DG Digest: New EPA RCRA hazwaste regulations commence today and California considers banning flouropolymers

The FRA published its quarterly Positive Train Control ICR; this as railroad works to fulfill the 2018 mandate for routes used by passenger trains as well as freight bearing hazardous materials, like this BNSF unit oil train seen at Everett, Washington on May 27th, 2017. Image © 5/2017 by Nikki Burgess; all rights reserved.

Welcome back!  Hopefully, all of our readers had a chance to enjoy the kickoff holiday weekend of the summer; and also, to take time to remember the sacrifices that so many of our service members have made for all of us over the history of our country.  We honor each of them.  Regulatory activity continues at the slower pace that appears to be becoming the “new normal.”  Here’s the latest:


As a reminder, today (May 30th) is the day that the new RCRA hazardous waste regulations take effect.  The final rule was released last November.  As a reminder, the rule goes far towards revising the generator regulations to make them somewhat easier to use; it also acts to prevent so-called “one-time” occurrences from changing a reporter’s generator status.  If you handle waste at your site, it may be time for a quick review.  Here’s the link


  • The FMCSA requests approval to revise and extend an existing ICR titled, ‘‘Hazardous Materials Safety Permits.’’ This ICR requires companies holding safety permits to develop communications plans that allow for the periodic tracking of the shipments. A record of the communications that includes the time of the call and location of the shipment may be kept by either the driver (e.g., recorded in the log book) or the company. These records must be kept, either physically or electronically, for at least six months at the company’s principal place of business or readily available to the employees at the company’s principal place of business.  See the ICR here
  • The agency released a further short delay in the effective date of the rules regarding new driver CDL training standards.  The date has been pushed until June 5th—later this week.  Whether more delays will occur remain to be seen.  See the delay action here


The agency published an ICR covering the quarterly PTC mandate compliance report.  This requires carriers to inform FRA of their progress in meeting the 2018 safety deadline.  See the ICR here


The nation’s safety agency released a revised ICR in reference to the requirements in 29 CFR 1910.157(f)(16), portable fire extinguisher testing.  Along with PHMSA’s requirements safely transporting such equipment, OSHA has a set of standards governing the everyday safety of these common and much needed workplace safety devices.  See the request here

State of California

The California legislature is considering a ban on the use of long chain flouropolymers.  These are very common materials in many types of packaging, communications, and industrial equipment. Concerns over the material’s potential health impact is driving the action. Nevertheless a ban would impose a serious dichotomy between California and the rest of the nation, with concurrent impacts to logistics chains and industrial activity. See the proposed action here

Health Canada

Canada is in the midst of its own transition over to the GHS based system of workplace hazard communication.  Like the US, which completed its transition last year, Canada is phasing in its new rules in sections.  The first deadline, for suppliers, importers, and distributors, was to be on June 1st, 2017, but has now been extended to December of 2018; apparently, compliance will take a little longer.  See the delay action here

Transport Canada

Our neighbor’s analog to USDOT released its 2017 list of enforcement actions; summarizing the areas that the agency is focused on to help keep shipment’s safe.  A broad generalization of the summary reveals that the majority of actions were related to the selection and use of packaging—always vital. See the summary here

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