DG Digest: Congress Toughens Toxic Substances Control Act & OSHA/PHMSA Joint Meetings Scheduled


Memorial Day 2016—and a grateful nation pauses to remember. © 5/2016 by Nikki Burgess; all rights reserved.

Welcome back from the holiday weekend.  Hopefully, everyone is well rested!  Let’s dig right in to the week’s goings-on in Dangerous Goods and EH&S:

Toxic Substances Control Act:

  • In some of the week’s biggest news, the US Congress passed a significant modification to the Toxic Substances Control Act, or TSCA.  The new revision lifts the number of regulated chemicals to nearly 65,000; it also adds much more stringent provision as far as providing information and gives the EPA broad authority to restrict use.  See the measure here


  • The UN GHS as well as Dangerous Goods will be on the agenda in Washington DC on June 14th as OSHA and PHMSA hold a set of joint meetings in preparation for the Preparation for the 31st Session of the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (UNSCEGHS)—that will be held in Geneva, Switzerland at the end of the month.  The PHMSA/OSHA get-together provides an opportunity for American stakeholders to have input to this important process.  See the meeting information here and here


  • The FAA released a new rule setting standards for the construction of portable oxygen concentrators used by passengers or crew aboard commercial aircraft.  Previous to this, such devices were evaluated on an individual basis.  The rule also contains a labeling requirement.  See it here


  • Last week issued a rule expanding the commercial zone at the border in El Paso, Texas.  This will facilitate cross border inspection and movement fo goods, including DG.  Here’s the story
  • Class One railroad CSX became the first Class One to submit its long awaited Positive Train Control plan to the FRA under the extension granted the industry last fall.  PTC will greatly improve safety of operation on major rail routes and is required for carriers transporting hazardous materials and/or passengers.  See the plan notice


  • The National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, or NACOSH, will meet in Washington on June 15th.  NACOSH is the primary advisory committee to OSHA.  Interested in an agenda or in providing feedback?  Get the details here


Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance:

  • In association with local and national law enforcement, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), a trucking industry safety and advocacy organization, will hold the 29th annual International Roadcheck event on June 7-9, 2016. During International Roadcheck CVSA-certified local, state, provincial, territorial and federal inspectors across the NAFTA trade zone (US, Canada, and Mexico) perform enhanced commercial motor vehicle safety inspections as well as compliance, enforcement and educational outreach.  For more information see the CVSA home page

Department of Labor:

  • The Department of Labor (USDOL) issued an information collection request (ICR) related to the process management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals by industry.  The ICR asks stakeholders to submit information across a spectrum of functional areas—procedures, training, records, etc, that will enable the DOL to better evaluate the effectiveness of current regulations and determine if further action may be needed or not.  See the ICR here


  • The USEPA awarded more than three million dollars in small grant funding to over twenty five organizations and local governments under its Environmental Outreach education Initiative.  The grants go to help develop education and training plans to more responsibly use and conserve resources and to mitigate pollution and other potentially harmful emissions.  See more about the grant program here

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