DG Digest: USPS poised to overhaul rules for mailing liquids, Pub 52, including non-hazmat types

Transport Canada published a finalized version of its TP14877 Standard for the handling of large packagings by rail. A Canadian National train passes through Homewood, Illinois in August of 2013. Photo copyright 8/2013 by Nikki Burgess; all rights reserved.

The week after the 4th of July holiday finds the nation settling into the typical summer period of somewhat lessened regulatory activity, with one major exception; the US Post Office has issued an NPRM that if adopted with impose major changes on its handling of non-hazardous liquids in the US Mail.  Many companies mail liquids of both hazardous and non-hazardous character—will this potential change affect you?  See the information below.  The week’s news is rounded off with a variety of the “usual suspects,” so see below:

U.S. Postal Service

The USPS is proposing to make a big change to its standards for mailing liquids, including non-hazardous materials.  Among other things, the standard will call for what they refer to as “triple-packaging” (this is what we would refer to in the DG business as mandating the use of an intermediate package) and the universal use of orientation marks. The USPS indicates that if the rule is adopted they will also revise Pub 52 to conform to this standard where it may currently fall short. See this potentially large change here


The guys with the big brown trucks released their usual semi-annual updates to the various Dangerous Goods Lists (DGL) they use to operate their dangerous goods shipping activity.  See the updated lists via this link. Note that not all of their tables are updated during every cycle

Transport  Canada

The agency published its updated standards for the transport of large packagings by rail, TP 14877.  They will come into force as soon as they are finally published in Part II of the Canada Gazette, our northern neighbor’s version of the Federal Register.  See the rule here


The agency is seeking further comment on its proposal to allow for some equivalency in training for 18-21 years old who have received military experience in operating heavy vehicles and those who have taken commercial CDL training.  The request seeks to gather more information about safety outcomes.  The agency simultaneously published details of the pilot program that would kick the effort off.  See the request for comment and details of the pilot program here.


The agency is submitting a renewed ICR for companies affected by its ‘‘Occupational Safety and Health Act Variance Regulations.”  The OSH Act allows a covered employer to apply for four (4) different types of variances from the requirements of OSH Act standards. An employer submits a variance application that specifies an alternative means of complying with the requirements of applicable standards to the Agency.  See the ICR here

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