[ID] => 7850
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2017-04-03 09:26:48
[post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-03 08:26:48
[post_content] => The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published its final rule under HM-215N on 30 March. This is PHMSA’s biennial update of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to harmonise with international regulations. The rule was originally listed to appear on 27 January but was held up by the incoming Trump administration’s review of all new regulations. That delay does not appear to have led to any further changes compared to the original text.
The final rule took retrospective effect as from 1 January but is not mandatory for domestic transport until 1 January 2018.
Federal legislation favours the harmonisation of domestic and international regulations in the transport of dangerous goods, although PHMSA is also allowed to vary from international standards where appropriate. In the final rule there are a number of areas where PHMSA has chosen not to follow the lead of the UN Model Regulations, either because it feels the provisions are unnecessary from the point of view of safety, the provisions are already covered in HMR, or they will be addressed in separate rulemakings.
In addition to harmonisation with the UN provisions, HM-215N also includes some amendments resulting from the work of the US-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC).
The final rule also includes changes compared to the amendments contained in the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published on 7 September 2016 (HCB Monthly November 2016, page 90). PHMSA received a number of comments in response to the NPRM, not least on the topic of polymerising substances (see below).
To begin with, the final rule updates the incorporation by reference of international provisions, namely the 2017-2018 edition of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Technical Instructions; Amendment 38-16 of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code; the 19th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations; the sixth
revised edition of the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria; and the sixth revised edition of the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). In addition, the HMR amendment recognises changes to Canada’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations adopted during 2014 and 2015 as well as a number of updated ISO standards.
The US HMR is a multimodal document, so harmonisation with the IMDG Code includes an update of the list of marine pollutants in appendix B to §172.101. Furthermore, it adopts amendments to the packaging requirements for the transport by water of water-reactive substances. These include new requirements for certain substances to be shipped in hermetically sealed packagings and other substances shipped in flexible, fibreboard or wooden packagings to have sift-proof and water-resistant packaging or packaging with a sift-proof and water-resistant liner.
In addition, there are a number of changes to the stowage categories, following the IMDG Code. The Dangerous Goods Advisory Council (DGAC) clearly took a close look at these in the NPRM and advised PHMSA of several errors, which have been corrected in the final rule.
PHMSA has adopted the four new entries – UN 3531 to 3534 – for polymerising substances in the Hazardous Materials Table, along with the various definitions and safety requirements. However, PHMSA says these are only included for the duration of the current update; it intends to review and research the implications of the amendments over the next two years and may readdress the issue in the next international harmonisation rulemaking, due to enter into force at the beginning of 2019.
In response to evidence from US Amines, PHMSA has not included dipropylamine (UN 2383) among polymerising substances. Other commenters raised the question of combustible liquids – a category not included in the UN Model Regulations – that are also polymerising substances. PHMSA has clarified that these should be offered for transport as combustible liquids, since the provisions for polymerising substances apply only to those substances that do not present another hazard.
Some commenters queried PHMSA’s proposal to specify a self-accelerating polymerising temperature (SAPT) of 50˚C rather than the 45˚C used in international regulations, fearing that this could lead to problems with imported material. PHMSA insists that 50°C is the
maximum temperature reasonable expected to be experienced by any self-reactive,
organic peroxide and/or polymerising substance, and notes that this is consistent with existing requirements in HMR for hazardous materials of Divisions 4.1 and 5.2.
In the NPRM, PHMSA had not included the new special provision 383 in the UN Model Regulations, which exempts table tennis balls from classification under UN 2000 celluloid with certain size limits. PHMSA was of the mind that there was no place for table tennis balls in regulations that cover the transport of hazardous materials.
However, a number of commenters pointed out that, while they agreed with PHMSA’s argument, it would nevertheless be valuable to have that reflected in the HMR by way of a special provision rather than an interpretation. On reflection, PHMSA agreed but has inserted a rather broader special provision 420 that excepts all articles manufactured from celluloid without a limit on size or quantity per package.
The Council on Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA) asked PHMSA to consider adding new wording to the provisions relating to the description requirement for consumer commodities offered for transport by aircraft. The notification to the pilot-in-command (NOTOC) is generated from information on the shipping papers and COSTHA asked that shippers be allowed to show either the actual gross mass of each package or the average gross mass of all packages in a consignment. PHMSA agreed that, without this amendment, it would be difficult for airlines to implement the planned change to §175.33; in the final rule it is adding a new §172.202(a)(6)(viii) that includes COSTHA’s suggested change.
There are several changes relating to the transport of lithium batteries, drawn from the UN Model Regulations. These include a revision to §§173.185(c)(2) and (c)(3)(i) to specify that outer packagings used to contain small lithium batteries must be rigid. COSTHA, DGAC and others asked that an exception be allowed for batteries contained in equipment if the equipment containing the battery offers an equivalent level of protection. PHMSA agreed with those comments and amended §173.185(c)(2) accordingly.
Aside from a number of minor editorial corrections and clarifications, the remainder of the final rule follows very closely the amendments planned in the NPRM. Readers looking for more information on the NPRM can refer back to the November 2016 issue of HCB Monthly or see the (extremely lengthy) final rule at www.federalregister.gov/agencies/pipeline-and-hazardous-materials-safety-administration. That text is worth referring to, not least because PHMSA provides the background to many of the changes and its rationale for varying from the UN text.
[post_title] => PHMSA: One step forward
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
[ping_status] => open
[post_name] => phmsa-one-step-forward
[post_modified] => 2017-04-03 09:26:48
[post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-03 08:26:48
[post_parent] => 0
[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=7850
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PHMSA's delayed harmonisation rule includes a number of significant variations from the UN text. International shippers need to be aware of those provisions