DG Digest: IATA Previews Changes to the 59th DGR and USPS Updates Pub 52 Lithium Battery Requirements

The FRA issued a new ICR regarding maintenance procedures for welded rail on the nation’s railroads, concerned that inadvertent pitting may pose a danger to operations. A Sound Transit commuter train flies past the dead end road at 78th Avenue in rural Kent, Washington on August 16th, 2017. Image ©8/2017 by Nikki Burgess; all rights reserved.

Summer continues to drift towards its end, with many school districts across our country either back in session last week, or heading back this week—let’s be sure we all do our part to keep both eyes open for our nation’s children as they once again appear on our streets and sidewalks during the morning rush.  Be safe out there!  Here’s the week’s regulatory news:


The agency published important new guidance related to the care and maintenance of rail in the industry.  Strong concern is expressed that some rail welding techniques—nearly all of the nation’s railroads are equipped with welded together rail, not the “clickety-clack” bolted type rails of years past—may actually be causing damage to the rail due to pitting.  FRA asks operators to check for the phenomenon and seeks feedback on the best way to address the issue moving forward.  Defects in rails or how they were installed or have been maintained account for a large percentage of accidents involving derailments, which are a strong concern when shipping both DG and other commodities.  See the advisory notice here


The agency has released a rule updating the list of industrial NAICS codes subject to the TSCA toxics reporting requirements regulation.  New industries affected will now be required to fulfill the reporting requirements in the 7/1/2018 period next year, and moving forward after that.  See if your industry is affected right here


Combustible dust explosion hazards are a major concern at the nation’s bulk grain handling facilities; while it is not generally thought of as such, grain dust can be a deadly blast agent if not treated with safety and respect for its power.  OSHA has issued a new ICR, asking handlers to report on their use of hot work (welding cutting, grinding, etc) procedures in and around their facilities in an effort to develop new and better safety rules surrounding these operations.  Find out more here


The world’s biggest aviation association has released the list of major changes on the horizon for its 59th Edition (2018) Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR).   Major changes include:

  • Lithium battery mark text size requirements
  • Limits on portable electronic devices and related batteries
  • Class 9 hazard classification modifications
  • Operator and state variations
  • Document requirements surrounding engines
  • New and revised special provisions and packing instructions
  • Updated tables and appendices

Get your full copy here


The Postal Service has released its update to “Pub 52,” which is the agency’s own regulations regarding shipping dangerous goods.  This update mainly concerns—wait for it—lithium batteries.  Major changes include:

  • Restricting Standalone Lithium Ion Cells and Batteries (UN3480) to Surface Mail Only
  • Authorization to Use the New Lithium Battery Mark
  • Inclusion of the New Class 9 Lithium Battery Label in the Prohibited Label Section
  • Additional Packaging Requirements for Small Lithium Cells and Batteries
  • Changes to “Contained in Equipment” Marking Exception
  • Elimination of the “Accompanying Document” Requirement

See the full summary here

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