For shippers of dangerous goods, freight forwarders, and carriers, new rules for hazmat air and vessel shipments are already in effect. In addition, U.S. DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) plans to start finalizing new hazmat rules as soon as February 2018.
The rules affected are:
49 CFR – US Ground
Placarding (§172.504): Class 9 materials are found on Table 2. This indicates that when the gross aggregate weight of the materials in the transport vehicle reaches 1001 pounds (454 kilograms) placards would be needed. In Paragraph (f)(9) there is an exception. The exception tells us that placards are not needed for Class 9 materials shipped domestically.
Segregation and Separation Chart of Hazardous Materials (§177.848): There is currently nothing in this section of 49 CFR to indicate batteries should be segregated or separated from other hazardous materials.
59th Edition of IATA for Air
Placarding: There are no requirements to placard a plane in the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. You must still follow any ground placarding rules that would apply to getting your shipment to and/or from the airport.
38-16 IMDG for Vessel
Placarding (Chapter 5.3): The general rule for placarding within IMDG is “if there is a label on the package, then a placard is required”. So, if our packages of batteries are labeled with a Class 9 hazard label, we will need a placard. However, there is no new “lithium battery placard” that would be used in conjunction with the new Class 9 battery label. There is a new paragraph that tells you to use the normal Class 9 placard in this case.
Miscellaneous Amendments Pertaining to DOT Specification Cylinders (RIN 2137-AE80)
DOT expects to issue this final rule in April 2018.
EPA’s Electronic Hazardous Waste Manifest SystemTechnically speaking, this one is a U.S. EPA rulemaking—but it does have consequences for hazmat shippers. The Hazardous Waste Manifest is a shipping paper required for the transport of hazardous waste, and hazardous waste is regulated in transport as a hazardous material by US DOT.
Oil Spill Response Plans for High-Hazard Flammable Trains (RIN 2137-AF08)
This year, DOT will promulgate a Final Rule to expand the applicability of oil spill response plans for trains transporting Class 3 flammable liquids in certain volumes and orientations across the train.
The bolstered requirements will apply to High-Hazard Flammable Trains, or HHFTs. A High-Hazard Flammable Train is a train carrying 20 cars of a Class 3 flammable liquid in a continuous block or 36 or more such cars across the entire train. Crude oil production and transport volumes have risen significantly in the past decade: In 2009, 10,800 rail carloads of crude oil traveled by Class I railroad. By 2015, that number had skyrocketed to over 400,000.1
DOT plans to issue this final rule in July 2018.