VBA monitors regulations to ensure we stay abreast of changes that may impact our clients’ EHS compliance, including changes to EHS applicability.

The US Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a Final Rule on November 7, 2018 to update, clarify, streamline, and provide new relief from certain hazardous material rules (HMR). Important dates associated with this regulatory action include:

  • Date rule becomes effective: December 7, 2018.
  • Voluntary compliance date: November 7, 2018
  • Delayed compliance date: November 7, 2019 unless specified otherwise in the rule

By adopting these deregulatory amendments, PHMSA has stated that it is allowing more efficient and effective ways of transporting hazardous materials in commerce while maintaining an equivalent level of safety.

In summary, rule amendments include:

  • Incorporating by reference other industry publications;
  • Addressing inconsistencies with domestic and international labels and placards;
  • Revising tables to make consistent with other portions of the regulation;
  • Including use of International System of Units (SI);
  • Excepting limited quantities of ‘‘UN1942, Ammonium nitrate’’ from requiring permission from the Captain of the Port (COTP) before being loaded or unloaded from a vessel at a waterfront facility;
  • Allowing for combination non-bulk packagings that are tested and marked for a liquid hazardous material to be filled with a solid hazardous material;
  • Including additional hazardous material descriptions for corrosive liquids for transport in roadway striping vehicles;
  • Extending the service life of interim compliant toxic inhalation hazard (TIH) tank cars to the full service life of all other tank cars;
  • Allowing the use of plastic, metal, or composite pallets to transport materials classed and marked as limited quantities;
  • No longer mandating that excepted quantities comply with the emergency response telephone requirement;
  • Harmonizing the recordkeeping requirements for portable tanks;
  • Allowing for printing tolerances for labels and placards;
  • Allowing electronic signatures for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) manifest forms;
  • No longer requiring the service pressure to be marked on Department of Transportation (DOT) 8 and 8L cylinders;
  • Acknowledging that the marked date of manufacture on a composite intermediate bulk container (IBC) may differ from the marked date of manufacture on the inner receptacle of that IBC; and
  • Revising the basis weight tolerance for fiberboard boxes from plus or minus 5% to plus or minus 10% from the nominal basis weight reported in the initial design qualification test report.

Contact a VBA professional if you need a DOT audit or HAZMAT applicability determination.