DG Digest: US Air Force Updates AFMAN and the EPA Revises TSCA Handling of the Materials List

The Federal Railroad Administration released an updated interactive tool displaying data tracking the major aspects of railroad safety in the US. The tool is intended to help industry and the public stay abreast of current safety trends in this section of the nation’s transport infrastructure. A Canadian National train operating over its Illinois Central subsidiary rolls swiftly south through Gilman, Illinois under stormy skies on Saturday, July 22nd, 2017. Photo by Nikki Burgess © 7/2017; all rights reserved.

The summer quiet continues around the regulatory scene these last two weeks, with relatively minimal action.  Biggest news of the period was the issuance of a revised US Air Force “AFMAN,” which serves all of the US armed services as their guide to shipping hazardous materials.  It was the first such issuance in several years—2009, to be exact.  This is addressed below, along with the other news of note, so let’s have a look:

US Air Force (USAF)

As noted above the Air Force has finally reissued an updated AFMAN, the shipping guide for the US armed services to send hazardous materials.  Much of the book references both the US 49 CFR and the IATA DGR, but a lot of it is custom to military needs as well.  Among the biggest changes are the incorporation of the Lithium battery revisions that have occurred over the past few years, including labeling, and a fully updated DGL which includes the revised proper shipping name assignments for engines and for polymerizing substances.  The manual is available online right here


The agency has released a series of rules and notices dealing with its revised handling of the materials list associated with the TSCA. This action comes as a consequence of the revisions to the act made last year (i.e. the Lautenberg Act) that require a review of all of the substances on the list and evaluations of new substances for inclusion.  Among the changes here: rules for how to evaluate chemicals and to prioritize chemicals for that process, as well as guidance for persons doing such work.  See the newest additions here:


  • The agency announced this year’s Susan G. Harwood Training Grant program.  The 2017 version of the popular summer funding program will make over ten millions dollars available to eligible communities and organizations to help increase safety awareness and training in local workforces.  To see how the program may help your local workforce, see the details here
  • On Aug. 1, OSHA will launch a web-based form that will allow employers to electronically submit required injury and illness data from their completed 2016 OSHA Form 300A. The webpage will offer three options for submitting data, and includes information on reporting requirements, a list of frequently asked questions, and a link to request assistance with completing the form.  Find out more here


The rail safety agency’s Office of Safety Analysis published a fully updated list of current safety data intended to assist members of industry and the general public to understand current safety trends in the industry, both in terms of operations and carriage of materials.  The list is comprehensive and searchable by subject matter.  See the tool here

Transport Canada

Our northern neighbor’s analog to the USDOT published its own version of the UN Harmonization covered in the United States by HM-215N.  Much like the US regulation, Canada’s version updates the labels and markings for lithium batteries and makes all the necessary adjustments to the DGL’s to bring them fully up to date with the UNMR.  One exception—Canada is still accepting comments on the “air” section of the rule—those close on August 8th, and the agency will publish those revisions later—rumor has it scheduled for some time in October.  See the published revisions here:


The International Maritime Organization has published its report on the 27th meeting of the agency’s Editorial and Technical Group of the Sub-Committee for the Carriage of Cargoes and Containers—one of the organization’s functional units responsible for proposing changes to the IMDG Code. Among the actions are proposed revisions to emergency procedures called out by the DGL and a variety of other actions impacting dangerous goods by sea.   The proposal will now move further into the IMO’s consideration process.  See the report here

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