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IATA Stresses Backing for Use of Biofuels

by ICC Compliance Center on June 19, 2012 at 8:00 am · in Industry News, Products

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.
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Transport Canada Publishes Proposed Amendment 11

by Barbara Foster on March 19, 2012 at 8:00 am · in Barbara's Blog, Industry News, Regulations

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.
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Ontario Ministry of Labour Initiates February Safety Blitz

by Barbara Foster on February 13, 2012 at 8:00 am · in Announcements, Barbara's Blog, Industry News, Regulations

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:
• construction;
• healthcare;
• mining; and
• industrial establishments.
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Canadian Watchdog Raises Concern Regarding Transportation of Dangerous Goods

by Barbara Foster on December 21, 2011 at 8:00 am · in Barbara's Blog, Industry News, Regulations

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.
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ICC Attends 33rd Annual DGAC Conference

by Barbara Foster on November 14, 2011 at 8:00 am · in Barbara's Blog, Industry News

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.
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