DG Digest: PHMSA Updates to 49 CFR, OSHA’s Annual Heat-Related Warning, and a Tribute to a DG Hero

BNSF Tank Cars

Standards affecting tank cars are once again in the news as Transport Canada issued amended rules and orders regarding their use and construction Here a set of such cars is seen on a BNSF freight in Winlock, Washington in May of 2016. © 5/2016 by Nikki Burgess; all rights reserved.

June is here!  Hopefully your summer is starting to ramp up—safely, of course!  As usual, the world of Dangerous Goods and EH&S kept right on going, regardless of seasonal changes.  Here’s the latest:


In what is easily the week’s biggest news, PHMSA released a set of new amendments to the 49 CFR Parts 100 – 185, revising the Hazardous Materials Regulations.  While many of the changes were of a minor editorial nature, there was also some fairly substantive activity, as summarized here.

  • Revised to allow limited quantity exceptions for UN2920, Corrosive liquids, flammable, n.o.s., PG II, as well as UN3085, Oxidizing solid, corrosive, n.o.s., PG II to harmonize with the UN Model regulations, IMDG Code, and the ICAO Technical Instructions;
  • Removed the packing group II designation for certain organic peroxides, self-reactive substances, and explosives;
  • Added special provision B120 for UN1454;
  • Removed vessel stowage provision 24E for UN0501;
  • Revised entries for UN3364 and UN1344 to harmonize with the UN Model regulations, IMDG Code and ICAO TI to clarify 500 gram limit per package applies to UN3364, not UN1344;
  • Remove reference to special provision 18 for UN1044.
  • Clarification that the “NOT-ODORIZED” or “NON-ODORIZED” marking may appear on packagings used for both non-odorized and odorized liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and removed the effective date reference;
  • 172.406(d) amended to clarify the authorized use of labels with a dotted or solid line outer border on a surface background of contrasting color;
  • Clarified the marking size requirements for an IBC that is labeled vice placarded.
  • Clarified that articles are not eligible for excepted quantity reclassification.
  • New paragraph US 49 CFR 173.159(k) allows shippers to prepare for transport and offer into transportation damaged wet electric storage batteries;
  • New paragraph US 49 CFR 173.314(h) requiring odorization for liquefied petroleum gas when contained in rail cars
  • Revised §173.315(b)(1) to address odorant fade and under-odorization in certain cargo tanks;
  • US 49 CFR 173.166 Safety devices – paragraph (e)(6) revised to include “cargo vessel” as an authorized mode of transport;
  • Aerosols shipped for recycling or disposal by motor vehicle, under US 49 CFR 173.306(k), are afforded the applicable exceptions provide for ORM-D materials under US 49 CFR 173.306(i) and US 49 CFR 173.156(b). The packages must be marked with the limited quantity mark in US 49 CFR 172.315(a).
  • Revised Passenger and crew exceptions in US 49 CFR 175.10 including prohibition of butane-powered curling irons in checked baggage.

See the complete revision here

Transport Canada:

Transport Canada had an equally busy week, publishing both a set of amendments to their TDGR (Canada’s domestic analog to the US 49 CFR HMR) as well as a new Protective Direction (#37).  The amendments do two primary things:

  • Harmonizes Canadian regulations with the new set of international rules governing the transport of lithium ion batteries by air, and;
  • Establishes a new set of requirements for emergency response and reporting to the Canadian government for those dealing with flammable liquid spills and incidents on the nation’s railways.

The Protective Direction establishes harmonization for tank car top fittings with the US 49 CFR’s revised provisions for the DOT-111 type rail tank car, which remains the most common current such car type in the two nations’ combined fleets.  This order is a follow on to the May 20th 2015 TDGR Amendment in which Transport Canada harmonized other tank car safety standards with those set forth by the USDOT. US and Canadian railroads (which are called railways north of the border) effectively operate as a wholly integrated transnational system.

See the amendments and the protective direction at these links:


The approaching summer weather also brings with it potential added risk for workers, and OSHA is kicking off its annual campaign to educate employers and help prevent such exposures to employees.  The 2016 Summer Heat Campaign is titled “Water, Rest, and Shade” and has its own website, filled with helpful tips on how to stay safe and still be productive in warm weather, as well as guidance on how best to react if a heat emergency does occur.  See the web page here

Jeanne Zmich:

Last but certainly not least, the author of your weekly column would like to take a moment to pay an appropriate tribute to our Vice-President of Research & Development (Emeritus), Ms. Jeanne Zmich as she concludes a storied forty plus year career at Labelmaster.

Jeanne’s accomplishments in and impact to the Dangerous Goods and EH&S communities are legion; they stretch across international borders and are far too lengthy to list here—please see our special blog post devoted to her career elsewhere on this site.  It was my privilege to work for Jeanne directly for half a decade, and I would only say that as a leader, mentor, guide, pioneer for her gender, remarkable person, and dear, dear friend, Jeanne stands alone at the pinnacle of achievement in this industry.  I am sure that all of you that have been privileged to know and work with her join me in wishing her well.  Jeanne—thank you for everything.  From all of us, we wish all the best for you, always.

To send Jeanne well wishes, we have a special blog post right here

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.

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