[ID] => 11332
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2019-08-02 10:25:54
[post_date_gmt] => 2019-08-02 09:25:54
[post_content] => Those who are subject to the provisions of the dangerous goods and hazardous materials transport regulations work in a dynamic world. The regulations, standards and expectations of customers, regulators, enforcement bodies and the public change from year to year – even from day to day, responding to current events – and it is a constant battle for those involved in regulatory compliance to keep up with those changes.
There are any number of ways in which those charged with compliance can keep their knowledge current, but one of the best ways is to attend the Annual Forum of the Council on Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA), which always does a good job of corralling experience from the regulatory and enforcement agencies and attracts a hefty crowd from around the world, eager for the opportunity not only to hear from senior officials but also to talk to their peers and discuss the problems and issues they face.
Equipment and service suppliers are likewise keen to take the opportunity to put their wares in front of an audience with buying power and a need for the tools that can make their job easier.
All these interests made the trek to Long Beach, California this year for COSTHA’s 2019 Annual Forum, held from 7 to 11 April at the Hyatt Regency. Familiar faces from all sides mingled with industry tyros in the exhibition hall, conference rooms, training sessions and networking opportunities. Business was done, information was offered and accepted, and all involved left the event better equipped to do their jobs – to ensure the safe and compliant movement of dangerous goods, by all modes, anywhere in the world.
START WITH CANADA
COSTHA’s Annual Forum is arranged over five days, with much of that time devoted to training sessions, working groups and committee meetings. Those who wanted to sit the exam for the Certified Dangerous Goods Professional (CDGP) qualification were invited to turn up on Saturday afternoon, while the whole of Sunday and Monday were given over to all matter of training sessions, roundtables and breakout meetings. It was only on Sunday evening that everyone got together, at the not-to-be-missed networking event.
By Tuesday morning the exhibition area had opened to visitors and, after a networking breakfast, delegates were welcomed by COSTHA president Dave Madsen, regulatory compliance specialist at Autoliv, before moving on to the North American briefing session. This gave COSTHA’s audience, who are largely, though far from overwhelmingly, focused on North American operations, the chance to hear from knowledgeable speakers from Canada, the US and Mexico.
They were greeted by a familiar face: Benoit Turcotte, director general of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Directorate at Transport Canada (TC). He gave the audience a brief introduction to the structure of TC and the rulemaking process in Canada, which is somewhat different to that with which US hazmat professionals are faced, before moving on to discuss some current regulatory amendments.
The adoption of the updated TC standard TP 14877 on containers for the transport of dangerous goods by rail is ongoing. The 2018 edition of the standard was developed by a wide range of stakeholders as well as Canadian and US authorities, and was published in January 2018. The plan was to have this version of the standard referenced in Canada’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulation, with entry into force having subsequently taken place on 2 July.
The revision to TP 14877 takes into account a number of Protective Directions issued by the government since the Lac-Mégantic accident in July 2013, as well as new tank construction and equipment standards, and amendments drawn from the 19th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations, and aligns more closely with US provisions, particularly in areas such as tank car approvals and one time movement approvals (OTMAs).
TC is also continuing to make improvements to the Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP) requirements. The latest changes respond to recommendations from the Emergency Response Task Force (ERTF) and broaden the scope of applicability. There are also updates and clarifications to the existing information. The proposals were published in Canada Gazette Part I on 30 June 2018 and TC received 23 comments, largely positive. Subsequent to the COSTHA event, the amending regulations were published in Canada Gazette Part II on 1 May and will come into force on 1 March 2020.
CANADA AND THE WORLD
A larger rulemaking is under way that will make a lot of changes to Part 12 of the TDG Regulations, which deals with the transport of dangerous goods by air. To a large extent the changes will bring Canadian rules up to date with international provisions and will include dynamic references to UN classification. The proposals also include provisions to amend other parts of the TDG Regulations to reduce regulatory barriers to cross-border trade between Canada and the US, including road and rail transport.
So far, the provisions relating to air transport have undergone two phases of consultation and TC is attempting to accelerate the passage of the required legislation so as to avoid any further delay to harmonisation. Web-based consultation on the other harmonisation issues was undertaken in the second quarter of this year and it is hoped that final proposals can be published in Canada Gazette Part I some time late in 2020.
TC is also proposing amendments to the training requirements in Part 6 of the TDG Regulations that will, inter alia, adopt job-specific competency-based training and assessment (CBTA) requirements. This will rely on a CBTA standard being available; the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) is working on it and publication of the proposals in Canada Gazette Part I is targeted for spring 2020.
A broader rulemaking currently under development aims to update and modernise the packaging requirements, harmonise with international and US provisions, and include dynamic references to relevant CGSB standards. A web-based consultation took place between December 2016 and February 2017 but development of the draft regulation is ongoing; TC is engaging with industry to work on some more complex parts of the draft and is aiming to have a final version available for consultation in third quarter 2020.
Another piece of work for TC is development of a Client Identification Database, an inventory of regulated stakeholders and their activities. It is hoped that the availability of such information in a structured form will assist TC in fulfilling its objectives in terms of outreach to industry and its risk-based TDG oversight regime. Consultations were held in 2017 and 2018 and TC continues to explore potential digital solutions.
CROSSING THE BORDER
Turcotte also brought delegates up to speed with the work of the joint Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC), which has already made a lot of progress in terms of reciprocity in the recognition of pressure receptacles and approvals and in harmonised standards for rail tank cars. Canada, the US and Mexico are currently working on the 2020 text of the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG 2020) and Canada is also collaborating with the US in the development of a standard for electronic shipping documents.
There is a lot going on in Canada these days, but not so much in the US, where the political atmosphere has turned against new regulation. Instead, Shane Kelley, director of the Standards and Rulemaking Division of the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety within the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), led his presentation with news about PHMSA’s Regulatory Reform Task Force, which is considering methods to accomplish the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) primary safety objectives in ways that are less burdensome to the regulated community.
PHMSA is currently undertaking a structured review of all existing regulations, petitions for rulemaking and active rulemakings, as well as special permits and approvals. In this process it is also drawing on input from stakeholders and from other government departments. The process is also informing many of the current rulemaking activity, although it is noticeable that proposals are coming out of Washington very slowly these days.
Indeed, the final rule under HM-215O, necessary to maintain harmonisation (insofar as is deemed desirable) with international regulations that took effect on 1 January 2019 has yet to appear. A notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) was published on 27 November 2018 and comments closed on January 28 this year.
Similarly, an NPRM under HM-219C, which involves PHMSA’s response to petitions to remove regulatory burdens, was under review at the time of the COSTHA meeting and was expected to appear in the spring, but has so far failed to emerge. Similarly, an NPRM under HM-264, which responds to a petition for rulemaking from the Association of American Railroads (AAR) to allow the transport of LNG in rail tank cars, is still held up; PHMSA has opened the topic up for comment but, after pressure from Congress, left that comment period open for longer.
More successful were two rulemakings responding to mandates from government. Under the terms of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorisation Act of 2018, PHMSA issued an interim final rule under HM-224I on 6 March, with proposals to introduce tighter restrictions on the transport of lithium ion cells and batteries by air; these included a prohibition on their carriage as cargo on passenger aircraft, a specification that they should be shipped on cargo aircraft at no more than 30 per cent state of charge, and a limitation of one package per consignment or overpack. The comment period closed on 6 May and a final rule is currently in preparation.
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015 delivered several mandates to PHMSA; one of those resulted in a final rule under HM-251B published on 28 February, that revises and clarifies the requirements for comprehensive oil spill response plans and requires railroads to share information about high-hazard flammable train operations with state and tribal emergency response commissions.
Kelley finished his presentation by assuring the audience that PHMSA is looking towards the future and considering how autonomous vehicles can be fitted into the hazmat regulations. He also alerted them to a new initiative designed to reduce the number of hazardous materials inadvertently or unknowingly put into the transport chain and aimed primarily at individuals and infrequent shippers. A list of common hazardous materials is presented at ChecktheBox.dot.gov.
Dan Hankinson, program manager, Mopar product regulatory compliance at FCA US, and Rodolfo Koria, technical consultant at COSTHA, provided an update on the work of the Mexico Working Group, which is identifying opportunities to enhance regulatory alignment between Mexico and the US, Canada and UN; Hankinson and Koria are both members of the leadership and technical team of the Working Group, which was formed in 2015. It has recently been approved to participate in the work of the National Consultative Committee on Regulation for Transport of Hazardous Materials, which is currently working on a revision of NOM-002 to bring Mexico’s land transport regulations into line with the latest edition of the UN Model Regulations. This is due for publication this year.
The Mexico Working Group is also trying to persuade the Mexican government to remove the provision that requires dangerous goods to be shipped separately from regular cargo, and to keep its relevant regulations in line with the international provisions. There is going to be some relaxation of the separation requirement, at least for goods shipped as consumer commodities or under the excepted quantity provisions.
Making sure that delegates got their money’s worth, COSTHA had arranged that the mid-morning break would be followed by a meeting of the Canada Working Group and then by focus group sessions over lunch, with the audience returning to the conference tables after that for the afternoon’s international regulatory briefing. That included a presentation from Diego Gotelli on developments south of Mexico, from the point of view of the Centro de Informacíon Quimica para Emergencias (Ciquime), which provides the 24-hour emergency response information across the region.
Those who had seen Gotelli speak on the same subject at earlier COSTHA Annual Forums may have had a slight sense of déjà vu: while almost all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean apply the latest edition of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Technical Instructions and the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, the situation in terms of land transport is fractured. Most countries in the region apply the provisions of the UN Model Regulations, but not all the same edition, while some countries apply ADR for their domestic rules – but, again, not all the same edition.
Indeed, Gotelli reproduced a slide he had shown at the 2016 COSTHA Annual Forum (in Clearwater, Florida for those who remember their COSTHA meetings by location rather than date). At that time, Argentina and Paraguay were still using the 7th revised edition of the UN model regulations, while Uruguay was on the 12th, Brazil on the 15th and Chile had applied the 17th revised edition. Some progress has now been made but, while Brazil and Chile have updated to the 19th revised edition, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay are still using the 17th.
Those differences are supplemented by the problems that arise in cross-border road transport for vehicles moving from a country that applies the ADR provisions, particularly in terms of placarding and the use of orange-coloured plates, and a country that bases its rules purely on the UN Model Regulations. Gotelli used as an example a consignment of packaged phosphorus oxychloride (UN 1810) from San Antonio, Texas to Buenos Aires, Argentina using the Pan-American Highway and a ferry across the Darien Gap. He calculated that, depending on the actual route taken, this would involve four changes of placards and plates and six different formats of emergency cards, as well as a copy of ERG2016 and a safety data sheet. To complicate matters, the product is classified as Division 6.1 over around half the distance, and as Class 8 for the remainder. The potential for fines for getting it wrong is immense.
To summarise, Gotelli said that this level of disharmony, especially when combined with inadequate transport infrastructure across much of the regions and a lack of information exchange, leads to inadequate safety in the transport of dangerous goods.
An important part of the international briefing for many of the delegates at the COSTHA event is the presentation on regulations in China, which was given this year by Zeng Jia, divisional director at the Department of Transportation Service in China’s Ministry of Transport (MOT). Zeng illustrated the size of the national dangerous goods sector: there are around 11,500 enterprises involved, operating 375,000 vehicles and moving 1.2bn tonnes of product a year – numbers that are all increasing rapidly.
MOT’s current approach to improving safety in the transport of dangerous goods within China aims to address two areas of weakness: firstly in the construction standards and inspection of tank vehicles, and secondly in the accuracy of shipment filing and management. MOT wants to fully implement a dangerous goods document management system, and to bring China closer into alignment with international standards for the exemption of dangerous goods moved in limited quantities. More generally, China is moving rapidly to harmonisation with the UN Model Regulations.
China’s government has come to realise that the current situation, under which various responsibilities in terms of the management of dangerous goods transport regulations are spread across six different ministries and bodies, is unhelpful in terms of generating a consistent set of rules, and it is gradually moving these various responsibilities under a single umbrella. The volume of inspection and authorisation activities is being stepped up, and training and examinations are being tightened.
In addition, Zeng reported, China is opening up more to overseas interests. The first joint-venture transport enterprise, involving domestic and foreign cooperation, was approved by MOT in 1988; in 2014 the responsibility for approving foreign investment in road transport was delegated to provincial bodies and, as of 2018, that approval of foreign investment is based on the same national standards that apply to local companies.
ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE
The other important area ‘abroad’ for North American delegates is, of course, Europe, and COSTHA’s senior technical consultant Julie Prescott reported on the recent activities of the RID/ADR/ADN Joint Meeting, which aims to ensure the greatest possible level of consistency between the regulations governing the transport of dangerous goods by rail (RID), road (ADR) and inland waterway (ADN). COSTHA has had observer status at the Joint Meeting since 2017, allowing it to track upcoming changes in European legislation and bring forth proposals for amendment that may be beneficial to its members.
There were four current topics to discuss, according to Prescott. The first, harmonisation with the UN Model Regulations, did not need to be covered as the latest amendments had been discussed elsewhere. But the Joint Meeting is also busying itself with issues to do with electronic information exchange, the use of e-learning systems and the mutual recognition of pressure receptacles between the US and EU.
That last topic has proved difficult to resolve. In Europe there is a multilateral special agreement that allows the re-export of US DOT pressure receptacles, providing that those receptacles are filled in accordance with US regulations and they are marked and labelling in accordance with Chapter 5.2 of RID/ADR/ADN. However, there is as yet no similar special permit or approval in effect in the US; this is something that the European Industrial Gases Association (EIGA) and its US counterpart, the Compressed Gas Association (CGA), are working on, a move that COSTHA supports.
The second part of this report on the COSTHA 2019 Annual Forum in next month’s HCB will cover the remaining presentations, relating to the international regulatory bodies, the domestic US modal authorities and issues such as cargo securement, best management practices, postal services and preparing for inspections. Meanwhile, COSTHA has confirmed that the 2020 Annual Forum will take place in Greenville, South Carolina from 26 to 29 April. Full information can be found at www.costha.com.
[post_title] => COSTHA: Head for the Beach
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[post_name] => costha-head-beach
[post_modified] => 2019-08-02 10:26:09
[post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-02 09:26:09
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