeling, placarding, and paperwork requirements, and many other issues.  A brief section by section summary follows:

Part 171

171.4 – clarifies rules regarding exemptions for Marine Pollutants
171.7 – revises the “Incorporated by reference” listings (ICR’s)
171.8 – adds new and revised term definitions
171.23 – revisions surrounding use of the Proper Shipping Name “Safety Devices”
171.24 – additional requirements for use of the ICAO TI regarding Lithium Batteries
171.25 – additional requirements for use of the IMDG Code regarding Lithium Batteries

Part 172

172.101 – very extensive revisions to the Hazardous Materials Table (HMT) data, especially regarding adsorbed gases, Safety Devices, and Asbestos, as well as Packing Group assignments for items such as ammunition and various batteries (including Lithium).  Also includes revisions to the list of Special Provisions (SP’s) and a variety of changes regarding their assignment to various materials.
172.204 – aligns shipping paper certification more fully with the UNMR
172.315 – conforms Limited Quantity marking more fully with the UNMR
172.317 – conforms the “Keep away from heat” marking to the specifications in the ICAO TI
172.322 – conforms the Marine Pollutant marking more fully with the UNMR
172.326 – changes marking requirements for smaller portable tanks to conform the marking size to the IMDG Code
172.327 – conforms the Petroleum Sour Crude Oil marking more closely to the UNMR
172.407 – establishes a new minimum dimensional requirement for label borders, codifies the exception regarding reduction of label sizes to accommodate small packages to a standard conforming to the UNMR, and offers a color alternative (white) for the symbol on Class 5.1 Oxidizer labels.
172.512 – corrects a reference to the ICAO TI regarding placarding requirements for freight containers and aircraft unit load devices
172.519 – revises placard specifications to conform more closely to the UNMR, including border dimensions.

Part 173

173.2a – changes hazard classification requirements for UN3507 under some conditions to conform it more closely to the UNMR, IMDG, Code, and ICAO TI
173.3 – revises salvage package markings to conform to the UNMR
173.4a – revises markings for Excepted Packages to conform more closely to the UNMR
173.9 – revises the Fumigant marking to conform more closely to the UNMR
173.11 – new section dealing with transport of light bulbs/lamps containing hazardous materials
173.24 – change to packaging requirements allowing use of supplementary inner packaging and cushioning additional to that prescribed by regulation within outer packages under some circumstances
173.25 – establishes size requirements for the Overpack marking (12mm minimum) to conform to the UNMR
173.62 – changes to packaging requirements for certain explosives
173.115 – adds new definition for adsorbed gas
173.121 – revises Packing Group III assignment requirements for viscous materials in Class 3 with subsidiary risks in Classes 6.1 or 8
173.127 – authorizes alternative means of test to assign Packing Groups to items in Class 5.1 Oxidizing Solids
173.151 – reinserts an exception for charcoal briquettes under Class 4 which had been mistakenly deleted in 2013
173.164 – revises transport of Mercury in lamps to take into account the new changes in 173.11
173.166 – very extensive changes surrounding the handling of materials assigned to UN3268 and UN0503, including name changes, EX # requirements, and handling and shipping issues
173.167 – changes drop test requirements for packages containing consumer commodities
173.176 – addresses issues surrounding transport of capacitors under UN 3508
173.181 – corrects revisions previously incorporated to non-bulk packaging requirements for pyrophoric liquids
173.185 – authorizes changes to packaging for large lithium batteries/batteries contained in equipment shipped as single items, and also revises certain marking requirements for excepted batteries to conform more closely to the requirements in the ICAO TI
173.199 – revises the Category B infectious substance marking to conform it more closely with the UNMR
173.225 – minor changes to the Organic Peroxide Portable Tank table
173.231 – new section which authorizes non-bulk packages consistent with the UNMR for UN3375
173.251 – as per 173.231, except refers to bulk packages
173.301b – revises requirements for pressure receptacle valves manufactured prior to 12/31/2008
173.302/302c – both sections relate to adopting new UNMR requirements for the transport of adsorbed gases in cylinders and pressure receptacles
172.307 – revised to take into account changes under 173.11 for light bulbs/lamps
173.309 – changes to description of fire extinguishers UN1044
173.403 – changes to some definitions surrounding transport of radioactive materials
173.415 – revises the ICR for radioactives to incorporate IAEA Safe Transport of Radioactive Material SSR-6 2012 edition for Type A packages
173.416 – as per 173.415, except refers to Type B packages
173.417 – as per 173.415, except refers to Fissiles
173.420 – revises transport requirements for Uranium Hexafluoride under certain circumstances
173.435 – revises table of A1 and A2 values for radionuclides to incorporate by reference the IAEA Safe Transport of Radioactive Material SSR-6 2012 edition
173.466 – makes a correction to the revision published in July 2014 which inadvertently removed (a)(1) and (a)2), now reinstated
173.473 – as per 173.415, except refers to foreign made packages for radioactive materials

Part 175

175.9 – makes changes to permitted operations by aircraft associated with the use of explosives
175.10 – revises requirements for carriage of various hazardous materials aboard aircraft by passengers, including self inflating life jackets and certain types of lithium battery containing devices
175.25 – makes changes to the written requirements for operators to provide notice to passengers regarding the carriage of hazardous materials aboard aircraft
175.30 – revises requirements for overpacks containing packages marked “Cargo Aircraft Only” to conform more closely to the ICAO TI and document changes related to the new requirements for lithium batteries in 173.185
175.33 – changes written reporting requirements to pilots regarding the technical names of hazardous materials carried aboard the aircraft
175.630 – makes changes to segregation requirements aboard aircraft for Class 6.1 and 6.2 materials in proximity to foodstuffs (removes some limitations)
175.705 – changes parameters for decontamination requirements for aircraft contaminated with radioactivity

Part 176

176.80 – prohibits stowage of Class 1.4S explosives with Class 1 groups A and L to conform to changes in the IMDG Code
176.83 – makes changes to the vessel segregation table in reference to Classes 4.3, 2.1, and 3 to conform to changes in the IMDG Code
176.84 – makes certain revisions to the stowage and handling requirements in this section as well as creating new provisions 147 and 148 to conform to changes in the IMDG Code
176.905 – makes changes to stowage restrictions and protective requirements for components for vehicles shipped as cargo to conform more closely to the IMDG Code

Part 178

178.71 – clarifies status of pressure receptacle and service equipment certifications per the date of manufacture; adopts certain new ISO standards for gas cylinders; sets out design and construction requirements for cylinders that carry adsorbed gases; adopts ISO material compatibility standards; and marking requirements for cylinder bundles
178.75 – adopts the most recent ISO standards for fabrication of Multiple Element Gas Containers (MEGCs)
178.703 – revises IBC marking requirements to conform more closely to the UNMR
178.910 – revises marking requirements for large packagings to include salvage packagings to conform more closely with the UNMR

Part 180

180.207 – sets requalification requirements for UN pressure receptacles carrying adsorbed gases

As is usually the case, a variety of transitional timeframes are provided for mandatory implementation of most of the above changes, so users should carefully review the rule themselves to determine exact applicability.

Here is a link to the new final rule:

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-01-08/pdf/2014-30462.pdf

Labelmaster is a full service provider of goods and services for the Hazardous Materials and Dangerous Goods professional, shippers, transport operators, and EH&S providers. We are fully aware of the changes that may be required to certain of our products to incorporate the new requirements that some of the above changes mandate; be assured that process is already well underway.  Meanwhile, please see our full line of compliant solutions at www.labelmaster.com.

 

NTSB Issues Safety Alert Regarding Adjacent LED/Incandescent Signal Aspects on American Railroads

Bright new LED signal aspects like that shown in the center left may overpower or obscure older, dimmer traditional incandescent signal aspects like those shown at upper right, the NTSB said in a new Safety Alert which cautions railroads to take steps to avoid this circumstance.  A westbound Norfolk Southern crude oil train led by the Savannah & Atlanta heritage unit passes both types of signals at Whiting Indiana on NS’s New York to Chicago main line in March 2013.  © 3/2013 Paul Burgess, used with permission.

Bright new LED signal aspects like that shown in the center left may overpower or obscure older, dimmer traditional incandescent signal aspects like those shown at upper right, the NTSB said in a new Safety Alert which cautions railroads to take steps to avoid this circumstance. A westbound Norfolk Southern crude oil train led by the Savannah & Atlanta heritage unit passes both types of signals at Whiting Indiana on NS’s New York to Chicago main line in March 2013. © 3/2013 Paul Burgess, used with permission.

The United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a Safety Alert to railroads operating in the United States which cautions them about potential confusion or other risks associated with the presence of both LED and incandescent bulb type signal aspects placed adjacent to one another at rail junctions.  Railroads are in the process of replacing incandescent bulb illuminated signal aspects with those illuminated with LED’s, which are not only brighter, but consume far less electrical power and have much longer operational life expectancies than incandescent bulbs.  This helps the railroad lower maintenance and operating costs.  However, with many thousands of older incandescent signals still in service nationwide, the process is expected to take many years.

In an analysis of the collision and subsequent wreck of two trains on the Union Pacific Railroad near Galva, Kansas in September of 2014, the NTSB has found that a train crew’s inability to see a red “stop” indication ahead of them was due to the nearby presence of another and much newer LED illuminated signal displaying a green “proceed” signal.  The Board found that the new LED driven signal was intrinsically much brighter than the older incandescent signal’s illumination of a “stop” indication, and it visually overwhelmed the older signal’s display.  In the accident, a collision occurred as one train entered a siding to allow another train to pass.  The older type incandescent signal correctly displayed a stop aspect for the approaching train.  However the approaching train’s crew did not see the stop indication for the reason the NTSB noted above, and instead could only see the next and very nearby LED driven new signal, which was displaying a green “proceed” indication.   As a result, the approaching train was not stopped and instead collided with the train entering the siding.  Fortunately, although damage to the two trains was significant, no injuries were incurred nor were nearby communities affected.

The NTSB makes several recommendations in the Safety Alert to help mitigate the risk of recurrence, and these are presented verbatim below:

  • Identify locations where the close spacing of signals may cause a signal to either mask or visually dominate another signal—especially at locations where LED and incandescent light units have been installed in close proximity.
  • Evaluate the railroad computer aided dispatching (CAD) software to prevent stacked requests from lining routes non-sequentially at multiple control points—particularly at locations where signals are located near one another.
  • In addition to performing all mandatory operational tests on signals, railroads should conduct a hazard analysis that includes testing signal visibility (conspicuity test) with input from train crews.
  • Configuration management is critical in evaluating the safety of proposed changes to railroad systems, including signals and train control, motive power, rail cars, methods of operation, and track. Implement procedures to notify all personnel of changes they may encounter.

The Safety Alert also outlines the steps that the Union Pacific Railroad took in the immediate aftermath of the accident, to address the problem prior to NTSB intervention.  This included modernizing the signals at the site of the accident and making certain operational changes to their dispatching procedures regarding signal control in an effort to minimize the risk of such an accident happening again.

The full Safety Alert may be found here:

http://www.ntsb.gov/safety/safety-alerts/Documents/SA_038.pdf

Labelmaster is a full service provider of goods and services for the Hazardous Materials and Dangerous Goods professional, shippers, transport operators, and EH&S providers. See our full line of solutions at www.labelmaster.com.

ICAO releases Corrigendum #1 for the 2015 – 2016 edition; addresses the carriage of Lithium Metal Batteries aboard passenger aircraft

On December 10th, 2014, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) issued an Electronic Bulletin (EB 2014/72) which announced the release of Corrigendum #1 (itself dated November 20th, 2014) to their 2015 – 2016 edition of the Technical Instructions for the Safe Handling of Dangerous Goods, commonly referred to in the industry as the ICAO TI.  The ICAO TI serves as either the actual regulation governing or as the most common basis for most other regulatory texts addressing the carriage of dangerous goods by air around the world. The corrigendum is brief (only one item) and addresses the issue of the ability of a state to grant an exemption from the prohibition of the carriage of Lithium Metal Batteries aboard passenger aircraft.  (Reference ICAO TI 1;1.1.3)  This is stated in a revised version of Special Provision A201, and is presented verbatim below:


TECHNICAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SAFE TRANSPORT OF DANGEROUS GOODS BY AIR
In Part 3, Chapter 3, page 3-3-3, Special Provision A201, amend to read:
A201 States concerned may grant an exemption from the prohibition to transport lithium metal batteries on passenger aircraft in accordance with Part 1;1.1.3. Authorities issuing exemptions in accordance with this special provision must provide a copy to the Chief of the Cargo Safety Section within three months via email at CSS@icao.int, via facsimile at +1 514-954-6077 or via post to the following address:
Chief, Cargo Safety Section
International Civil Aviation Organization
999 University Street
Montréal, Quebec
CANADA H3C 5H7

Lithium Metal (i.e. “primary” or non-rechargeable) Batteries are considered to present a more severe risk of hazard than Lithium Ion (i.e. rechargeable) batteries due to their higher Lithium content, and under normal circumstances they are banned from carriage aboard passenger aircraft.  They are however normally allowed aboard cargo aircraft.  ICAO estimates that this new exemption, which was created to address potential emergency requirements for the transport of such batteries, will be invoked only rarely due to the ready availability of cargo aircraft to carry such goods under most circumstances.

Labelmaster is a full service provider of goods and services for the Hazardous Materials and Dangerous Goods professional, shippers, transport operators, and EH&S providers. See our full line of solutions at http://www.labelmaster.com.

The Changing Regulations Pertaining to the Transportation of Lithium Batteries

In August of 2014 the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) promulgated final rule HM-224F affecting the safe transport of lithium batteries[i].  DOT announced that the resultant effects from the revisions of HM-224F will “strengthen safety conditions for the shipment of lithium cells and batteries. These changes, some of which focus specifically on shipments by air, will better ensure that lithium cells and batteries are able to withstand normal transportation conditions and are packaged to reduce the possibility of damage that could lead to an unsafe situation[ii].” Continue reading

‘Why do I need a new Air Regs book every year?’

I’m often asked:   why do I need a new Air Regs book every year?  Always an interesting question and the answer changes every year!   For 2015 though, it’s really simple. This is an ICAO year, one in which there’s  a new edition of the ICAO Technical Instructions which is worldwide legal requirements for transporting dangerous goods by air. When the FAA or DOT comes to do an inspection, something they can do at any time without forewarning, they will want to see that your documentation and operations are current with the latest legal requirements (i.e., the 2015 – 2016 TIs). Continue reading