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.