The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has published a final rule that will allow trucks to ship hazardous materials in unlabeled consolidation bins, require additional information on shipping papers, and clarify that lithium-battery charged wheelchairs and other mobility aids can be taken on aircraft as carry-on baggage without the removal of the batteries.
These provisions are among a dozen or so miscellaneous provisions that PHMSA has either clarified or updated in the final rule published July 20 in the Federal Register (76 Fed. Reg. 43,510).
The final rule, which will take effect Aug. 19, updates and clarifies regulatory requirements governing transport of hazardous materials under 49 C.F.R. parts 107, 171-175, 177, 178, and 180.
PHMSA said these amendments are intended to “promote safer transportation practices; eliminate unnecessary regulatory requirements; finalize outstanding petitions for rulemaking; facilitate international commerce; and simply the regulations.”
The rule was proposed Sept. 29, 2010 (75 Fed. Reg. 60,017).
According to PHMSA, the rule will impose new paperwork requirements at an estimated annual cost of $312.50 per respondent.
In the final rule, PHMSA amended Part 17.404 (b) to allow trucks to transport hazardous materials in consolidation bins without having to affix labels for each class of hazardous materials contained in the bin. This amendment was made in response to a 2009 petition for rulemaking by the American Trucking Associations, which noted that motor carriers would have to be equipped with multiple sets of all labels, as all drivers would not know the hazard classes of freight they would be picking up.
In accepting ATA’s petition, PHMSA noted that it had issued a special permit in 2009 authorizing the use of consolidation bins without labels, and that permit has been used without any incidents.
Despite ATA’s petition, PHMSA declined to allow consolidation bins to be transferred between carriers as they crisscross the country.
Rich Moskowitz, ATA’s vice president and regulatory affairs counsel, told BNA, “We are thrilled that PHMSA has agreed to allow consolidation bins without labeling because their use reduces damage to small packages and improves efficiency of loading and unloading packages.” But Moskowitz said the benefits of safety and efficiency would be further enhanced if PHMSA allowed this exemption to expand to carriers that interchange cargo across regional or state lines.
“We hope PHMSA will consider this expansion after we have had more experience with consolidation bins and reported no incidents,” he said.
To harmonize U.S. rules with international regulations, PHMSA said it was clarifying that lithium batteries do not need to be removed from lithium-battery-powered wheelchairs and other mobile devices that are transported on aircraft as carry-on luggage. The clarification would harmonize domestic hazardous materials regulations with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions for transporting lithium batteries. This change was requested by the Council on Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles.
In addition, PHMSA is requiring that applicants for special permits identify whether they are shippers, or carriers. The Institute of Makers of Explosives supported this amendment because it goes to the heart of PHMSA’s fitness evaluation. As IME executive vice president Cynthia Hilton explained, “if you are applying as a shipper, the fitness tests need to relate to a shipper. You should not be denied an opportunity to ship a package ‘x’ that you manufacture because you can’t drive a truck.”
PHMSA is requiring that shipping papers indicate whether the product is non-odorized liquid petroleum gas so that emergency responders can react accordingly in case there is an accident.
Other amendments include:
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)