U.S. Regulations articles

20 Years On, Remembering (and Learning) from ValuJet Flight 592

20 Years On, Remembering (and Learning) from ValuJet Flight 592

Twenty years ago today, ValuJet Flight 592 took off from Miami’s airport only to within minutes be destroyed after an intense fire in the cargo hold sent the aircraft into a nearly vertical dive which almost totally obliterated it in Everglades swampland. Miami remembers, as do I, as Dangerous Goods Manager with IATA at the time.

How can you keep customer returns of Dangerous Goods compliant?

Q: Reviewing the PHMSA HM-253 Final Rule on reverse logistics issued March 31, it appears it doesn’t really address returns from consumers to suppliers or manufacturers. How do you suggest keeping these shipments compliant? You are correct. Although the new PHMSA ruling contains regulatory relief for reverse logistics shipments that originate from retail stores, it

Domestic shippers take note: PHMSA to adopt ICAO lithium battery rules

When the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) imposed new lithium battery air shipping restrictions April 1, 2016, many shippers whose products never cross US borders believed that the new rules didn’t apply to them. Because those restrictions have not been adopted into the U.S. Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR),

USDOT/PHMSA formalizes requirements for “Reverse Logistics”

In today’s 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-2011-0143 (HM-253), RIN 2137-AE82 under which the agency sets forth specific rules to regulate the transport of materials under the so-called “Reverse Logistics” principle.  This function

FAA Reauthorization Legislation Focused on Lithium Batteries

Bob Richard and Neil McCulloch co-contributed to this article.  When a US Senator proposes to spend tax dollars on a committee to “promote research and new standards for the safe manufacture, use or transportation of lithium batteries,” I can only sigh in frustration. This is exactly what was recently proposed by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.. 

Federal Register publishes HM-233F revisions to the HMR

The United States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) yesterday published the newest rulemaking under its HM-233 Docket family.  This incorporates various aspects of previously issued Special Permits (SP’s) into the body of the regulations.  Specials Permits are administrative actions that grant specific users permission to do something outside of

New Year, New Revisions to DG Regulations for IATA and IMO

As often occurs at the turn of the year, both the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have released updates to their respective Dangerous Goods Regulations.  In the case of the IATA regulations, much of it has to do with revisions to rules surrounding lithium batteries.  Please see our relevant

DG Digest: FMCSA lowers truckers’ substance test rates, will hold FAST sessions; FRA begins PTC data collection

December 24: FMCSA cuts random truckers’ testing rate for substance abuse to 25%. Good news for truck drivers and carriers—the United States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has cut the random testing rate for substance abuse in half, from 50% to 25%. This should produce a nice savings for carriers,

OSHA finds non-consumer lithium batteries subject to the 2012 HCS

In what one can only characterize as a remarkable development for American manufacturers and importers, on December 17th the US Department of Labor’s (USDOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a formal Letter of Interpretation in response to a query regarding their consideration of the status of Lithium batteries as articles (or not).  The

USDOT/FMCSA announces delay to new Medical Exam Report and Certificate compliance date

Today the United States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) formally made the anticipated announcement of which rumor had circulated in the regulatory community for the last several days.  FMCSA offered a “grace period” of 120 days regarding mandatory use of the new Medical Examination Report (MER) (Federal Form MCSA-5875) and

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