The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is asking governments to support the development of biofuels to ensure the emerging industry is a staple supplier for air travel and help to reduce carbon emissions.
The group’s annual general meeting in Beijing is this week (June 11-15, 2012) and IATA chief executive Tony Tyler said that airlines have undertaken many flights using such fuels, but supply is low and cost is prohibitively high.
As such, governments need to adopt policies to help support the commercialization of biofuels to “bring up the volume and bring down the price,” Tyler said, according to Businessweek.
The conference is even devoting a panel discussing the topic of the commercialization of biofuels. The IATA represents 240 airlines including American Airlines and British Airways. Its members comprise 84 percent of global air traffic.
The low carbon fuel is seen as a potential way for the airline industry to halt its spiraling emissions totals. Although the industry accounts for only 3 percent of global CO2 emissions, it is the fastest growing source of such gasses, Businessweek reports.
Airlines United and Alaska have been taking test flights using biofuels since November. In January, German carrier Lufthansa announced it was ending trials using biofuels to power flights due to a lack of reliable supplies. The trial saw Lufthansa carry out 1,187 biofuel flights between Hamburg and Frankfurt.
The issue of airlines’ emissions has been brought into attention by the application of the European Union’s carbon trading scheme to the industry’s operations.
The trading program, which obliges airlines to buy carbon credits when flying through European airspace, has been met with push-back by numerous carriers worldwide.
In December, United/Continental Airlines and American Airlines failed in a legal attempt to block the scheme, while UPS threatened to extend its flights in an effort to circumvent European airspace and avoid buying the credits. Estimates by Thomson Reuters Point Carbon suggest the scheme will cost airlines around €1.1 billion ($1.5 billion) in 2012.
On March 10, 2012, Transport Canada published a proposed amendment to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) in Canada Gazette 1. This amendment, called Amendment 11, will, when finalized, address a number of problematic points in the current TDG System.
The significant changes proposed in Amendment 11 include the following:
The definition of “person” will be changed for clarity, and a definition of “organization” will be added. This is to align with the meanings already established in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act (TDGA), in 2009.
Section 1.15, the “150 kg exemption”, is proposed to be changed allow for easier ransport of consumer-type aerosols. The proposed change will allow up to six aerosol containers to be transported in an outer packaging that is not UN specification. This fixes a problem introduced in Amendment 6; the current regulations allow most products transported under these provisions to be transported in non-standardized packaging, but does not exempt Class 2 materials. This was aimed at requiring cylinders to be tested and certified, but aerosols were not given an exception for their outer packagings. Companies that use section 1.15 to transport small, consumer-type aerosols are currently required to obtain a permit that exempts them from this requirement.
In Part 5, Means of Containment, the weight or filling limits on packagings will be clarified. For specification packaging, filling limits will be established under the specification. For non-specification packaging the limits will be based on the manufacturer’s recommendation. In addition, Part 5 will specify that packages may not be liquid-full at 55°C.
Sections 9.3(3) and 10.3(3) will be changed to address a problem that has arisen when transporting dangerous goods by road or rail to and from ports, incident to interntaional transport under the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG). The current regulations require that such containers be placarded according to TDG rules from Part 4 rather than according to the IMDG Code. However, these rules are sometimes quite different (for example, TDG rarely requires subsidiary hazard placards, while IMDG does), and this could lead to situations where the placards must be changed at the port. Amendment 11 would change the requirement to allow IMDG placarding rules to be used for containers in transport to and from ports or marine terminals, and also allow shippers to use no placards at all, during transport in Canada, as long as the goods were not regulated in Canada even if the IMDG Code assigned a hazard class to them.
The rest of Amendment 11 consists of editorial changes and minor corrections to wording.
Legislation and Regulations
Transport of Dangerous Goods Directorate
Department of Transport
Place de Ville, Tower C, 9th Floor
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N5
Telephone: 613-990-5766, Fax: 613-993-5925
When faced with these and other regulatory changes, remember that the regulatory staff at ICC The Compliance Center Ltd. can assist you. Contact us at 1-855-734-5469, for support and guidance. We’re here to help!
The Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) has announced that it will be conducting a blitz program of inspections targeting Ontario workplaces, concentrating on materials handling. The blitz will last throughout the month of February.
“Materials handling” includes common actions such as lifting, setting down, carrying, pushing or pulling materials. (Note that this is not restricted to hazardous materials; materials such as brick, stone and earth would also be covered.) The main concern of the Ministry is that improper handling of materials can result in musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). MSDs cover damage to soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and other parts of the body that might be strained, torn, irritated or otherwise damaged.
The stakes are high – the Ministry estimates that more than 40 per cent of Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) claims, as well as lost time due to injuries, are caused by MSDs. Therefore, inspectors (sometimes accompanied by ergonomists) will be visiting Ontario workplaces to ensure that workers are able to minimize these risks.
The blitz will concentrate on the following types of workplaces:
• mining; and
• industrial establishments.
Typical areas that an inspector will look at include:
• Safe procedures for moving and storage of materials.
• Appropriate employee training in safe handling.
• Housekeeping in materials handling areas.
• Safety of egress and exit points.
• Ladder safety.
• Maintenance of equipment used for materials handling.
The blitz is part of Ontario’s Safe at Work Ontario strategy, that was rolled out in 2008.Previous blitzes have targeted personal protective equipment, and infection control.
So, if you see an inspector from the MOL in your workplace this month, don’t be surprised. It’s all part of the MOL’s efforts to keep our employees safe and at work.
The Canadian Auditor General’s office has raised concerns about how dangerous goods are transported in Canada, in a report that may have far-reaching effects on Transport Canada, as well as the transportation and chemical industries. The conclusion in the report that “Transport Canada has not designed and implemented the management practices needed to effectively monitor regulatory compliance with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992” has already become a major news story, raising public concern. But how valid are these concerns?
Scott Vaughn, Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, this week issued his report on the performance of Transport Canada and the National Energy Board. The report, issued as the 2011 December Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development found, among other areas of concern:
Transport Canada lacks a consistent approach to planning and implementing compliance activities. In particular, it has not established a “risk based” approach to monitoring companies involved in transporting dangerous goods.
There is a lack of follow-up on reported deficiencies. Corrective action is not consistently taken when violations are discovered. Documentation of corrective actions is often missing or incomplete.
The system for approving and overseeing Emergency Response Assistance Plans (ERAPs) is slow, and many plans are given merely “interim” approvals, but never progress to full approval (some have been designated interim as long as ten years).
Inspectors lack detailed guidance on how to enforce and monitor compliance.
The report identifies some significant areas of concern, and Transport Canada has committed to addressing these issues. However, it should be pointed out that most of the issues raised by the Commissioner are not related to actual incidents, but the day-to-day administrative procedures of the department. In general, Canada’s record in safe transportation of dangerous goods is still very good. The number of accidents related to non-compliant dangerous goods is low, and most incidents are dealt with quickly and appropriately, due to the hazard communication requirements of the regulations.
Companies involved in the transportation of dangerous goods in Canada should watch the developments from this report carefully. As the government tries to address these concerns, we may see improvements for industry, such as speedier approvals, but there may also be a downside. Will the criticism of Transport Canada’s enforcement procedures result in inspectors taking a more “hard-nosed” approach during investigations?
This week, ICC attended the 33rd Annual Conference and Exposition of the Dangerous Goods Advisory Committee (DGAC), one of the largest trade associations for organizations involved in dangerous goods. The conference, which was held in Tampa, Florida, was well attended by shippers and carriers, as well as companies providing services such as emergency response. ICC’s own Karrie Monette-Ishmael and Barbara Foster were among the exhibitors showing their latest products and services.
The program started with a keynote address from Tim Butters, the Deputy Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). He described how PHMSA was “trying to reopen lines of communication with industry,” that may have been damaged in recent years, and discussed some of their important work on safety and security.
The program itself provided many informative and challenging sessions. Workshops gave a hands-on look at such diverse topics as writing closure instructions for packaging, and compatibility issues between chemicals and packaging. Regulators from North America and Europe gave overviews of issues and upcoming changes to the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, the Hazardous Materials Regulations of 49 CFR, and other related regulations. Speakers from industry were present to give insight into topics such as classification of environmentally hazardous substances. The ever-problematic issue of lithium batteries was addressed by Bob Richard, former Deputy Administrator of PHMSA and now with Labelmaster Services.
A new feature this year (and one that was a big hit!) was a chance to “speed date the regulators”. Participants could choose representatives from various departments for short discussions in small groups about specific topics of concern.
This was the last conference for the current DGAC President, Mike Morrissette. After many years of service in the dangerous goods field, Mike is retiring. ICC wishes him a happy retirement, and thanks him for his years of untiring support for all of us in the industry. We also congratulate the incoming President, Vaughn Arthur, and look forward to working with him.
ICC is a proud supporter of DGAC, one of the best sources for companies involved with goods/hazardous materials to learn about upcoming regulations, and touch base with the people who create them. Check DGAC out at http://www.dgac.org for more information about this great organization, and consider attending next year’s conference, which will be held in Nashville, Tennessee on October 15-17, 2012.