If you keep track of such things, October 1st is the beginning of the new fiscal year for the federal government, and also the close date for many of the agencies that publish to the federal register. As such, October is often an active month for changes. Let’s jump into last week’s action:
Every federal agency has to justify its revenue stream in one sense or another. This week the TSA did just that, releasing its current definition of “Field of Transportation” in which it states that it is entitled to collect fees:
The TSA is providing notice that it has issued a legal interpretation of the phrase ‘‘field of transportation’’ that is referenced in the statute requiring TSA to charge fees to recover the cost of its vetting services. By defining this term, TSA clarifies the individuals from whom we may collect and retain fees to recover vetting costs.”
The EPA announced the 2016 winners of the SmartWay® Excellence Awards, which honors logistic companies and shippers in the retail and manufacturing sectors. The awards recognize the top-performing SmartWay shipper partners that demonstrate how businesses can mitigate their carbon footprints and contribute to cleaner, healthier air, while saving on fuel costs as they move goods across America.
The 2016 SmartWay Excellence Awardees for retailers, manufactures and logistics companies are:
- Bacardi USA, Inc. (Coral Gables, Fla.)
- Hewlett-Packard Inc.
- Johnson & Johnson (Skillman, N.J.)
- Kimberly-Clark Corporation (Knoxville, Tenn.)
- Lowe’s Companies Inc. (Wilkesboro, N.C.)
- The Home Depot U.S.A. Inc (Atlanta, Ga.)
- Transportation Insight LLC (Hickory, N.C.)
- Union Pacific Distribution Services (Omaha, Neb.)
- Whirlpool Corporation (Benton Harbor, Mich.)
Congratulations to these logistics leaders! Here’s further info on the program and how to participate
The agency has issued the draft environmental notice supporting the proposed mandatory speed limiting device (governor) installation for heavy use vehicles. This supports the NPRM covered in our previous blog on the subject. See the new report here
- The country’s safety agency published a pair of Information Collection Requests (ICR’s) relating to aerial lifts and to welding, cutting, and brazing operations. Such requests are typically used to gauge the effectiveness of current regulations and to judge whether or not additional action is required. See the two ICR’s at the links below:
- OSHA wants you to consider a career in safety management! The agency will be holding meetings on October 18th to press forward with plans to grow this important industrial discipline and to further interest in the career path among young professionals. See more information about the big push here
Among all the sundry Dangerous Goods regulated by the agency, perhaps the category that generates the most angst among shippers is the various types of batteries, and how to treat them. Perhaps it is because batteries are often the only Dangerous Good that many shippers end up dealing with, often as a consequence of their other operations rather than any specific focus on shipping DG. As a result, PHMSA fields many questions on the subject. A new interpretation addresses the subject of what constitutes a bulk package in reference to shipping large batteries on pallets. See their guidance here
Railroading’s controlling safety agency issued a new directive in mid-September warning of potential defective welds on various fittings on certain DOT-111 tank cars used in hazardous materials transport service. Such cars are in the process of being phased out in favor of the new and safety-modified DOT-117 tank car, but in the interim, operators will need to address any issues with the still in service fleet of DOT-111’s. FRA notes:
FRA issues this Directive under 49 CFR 180.509(b)(4) to all owners of DOT specification 111 general purpose tank cars based on its finding that as a result of non-conforming welding practices, DOT-111 tank cars built by American Railcar Industries, Inc. (ARI) or ACF Industries, LLC (ACF) between 2009 and 2015 to the ARI or ACF 300 stub sill design and equipped with a two-piece cast sump and bottom outlet valve skid may be in an unsafe operating condition and could result in the release of hazardous materials. As a result of the identified non-conforming welding practices, these cars may have substantial weld defects at the sump and BOV skid groove attachment welds, potentially affecting each tank’s ability to retain its contents during transportation.
Star Treatment for Jeanne Zmich
Last but certainly not least, the Hazard Communication Bulletin Monthly, a leading industry publication, featured a fitting farewell article with biography in its September issue for Labelmaster’s recently retired Vice-President of Research & Development, Ms. Jeanne Zmich. Jeanne set the pace for over forty years in our industry, and her accomplishments are far too numerous to list in the space available here. Please take a few moments to enjoy reading about one of our discipline’s superstar performers at the link below. All of us at Labelmaster join the HCB Monthly in wishing Jeanne all the very best as she enjoys her new focus on family and travel. Congratulations, Jeanne!
Labelmaster is a full service provider of products 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.