August 15, 2012
This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is part of a continuing effort to maintain alignment with international regulations and standards through a biennial process to harmonize the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR parts 171 to 180) with international regulations and standards.
The following are some of the more noteworthy proposals in this NPRM:
• Incorporate Revised Standards: PHMSA proposes to incorporate by reference the newest versions of various international hazardous materials standards including the 2013–2014 International Civil Aviation
Organization Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO Technical Instructions), Amendment 36–12 to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code), and the 17th Revised Edition of the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UN Model Regulations).
Additionally, PHMSA is proposing to update the incorporation by reference of the Canadian Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations to include Amendment 8 (SOR/2011–239) issued November 9, 2011, Amendment 9 (SOR/2011–60) issued March 16, 2011, and Amendment 10 (SOR/2011–210) issued October 12, 2011. Finally, in this NPRM PHMSA is proposing the adoption of updated International Standards Organization (ISO) standards.
This proposed rule is necessary to incorporate revisions to the international standards and, if adopted in the HMR, most of which become effective January 1, 2013.
• Expand Packaging Authorizations: Consistent with the amendments adopted by the UN Model Regulations, PHMSA proposes to adopt changes throughout the Part 173 packaging requirements to authorize more flexibility when choosing packages for hazardous materials.
• Revise Vessel Stowage Codes: PHMSA proposes to revise, consolidate, and delete various vessel stowage categories and codes referenced in column 10A and 10B of the Hazardous Materials Table (HMT) found in § 172.101. The purpose is to eliminate redundant codes, align with modifications to the IMDG Code and to simplify the vessel stowage requirements by limiting the number of stowage options.
• Adopt Chemical Under Pressure Provisions: This modification would revise the HMT to include entries for chemical under pressure as well as incorporate other safety requirements including but not limited to packaging requirements, segregation requirements, quantity limitations, and filling limits into the HMR. These types of products are often incorrectly classified and transported as liquefied gases or shipped under special permits.
• Specify Minimum Size Requirements for Identification Number Markings on Non-Bulk Packages: This change proposes to add specific size requirements for identification number (i.e., ‘‘UN,’’ ‘‘NA,’’ ‘‘ID’’) markings as prescribed in § 172.301 for non-bulk packages. As aligned with the new UN model regulations, this minimum size marking will benefit first responders to identify the commodity associated with a particular package.
• Revise HMT Entries: PHMSA proposes amendments to the § 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table (HMT) to add, revise, or remove certain proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, bulk packaging requirements, passenger and cargo aircraft maximum quantity limits to the HMT to mirror recent changes in the Dangerous Goods list of The 17th Revised Edition of the UN Model Regulations, the IMDG Code, and the ICAO Technical Instructions.
The benefits resulting from the adoption of the amendments include enhanced transportation safety resulting from the consistency of domestic and international hazard communication and continued access to foreign markets by U.S. manufacturers of hazardous materials. Most of the amendments in this NPRM should result in cost savings and ease the regulatory compliance burden for shippers engaged in domestic and international commerce, including trans-border shipments within North America.
The full notice can be read at:
Hazardous Materials: Harmonization with International Standards [TEXT] [PDF]
Comments must be received by October 15, 2012.