DG Digest: PHMSA Special Permits Announced and the EPA Amends the ‘All Appropriate Inquiries’ Rule

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) will hold a regulatory review and listening session next month—a chance for carriers and shippers alike to contribute to the board’s future direction.  An NS intermodal train rolls by a lineside industry west of Painted Post, New York on the evening of June 12th, 2017.  Photo © 6/2017 by Nikki Burgess; all rights reserved.

The last Monday of the month (already!) finds a new week of regulatory activity at a slightly quicker pace than has been typical of late.  A quick reminder to be safe in the coming summer heat!  It’s easy to forget to keep our workplaces safe from heat related injury or illness—be sure your premises aren’t caught unprepared.  Here’s the week’s top news:


The agency released several new sets of Special Permit applications, covering everything from non-bulk packages to cylinders and railcars.  Just about something to pique every industry segment’s interest.  See the links below for details:


The agency is taking action amending the Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries to update a standard practice revised by ASTM International, a widely recognized standards development organization. Specifically, the rule amends the All Appropriate Inquiries Rule to reference ASTM International’s E2247–16 ‘‘Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process for Forestland or Rural Property’’ and allow for its use to satisfy the statutory requirements for conducting all appropriate inquiries under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).   Important news if you are planning a site upgrade, relocation, or other new use which may trigger assessment provisions under CERCLA.  This rule is effective on September 18, 2017.  See the notice here


The FAA is issuing notice of a public meeting;  the Thirtieth RTCA SC–225 Rechargeable Lithium Batteries and Battery Systems Plenary. Although this session is really focused on installed batteries aboard aircraft or related systems, tracking the thought of regulators on lithium batteries is always important.  The meeting will be held July 11, 2017.  See the details here


The agency is holding a listening session for its Regulatory Reform Task Force (RRTF).  The listening session will be held on Tuesday, July 25, 2017, at 10 a.m. E.D.T.   The RRTF was established to move forward ongoing agency regulatory and process review initiatives. Its mission is to identify rules and practices that are burdensome, unnecessary, or outdated, and to recommend how they should be addressed.  Given the direct impact of the Board’s regulations upon its stakeholders, the RRTF believes that reviewing its regulations is best conducted with input from its stakeholders.  If you are a rail carrier or shipper by rail, this meeting could be for you.  See the way in right here

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