Transportation Skills Programs, Inc.

Hazardous Materials Publishing Co.

Trusted In Hazmat Training Since 1972


Welcome to Hazmat Rob's Blog Archive


This page contains older blogs that feature Rob Keegan's unique perspective on Hazardous Waste, Chemicals & Substance Regulations.

Topics discussed not only come from changing regulations but, also from you, my readers and or seminar attendees which send me questions.





October 7, 2015



Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule

and Changing the Course of History



I like to tell my seminar attendees that if they really want to change the course of history, the Federal Register is probably their best chance. Get ready, because in the Federal Register on September 25, EPA proposed revisions to the Hazardous Waste Generator Regulations under RCRA to improve compliance and implementation.



Almost nothing has changed in the Hazardous Waste Generator Regulations since they were originally promulgated in 1980. So now EPA plans to simplify and improve the 35-year-old Hazardous Waste Generator Regulations and they believe it can be accomplished without any measurable increase in burden.



The comment period has begun on the proposed “Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule” and until November 24, you have your chance to defend or defile it before it becomes Federal Law. You might agree that EPA should clarify the inconsistency and uncertainty that generators have regarding what generator category applies during that calendar month when a generator generates both acute and non-acute hazardous waste or finally address identification  of hazardous and non-hazardous waste mixtures.



But you might object to reclassifying the 40 CFR 261.5 Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators as Very Small Quantity Generators (VSQG) and moving their requirements into Part 262 - Standards Applicable to Generators of Hazardous Waste, aligning with the other two generator categories, large quantity generators (LQGs) and small quantity generators (SQGs).



Or maybe you don’t believe that the proposed changes to hazardous waste container marks, requiring data on the annual number of and current risks associated with emergencies at a generator’s site, would really have an appreciable reduction in risk to emergency responders.



Even though EPA believes this proposed rule will yield a variety of qualitative benefits as generators implement these proposed waste management practices, you might not believe that your local fire department has the qualifications or expertise to grant waivers allowing large quantity generators to accumulate ignitable or reactive hazardous waste within the current 50-foot property line requirement in 40 CFR 265.176, even when additional proposed safety requirements are met.



This proposed rule hopes to also clarify the closure regulations for hazardous waste generators under 262.34(a)(1) because they do not specify whether closure provisions apply to generators accumulating hazardous waste in containment buildings only or also to hazardous waste accumulated in containers and tanks.



Another proposed change is the plan, provided certain conditions are met, to allow conditionally exempt small quantity generators (CESQGs) with satellite locations to send hazardous waste to a LQG location that is under the control of the same organization.



Because EPA believes this proposed rule will affect practically every “industrial sector, including printing, petroleum refining, chemical manufacturing, plastics and resin manufacturing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, paint and coatings, iron and steelmaking, secondary smelting and refining, metal manufacturing, electroplating, circuit board manufacturing, and automobile manufacturing, among other industries,” it might be worthwhile to participate.



Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– RCRA–2012–0121, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// Just follow the online instructions for submissions. Be aware that once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn and EPA may publish any comment received so do your homework. You can download the Proposed Rule at



I am no longer a large, small or even a very small quantity generator of hazardous waste, but if you are, this might be your last chance for the next 35 years to have your name added to other famous environmentalists by changing the course of Hazardous Waste Management History.


I will be detailing these and other proposed changes to the Hazardous Materials, Substances and Waste Regulations in future seminars and blog entries, so keep reading or sign up for the seminar next time we are in town. And don’t hesitate to drop us an email with your questions or concerns. Thank you for your readership and support.



August 13, 2015





Wise men, little pigs, blind mice, coins in a fountain, etc. A lot of things come in threes. Like the hazardous materials shipping exceptions in 49 CFR 173.4, 173.4a and 173.4b for really small (inner packaging) amounts of hazardous materials when placed in combination packagings (strong outside boxes) up to 30 kilograms each. Get your Flammable Liquids (Class 3), Corrosives (Class 8) and even Poisons (Division 6.1), and more out of most, if not all, of the Hazardous Materials Regulations.



No hazmat shipping papers, no specification containers, no hazard class container labels. We have done all the work, just download our 173.4 Small Quantity rail and highway exceptions, 173.4a Excepted Quantity and 173.4b De Minimis Exceptions Worksheets. Inner packagings are small vials and bottles, but you can have up to 30 kilograms in each box! A lot of our customers use and cherish these exceptions that save time, money and grief.


173.4 Small quantities for rail and highway


173.4a Excepted quantities (air, rail, highway and water)


173.4b De minimis quantities (air, rail, highway and water)


Don't confuse these exceptions which are based on a material's hazard class and packing groups with the exceptions in Column 8A of the 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table for limited quantity and consumer commodities, which are based a material’s proper shipping name. The limited quantities and consumer commodities which allow for large inner packagings from .5 liters up to 5 liters each, however, provide many of the same exceptions.


Everyone, including your customers, is told they can take these hazardous materials exceptions for an untold number of shipments everyday for their small inner packagings in combination containers. However, very few know what amounts, hazard classes and packing groups are authorized or even where these exceptions can be found in the HMR.


I would stick these one-page worksheets we have prepared up on the wall in the shipping department and forward copies to my affected customers. These worksheets could even be included inside each container, defining the liability for anyone who might want to know if they reuse the shipping containers of reship the original material either before or after it had been altered or reformulated.


Call or write, big or small shipments, we can help answer your questions. Thanks for your readership and support!




June 3, 2015





If your job is selecting 49 CFR Department of Transportation hazardous material non-bulk containers or packaging (not over 119 gallon for liquids and 882 pounds for solids), you will find it's easier than most people think. Non-bulk containers are selected using a material’s proper shipping name and the instructions listed in Column 8B of the 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table.  But what do the marks on these specification containers mean?


UN 4G/Y145/S/83/USA/RA means:




UN 1A1/Y1.4/150/83/USA/VL82 means:





49 CFR 178.500 quickly and easily in the same sequence as the marked or embossed on your boxes or drums.  Let’s breaks down the non-bulk container manufacturer’s marks using the cardboard UN box and a UN steel drum . First, clearly marked on the container would be the UN Mark  which designates that the container was manufactured to meet a United Nations standard.


UN 4G/Y145/S/83/USA/RA




Identification codes for designating kinds of packagings consist of the following:



(1) A numeral indicating the kind of packaging, as follows:

(i) “1” means a drum.

(ii) “2” means a wooden barrel.

(iii) “3” means a jerrican.

(iv) “4” means a box.

(v) “5” means a bag.

(vi) “6” means a composite packaging.

(vii) “7” means a pressure receptacle.


(2) A capital letter indicating the material of construction, as follows:


(i) “A” means steel (all types and surface treatments).

(ii) “B” means aluminum.

(iii) “C” means natural wood.

(iv) “D” means plywood.

(v) “F” means reconstituted wood.

(vi) “G” means fiberboard.

(vii) “H” means plastic.

(viii) “L” means textile.

(ix) “M” means paper, multi-wall.

(x) “N” means metal (other than steel or aluminum).

(xi) “P” means glass, porcelain or stoneware.



UN 1A1/Y1.4/150/83/USA/VL824 = STEEL DRUM


A numeral indicating the category of packaging within the kind to which the packaging belongs appears after the identification codes for type of packaging and material of construction. For example, for steel drums (“1A”), “1” indicates a non-removable head drum (i.e., “1A1”) and “2” indicates a removable head drum (i.e., “1A2”).





Next is the letter identifying the performance standard under which the packaging design type has been successfully tested: X—for packagings meeting Packing Group I, II and III tests;  Y—for packagings meeting Packing Group II and III tests; or Z—for packagings only meeting Packing Group III tests.


UN 4G/Y145/S/83/USA/RA




Following the packing group identifier is the designation of the specific gravity or mass for which the packaging design type has been tested. When a packaging without inner packagings is intended to contain liquids, the specific gravity rounded down to the first decimal must be marked and may be omitted when the specific gravity does not exceed 1.2. Packagings intended to contain solids or inner packagings must display the maximum gross mass in kilograms.


UN 4G/Y145/S/83/USA/13/ RA




For single or composite packagings intended to contain liquids, the test pressure in kilopascals rounded down to the nearest 10 kPa of the hydrostatic pressure test that the packaging design type has successfully passed must also be marked on the container.

When a packaging is intended to contain solids or inner packagings, the letter “S” must appear.


UN 4G/Y145/S/83/USA/13/ RA




The last two digits of the year of manufacture is next. Packagings of types 1H plastic drums and 3H plastic jerrycan shall also be marked with the month of manufacture in any appropriate manner; this may be marked on the packaging in a different place from the remainder of the markings.


UN 4G/Y145/S/83/USA/13/ RA




The state authorizing the allocation of the mark. For example, the letters “USA” indicate that the packaging is manufactured and marked in the United States in compliance with US regulations.


UN 4G/Y145/S/83/USA/RA




The Container marks must then include the name and address or symbol of the manufacturer or the approval agency certifying compliance with Subparts L & M of Part 178. Symbols, if used, must be registered with the Associate Administrator.


UN 4G/Y145/S/83/USA/RA






When a metal or plastic drum or jerrican is intended for reuse or reconditioning as a single packaging or the outer packaging of a composite packaging, the thickness of the packaging material, expressed in mm (rounded to the nearest 0.1 mm), as follows:



Metal drums or jerricans must be marked with the nominal thickness of the metal used in the body. The marked nominal thickness must not exceed the minimum thickness of the steel used by more than the thickness tolerance stated in ISO 3574 (see §171.7 of Subchapter C and see Appendix C of Part 178) The unit of measure is not required to be marked. When the nominal thickness of either head of a metal drum is thinner than that of the body, the nominal thickness of the top head, body, and bottom head must be marked, as follows “1.0-1.2-1.0” or “0.9-1.0-1.0”.



Plastic drums or jerricans must be marked with the minimum thickness of plastic.  Minimum thicknesses of plastic must be as determined in accordance with §173.28(b)(4). The unit of measure is not required to be marked.


UN1A1/Y1.4/150/83/USA/VL824 1.0 mm



In addition to the markings prescribed, every new metal drum having a capacity greater than 100 L must bear the required marks in a permanent form, on the bottom, even though the markings on the top head or side of these packagings need not be permanent, and need not include the thickness mark. If the  packaging has a removable head, the markings may not be applied only to the removable head.



If a packaging is reconditioned, it must be marked by the reconditioner, near the other required marks, with the name of the country in which the reconditioning was performed (i.e;  “USA”); the name and address or symbol of the reconditioner. (Symbols, when used, must be registered with the Associate Administrator); and the last two digits of the year of reconditioning. Reconditioned Packagings also require the letter “R” and for every packaging successfully passing a leakproofness test, the additional letter “L”.


Selection of hazardous material containers may seem to be complex, but this is not the case. Just remember that all of the manufacturer's non-bulk container marking information can be found on just 4 pages of 49 CFR 178.500. The best part is that the information appears in the regulation in the order as it appears on the side of the drum.


If you need help with container selection, call or email us and we will help you out. Thank you for your support and readership.





May 6, 2015





Last time I watched "Ice Road Truckers” on TV, I noticed part of the filming was in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. I went to high school in Canada; Selkirk, Manitoba to be more precise,  which is 60 miles due north of Winnipeg. It was an outbound school, 2 week dog runs, 700 mile canoe trips and 50 mile snowshoe races. I loved it. I didn't always excel in the classroom, but I really loved the outdoor programs.



Back then, in school we were all required to learn both English and French. Canada has a rich French history. The French were the first Europeans to paddle and dogsled across its vast unknowns. Our school celebrated that spirit and history by retracing their hiking, portaging, canoeing, snowshoeing and dog sledding across pristine lakes, wild rapids and long forgotten, frozen, overgrown winter roads.



By law, French-speaking Canadians were required to be taught English and English-speaking Canadians were to be taught French. In addition, the Canadian government required all public information to be displayed in both French and English. So, no matter one’s primary language or attention span during French class, any important public information could always be equally understood.


This was also the plan under the international United Nations Global Harmonization System (GHS). Can you imagine how hard it would be to prepare a hazardous chemical's international SDS and its container labels for shipments to France, Germany, Spain, and Italy (and that would just be for just your European customers)?



Well, that’s why in the international GHS, the UN recommended including a numerical cross-reference system on the international GHS container labels. That's right, the UN’s GHS recommended including a numerical cross-reference alongside the written hazard communication information on the container labels, so that regardless of the language on the labels, employees could simply look up the information in their own language using the P or H numbers instead of the written words on the labels.  For example, Keep away from heat is number P210, Combustible liquid is H227, wear eye protection is number P280 and Use personal protective equipment is number P281.



This is very similar to the way the the international UN Numbers are displayed on trucks and bulk containers inside the orange panel or placards under the DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations and UN Dangerous Goods Recommendations. The UN numbers are used with the International Emergency Response Guide (ERG), which is compiled by Argentinian, Mexican, Canadian and the US governments and is printed in English, French and Spanish. In this way, the UN number can be cross-referenced with the emergency response information regardless of the emergency responder’s native language.



Unfortunately, OSHA did not adopt the UN's GHS in its entirety. OSHA only aligned with some of the international GHS Hazard Communication Recommendations. That's because the UN can only recommend requirements, not promulgate or enforce them. That's why they are called “recommendations.” It would have been nice if OSHA had decided to adopt all of it. But OSHA decided not include the International P and H numerical cross-references, the international marine pollutant tests, and the 5th Hazard Category.



So when you see the tiny red marine pollutant pictograms, the numerical cross-references on international GHS container labels or Category  #5 on international SDSs coming in from other countries around the world, relax.  Just tell your boss even though it may be a DOT marine pollutant domestically on the shipping paper and the side of the drum (as listed in 49 CFR Appendix B to the 172.101 Hazardous Material Table), it is not under OSHA. OSHA refused to adopt the UN GHS marine pollutant requirements because OSHA's  authority is not to protect aquatic life, just human life.



First, OSHA didn't adopt the UN GHS Marine Pollutant testing recommendations. Second, DOT shipping regulations for marine pollutants are based on container sizes, the mode of transportation and their percentages inside each container as listed in Appendix B. And third, the UN GHS, in addition to their marine pollutant list, has an additional requirement to test or at the very least deploy bridging principles for classification of marine pollutants.



If you were to secure a copy of the UN GHS Recommendations you would see there is a Category #5, which does not exist under the OSHA GHS; domestically OSHA only has Categories #1 through #4. You should see for yourself the international numerical cross-references on their container labels, which are not required domestically under OSHA's 29 CFR 1910.1200 Hazard Communication Regulations.



I hope you have been trying to update your old Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to meet the new GHS Safety Data Sheet (SDS) Requirements. As of June 1, 2015, the new SDS format is required and container labels must be affixed by the responsible parties. Don't worry, I have seen very few companies whose SDSs and container labels are 100% OSHA GHS  compliant, as I am sure that OSHA is aware.



I said it once and I am going to say it again, there are very few changes under OSHA's “new” 1910.1200 Hazard Communication Regulations. Really the only major change between the old and the new OSHA GHS is that OSHA added the brand new Appendix A Heath Hazards, Appendix B Physical Hazards, Appendix C Allocation of Label Elements, and Appendix D SDS Format Requirements.



So don't freak out if someone's international GHS SDS looks a little different than your domestic SDS under OSHA. If you're SDS is not exactly the same as one you received from France, that may just mean it is correct under OSHA .If you just copy the mandatory information in SDS Section #1 Identification and Section #2 Hazard(s) Identification onto your container labels, you will meet most of the new GHS requirements.


This is all we do, so if you're SDS looks like it's “in a different language” or you have any questions on hazardous materials, hazardous waste, hazardous chemicals or hazardous substances compliance, give us a call, or better yet sign up for our next seminar when we're in your town. We are sure you will be glad that you did. Thank you for your readership and support.




April 29, 2015


TSPlogoSMMaking (the orange) Book



I bet that most hazardous material shippers know that the little orange Emergency Response Guidebook or the ERG is updated and re-published every four years. Which is true. I also think that most hazmat shippers think the U.S. Department of Transportation is its sole publisher. Well, don’t you bet on it, because it’s false. The International ERG is actually put together by Transport Canada in Ottawa, ON; the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, DC; the Secretariat for Communication and Transport, Land Transport Directorate, in Coyoacan, Mexico; and Chemistry Information Center for Emergencies in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


I am under the impression that in past years, Transport Canada has allowed interested parties to follow the progress of the upcoming ERG on the CANUTEC website. I can tell you that I have personally talked to Transport Canada on many occasions and found them to be very forthcoming in regards to the progress on the book.


I have no problem with the fact that these international government agencies come together in this common cause. The trouble I have with the ERG is that it is updated every four years. Four years is a long time when it comes to hazardous material regulations. The Department of Transportation does not delay issuing new proper shipping names with new hazard classes, new packing groups and new UN identification numbers into the 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table.


To prove my point, on January 8, the Department of Transportation added 17 new proper shipping names and UN numbers for Class 2, Compressed Gases to the 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table, that do not appear in the 2012 ERG. These 17 new proper shipping names with their new UN Numbers numbers were just added to the 172.101 Table to help DOT align the domestic Hazardous Material Regulations with the International United Nations Recommendations for Dangerous Goods. The new UN Identification Numbers start with UN3510 for Absorbed gas, flammable, N.O.S. all the way up to UN3526 for Hydrogen Selenide, absorbed.


The Emergency Response Guidebook has been used for years to meet the shipper’s responsibility for providing emergency response information. Unfortunately, simply by having a copy of the emergency response guidebook in the truck will not meet the 49 CFR 172.600 Emergency Response Information Requirement if the required information is not in the book yet.


Another common mistake shippers make is writing the emergency response guide number on the shipping paper. This would be fine if the driver had a copy of the book, which they are not required to have under federal law. Even though most hazardous material drivers have a copy of the ERG, emergency response information is required to be provided by the hazardous material shipper, not the driver.


DOT allows the shippers three ways to meet the 172.600 Emergency Response Information Requirements for hazardous material shipments. The first way would be to make up your own form with the following required information:


The basic description and technical name of the hazardous material as required by §§172.202 and 172.203(k), the ICAO Technical Instructions, the IMDG Code, or the TDG Regulations, as appropriate,

Immediate hazards to health,

Risks of fire or explosion,

Immediate precautions to be taken in the event of an accident or incident,

Immediate methods for handling fires,

Initial methods for handling spills or leaks in the absence of fire; and

Preliminary first aid measures.



The emergency response information required for a hazardous material shipment must be printed legibly in English.


The second way to meet the Emergency Response Information Requirement would be to attach a copy of the OSHA Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to the hazardous material shipping paper. OSHA requires a copy of the Safety Data Sheet be delivered with the first shipment of hazardous chemicals under 1910.1200 Hazard Communication Requirements for protecting workers. So, by including a copy with the shipment, it would meet the DOT hazmat Emergency Response Information Requirement and it would also meet the OSHA requirement for getting a copy into the hands of the distributor, supplier or end-users.


The third and final way to meet the Emergency Response Information requirements would be to provide an emergency response information document. The Emergency Response Guidance Document would be used to cross-reference the description of the hazardous material on the shipping paper with the emergency response information contained in the document. Most shippers take the phrase “emergency response guidance document” to mean a copy of the ERG; however, DOT no longer actually mentions the ERG by name as they had for many years in the past.


It’s funny but DOT does go on to say that aboard an aircraft the ICAO “Emergency Response Guidance for Aircraft Incidents Involving Dangerous Goods” would be appropriate and aboard vessels, the IMO “Emergency Procedures for Ships Carrying Dangerous Goods” would certainly meet the requirements for water. But again they do not mention the actual ERG or the Emergency Response Guidebook by name, only that the shipper may provide an “equivalent document” with the proper information, to satisfy the requirement.






I am certainly not suggesting that the Emergency Response Guidebook should not be used to meet the requirements under the Department of Transportation. In most cases the ERG will have the proper shipping names, UN identification numbers and emergency response information for almost all of your hazardous material shipments. I am only suggesting that before you make a book on it, you should check the ERG to make sure that the UN identification number and proper shipping name is listed for the hazardous material that you are shipping.


If you have any questions, comments or concerns about your hazardous material, hazardous waste, hazardous substance, or hazardous chemical, give us a call or drop us an email and will certainly be happy to help you out. Thank you for your readership and support.




April 21, 2015






A final rule was published in the Jan. 8, 2015 Federal Register which contains additions and exceptions to the Marine Pollutant Regulations in 171.4 and to the List of Marine Pollutants in Appendix B to §172.101.  DOT added 62 new materials to the list and provided a new exception for small containers of marine pollutants when shipped by water or air. There is also one deletion from The Marine Pollutant List in order to be consistent with the international IMDG Code.  The entry for Chlorotoluenes (meta-; para-) was removed, based on its removal from the IMDG Code.


Marine pollutants were only regulated domestically under the DOT Regulations when shipped in bulk containers (in any mode) and non-bulk by vessel only.  The Jan. 8 Final Rule, incorporating international exceptions for marine pollutants in the water mode, adds exceptions for certain small packages, which applies to ALL modes of transportation.  These exceptions are consistent with the UN Model Regulations, the IMDG Code, and the ICAO Recommendations.


The 171.4 Marine Pollutants Exceptions states, “Except when all or part of the transportation is by vessel, the requirements of this subchapter specific to marine pollutants do not apply to non-bulk packagings transported by motor vehicle, rail car or aircraft.”  Now under HM-215M, single or combination packagings of Marine Pollutants containing a net quantity per single or inner packaging of 5 L or less for liquids or having a net mass of 5 kg or less for solids, are not subject to any other requirements of [Subchapter C] provided the packagings meet the general requirements in 173.24 and 173.24a. This exception would never apply to marine pollutants that are a hazardous waste or hazardous substance. In the case of marine pollutants also meeting the criteria for inclusion in another hazard class, all provisions of [Subchapter C] relevant to any additional hazards continue to apply.


PHMSA is not proposing to remove the ability to offer marine pollutants as limited or excepted quantities, but does agree with commenters that the vast majority of shippers of limited or excepted quantity amounts of marine pollutants will choose to utilize the new exception instead of existing limited or excepted quantity provisions.


DOT, in this Final Rule, makes clear there is no restriction on the number of 5 L containers that are permitted in a combination package, so a package containing four 5 L bottles would contain 20 L of non-regulated marine pollutants, but a 10 L jerrican would be fully regulated. That means there is no limit to the number of 5 L or 5 kg single or inner packagings that may be placed inside of a package under the conditions of the exception. There would be no requirement to mark a freight container with the large marine pollutant marking, because the freight container contains nothing but packages of excepted marine pollutants. As long as the packaging meets the 173.24 and 173.24a packaging provisions, no marine pollutant marking would be required on a cargo transport unit, regardless of the number of packages being offered under the exception.


The use of the exception for single or inner packagings of 5 L or 5 kg or less is not limited to materials offered under the UN identification numbers UN3077 and UN3082, but would also apply to marine pollutants that meet the definition of other hazard classes (i.e., paints or n.o.s. entries that meet the definition of more than one hazard class). However, it must be remembered that if the marine pollutants also meet the criteria for inclusion in another hazard class, all provisions of Subchapter C relevant to any additional hazards continue to apply.


So if a shipper of a marine pollutant had a chemical that was a flammable liquid, Class 3 and also a marine pollutant, then the shipping paper would not have to include the words “Marine Pollutant” and  the containers would not bear the marine pollutant mark by vessel if the inner packaging(s) didn’t exceed the 5 Liter and 5 Kilogram amounts.  But the container would still require the the shipping paper with its proper shipping name, UN number, hazard class 3 and Packing Group, and the container would still require the Shipping Name, UN number and  Flammable Liquid Label.


The Federal Register documents that since 2009, of the 415 initial reports to the NRC involving containership during that period.  None of the incidents involved containers of the sizes, amounts and types listed in the exception.


I will be reviewing all of the major changes in the Jan. 8, 2015 Final Rule in the coming weeks. But if you have any questions on the changes to the Overpack, Batteries, Cargo Aircraft Only Label and the new and revised Proper Shipping Names, Hazard Classes, Packing Group Table changes before I do, please give us a call.


Thank you for your readership and support.




April 9,2015






I have always felt that it is not what you say, but what you don’t say that is important. The same could be said for selecting containers for your shipments of hazardous materials and waste. Just because a packaging is authorized does not mean that particular packaging can be used for your material. Sometimes it's the authorized container you don't choose that's more important than the one you do choose. There is a big difference between an authorized container and the correct container.



Back before the performance-based testing, when containers were made to specifications, DOT went after manufacturers for making a container improperly when the container failed. The logic being that if containers failed, the manufacturer had not met the DOT manufacturing specifications. Unfortunately, since 1993, DOT containers are based on performance testing, under the Performance-Oriented Packaging Standards(POPS). Now when a container fails in transportation, DOT looks at the shipper first and fines the shipper for not properly training the hazmat employee on selecting, filling or closing the container.



That’s right, apparently under POPS when containers fail in transportation, DOT looks to the shipper first to determine if all of the manufacturer’s container and closure instructions were followed before confronting the manufacturer. If my memory is correct, in either the Proposed or Final Rule for POPS, it mentioned that DOT was planning to build mobile test laboratories that could be sent to test containers at the shipper’s dock when containers failed. But don’t expect to see one; I don’t think DOT ever got the mobile testing labs in their budget.



A common question when filling containers seems to be about the minimum or maximum amount of headspace allowable in certain UN 1A1, closed head steel drums filled with hazardous materials or waste. I don’t think there is any required amount of headspace. The only requirement seems to be that the container does not fail when shipped no matter how much headspace is left in the top of the drum. The DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations in 49 CFR only state that, “when filling packagings and receptacles for liquids, sufficient ullage (outage) must be left to ensure that neither leakage nor permanent distortion of the packaging or receptacle will occur as a result of an expansion of the liquid caused by temperatures likely to be encountered during transportation.”



Just because a packaging has passed the prescribed drop, vibration, stacking and leakproofness tests does not mean that it can be used. The shipper must document that the authorized containers selected will be compatible with the material. DOT states that even though “the packaging is capable of passing the prescribed tests in Part 178... and even though certain packagings are specified in this part, it is, nevertheless, the responsibility of the person offering a hazardous material for transportation to ensure that such packagings are compatible with their lading.”



When your material is a Class 3 Flammable liquid, DOT authorizes both plastic and steel drums. Section 173.202 authorizes the use of both of 1A1/1A2 closed and open head steel and 1H1/1H2 closed and open head plastic drums for flammable liquid, n.o.s. To be honest, I would feel comfortable using either steel or plastic containers if my material were just a flammable liquid. The reason being that most flammable liquids do not react unfavorably with plastic or steel.



But be careful; if your material is a Class 8 Corrosive, the DOT regulations could also authorize the exact same 1A1/1A2 steel and 1H1/1H2 plastic drums. This is because per Column 8A of the 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table, DOT authorizes the same plastic or steel drums under 173.202 for both Flammable Liquid, n.o.s., which is Class 3, and Corrosive Liquid, n.o.s., which is Class 8. So most shippers might assume that the same steel and plastic drums could always be used for both materials. That may not be the case.



The shipper may be authorized to use the same steel or plastic containers for both materials. But the containers may not be compatible with both materials. What if the authorized steel or plastic drums were not compatible with the corrosive? The container, even though it is authorized in Column 8A and 173.202, would only be appropriate for both materials if neither type of container failed. However, if the steel drum holding the corrosive material were to fail or suffer from “corrosivity, permeability, softening, premature aging and embrittlement” because of its corrosive characteristic, it seems that then, and only then, would the shipper be in violation for not using the correct container for the material.



Seminar attendees often ask which chemicals can be shipped together in the same outer packaging. It can be difficult to say, and DOT will only say that “hazardous materials may not be packed or mixed together in the same outer packaging with other hazardous or nonhazardous materials if such materials are capable of reacting dangerously with each other and causing combustion or dangerous evolution of heat, evolution of flammable, poisonous, or asphyxiant gases, formation of unstable or corrosive materials.”



Did you know most steel drum closures require a torque wrench? So, without the correct equipment, how would the shipper ensure the container was “closed that under conditions including the effects of temperature, pressure and vibration normally incident to transportation there is no identifiable release of hazardous materials to the environment’ and that “the closure is leakproof and secured against loosening?



When a container fails, it must be reported per 49 CFR 171.16. This incident report will be sent to DOT. A local DOT inspector will then most likely schedule an appointment to review the shipper’s hazardous materials documentation, including training records, manufacturer’s closure instructions and closure equipment (torque wrench) for the container that failed.



The inspector will also ask the shipper for the documentation used to determine the material's hazard class(es) and specific gravity. The shipper will then be asked to explain the process used to determine the proper containers. Finally, the inspector will asked the shipper to show what information was used to determine the container was compatible with the material it contained.



Most shippers do not realize they are required to maintain manufacturer’s closure instructions. You must train and test your employees on the proper selection, filling and closing of containers. Shippers must keep closure instructions one year for single containers and two years when using combination containers. The container manufacturer's name or symbol can be found at the end of the required manufacturer markings displayed on the side of each container.



Before you ship any hazardous materials or waste, it would certainly pay to spend some time with the manufacturer of your containers to ensure that the containers are compatible with the specific materials that are being shipped. The manufacturer should have some guidelines or recommendations. If my supplier or manufacturer could not tell me if the container was compatible with my material, based on the liability, I would have to look to a different supplier who could provide that information.



I get nervous when asked to help in the selection of containers. I am never really sure the person asking knows what they are shipping. Then I am not always sure that the person filling and closing the container has been trained and has the right equipment to close it properly. I find it is safer sometimes to tell the shipper which authorized containers they should not use, rather than which ones they should.


So, if you know what your material is, but are not sure which containers you should use, you are not alone. If you give us a call, and we can, at the very least, tell you which containers not to use. Thank you for your readership and support.









I have discussed shipping aerosols under the Department of Transportation in the past,  but I have received inquiries as to when a discarded aerosol can is or is not a Federal hazardous waste under the Environmental Protection Agency Regulations.


In a recent seminar in Milwaukee, seminar attendees asked me about the disposal of aerosol cans as hazardous waste. OK, here's what I found. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency, or more specifically, Jeffrey D. Dent, EPA’s Acting Director of the Office of Solid Waste, in his October 7, 1993 letter to the Chemical Specialties Manufacturers Association, discusses residential aerosol cans, which are exempt from the Federal Hazardous Waste Regulations as household waste. However, in the second part of his letter he discusses commercial and industrial aerosol can disposal



Concerning  recycled aerosol cans meeting the characteristic of reactivity, the letter states, “The Agency is not able to determine whether various types of cans that may have contained a wide range of products are reactive. However, a steel aerosol can that does not contain a significant amount of liquid would clearly meet the definition of scrap metal under 40 CFR 261.1(c)(6), and thus, would be exempt from the RCRA regulations under 40 CFR 261.6(a)(3)(iv) if it were to be recycled. Therefore, any determination of reactivity or any other characteristic would not be relevant.”


The key to this paragraph seems to be the statement that the "aerosol can does not contain a significant amount of liquid." And that is why the letter goes on to state, “aerosol cans that have been punctured so that most of any liquid remaining in the can may flow from the can (e.g., at either end of the can) and drained (e.g., with punctured end down), would not contain significant liquids.”


Even though the empty aerosol cans could be exempt for scrap steel recycling under the 261.6 requirements for recycling materials, the agency recommends activities be conducted in a safe and environmentally protective manner and that care be taken to properly manage any content removed from the containers, both liquid and gases, as these may be subject to the regulations as hazardous waste.


Based on that, even though any liquids or vapors removed from the aerosol cans could be considered hazardous waste, if an aerosol can that has been punctured and had its contents, whether liquid, solid or vapors, removed and captured, then the remaining punctured can would be scrap metal and if recycled, would not be a hazardous waste.



This is why it's important to know the difference between an aerosol and a compressed gas. Aerosols are liquid or solid materials in a can that are expelled by a compressed gas. Compressed gases are just that - gases under pressure


Section 261.7 Residues of Hazardous Waste in Empty Containers states, “A container that has held a hazardous waste that is a compressed gas is empty when the pressure in the container approaches atmospheric.” Cylinders of non-flammable and non-poisonous gases at the point where the gas’s pressure is equal to the ambient pressure would not be considered EPA hazardous waste


If the hazardous waste is not an acute hazardous waste nor in the State of California,  Section 261.7 states that the container is empty if “all wastes have been removed that can be removed using the practices commonly employed to remove materials from that type of container, e.g., pouring, pumping, and aspirating, and no more than 3 percent by weight of the total capacity or 2.5 centimeters (one inch) of residue remains on the bottom of the container or inner liner if the container is less than or equal to 119 gallons in size. If it is greater than 119 gallons, no more than 0.3 percent by weight of the total capacity of the container can remain in the container or inner liner.


However, a container or an inner liner removed from a container that has held acute hazardous wastes in 261.31 or 261.33(e) is considered empty if: 1) the container or inner liner has been triple rinsed using a solvent capable of removing the hazardous waste, 2) the container or inner liner has been cleaned by the generator, using another method, to achieve equivalent removal, or 3) in the case of a container, the liner has been removed


Since an aerosol is a liquid or solid material expelled by compressed gas, before disposing of an aerosol can you would have to consider two empty container requirements: 1) Gas container requirements for the gas inside the aerosol can, that is until the non-poisonous, non-flammable gas pressure approaches atmospheric, and 2) the liquid and solid empty container requirements in 261.7 for any liquid or solid materials left inside that non-pressurized aerosol can or container.


If the gas in an aerosol can reached atmospheric pressure, then any remaining uncompressed non-flammable, non-poisonous gas would not be regulated as a hazardous waste.  That is if ALL of the liquid or solid material were expelled. Unfortunately, some aerosols often reach atmospheric pressure before all of the liquid or solid material is expelled from the can.


But it would be a  different story if the pressure in the aerosol can were depleted and the aerosol can still contained a liquid or solid material. The hazardous waste generator would have to ensure that the contents did not meet a characteristic of hazardous waste in Subpart C of the Hazardous Waste Regulations: Ignitable, Corrosive, Reactive or Toxic. Because if the contents were over one inch or 2.5 cm, and met one of the four hazardous waste characteristics, the container and contents would be considered hazardous waste.


At least, this is the way I see it. If you disagree or want to add something, let me know. Thank you for your input, readership and support




March 27,2015


TSPlogoSMMarine Pollutants - Is it or Isn’t it?



A recent seminar attendee asked when is a material a marine pollutant, and when is it not a marine pollutant, even though the containers may be marked with the marine pollutant mark? In transportation, the answer depends on who has classified the material, what the size of each container is, and whether it is being shipped by land or sea.

The definition of “Marine Pollutant” in 49 CFR Section 171.8 states that a marine pollutant is a material listed in Appendix B to the 172.101 Hazardous Material Table, and when in a solution or mixture of one or more marine pollutants, is packaged in a concentration which equals or exceeds 10% by weight of the mixture for materials in Appendix B or 1% for materials identified in Appendix B as severe marine pollutants. That seems pretty straightforward, until you take a deeper look.

Who decided the material is a marine pollutant? What if, for example, the material was classified in France under the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code)? The IMDG Code makes it clear that if the material is not listed and the shipper can not rule the material out by a “bridging principle,” such as dilution, previously tested mixtures or a “summation method” (where concentrations of classified ingredients and multiplication factors can be used to base the degree of toxicity), then the material must be tested using the IMDG Code’s marine pollutant (aquatic environmental) tests.

Does this mean that a marine pollutant, classified based on the IMDG tests, could be below the DOT percentages? Yes. So, if the international marine pollutant percentages were less than the 1% for severe marine pollutants (SMP) and 10% for marine pollutants (MP), and the material met no other DOT hazard class definition, that material could be re-shipped domestically as unregulated? Yes, again.

There is another consideration. How large is each container? In 171.4(c) Marine Pollutants, there is an exception which states “except when all or part of the transportation is by vessel the requirements in this subchapter specific to marine pollutants do not apply to non-bulk packagings transported by motor vehicle, rail car or aircraft.”

So domestically, if a container of a marine pollutant is non-bulk (less than 119 gallons or 882 pounds) and shipped by ground, it would not be regulated as a marine pollutant, even if the container had 1% of SMP or 10% of MP. However, when shipping the same material in bulk containers by ground, air or water, or in nonbulk containers by water, it would be fully regulated as a DOT marine pollutant.

If your material is in non-bulk containers, and not shipped by vessel (water), it would not matter if it met the international (IMO) or domestic (DOT) definition of a marine pollutant. If the material met no other hazard class definition under 173.2, it would not be regulated domestically as “UN3082 or UN3077, Environmentally Hazardous Substance Liquid or Solid, N.O.S., Class 9, Packing Group III, Marine Pollutant,” or even considered a hazardous material by DOT.

The next question is, if a container is marked as a marine pollutant under the IMDG Code based on the tests, but did not meet the DOT definition of a marine pollutant by percentages, could it still be shipped as a marine pollutant? Yes. In Appendix B to the 172.101 Hazardous Material Table, it says if the material is not listed in the appendix and meets the criteria of a marine pollutant under the IMDG Code, the material “may” be transported as a marine pollutant according to the applicable requirements of the HMR.

If this has only confused you, then give us a call or drop us an email with your questions and we will gladly help.






March 10,2015





Most people don’t realize that OSHA did not adopt ALL of the United Nations GHS Hazard Communication Recommendations. OSHA only aligned with the international recommendations. They took only the parts they liked; no Marine pollutants, no category 5 materials and no numerical cross reference on the labels, which were all part of the UN GHS. OSHA got rid of all the things that OSHA didn’t like, want or were not allowed to regulate. If you were to buy a copy of the UN’s Hazard Communication Recommendations, as we did, you would be shocked at the differences between the final OSHA GHS and the original international UN GHS.


I honestly believe that OSHA’s intent was to align more with the Department of Transportation’s Hazardous Materials Regulations than the UN’s GHS Recommendations. Here’s why. Under the GHS, OSHA lists over 25 Hazard Classes. DOT lists around 20 hazard classes & divisions, of which 18 are the same as OSHA(not counting 6.2 infectious substances and Class 9). You have to remember that DOT is mandated to protect transportation infrastructure like highways, airports, railroads and ports. OSHA, on the other hand, is mandated to protect workers. It makes sense that certain OSHA hazardous chemicals could have more impact on workers than on highways.


Hazardous chemical means any chemical which is classified as a health hazard (in 1910.1200 Appendix A) or a physical hazard (in Appendix B), a simple asphyxiant, combustible dust, pyrophoric gas, or hazard not otherwise classified.


.Hazardous material means a substance or material that the Secretary of Transportation has determined is capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when transported in commerce, and has designated as hazardous. . . The term includes hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, marine pollutants, elevated temperature materials, materials designated as hazardous in the Hazardous Materials Table (see 49 CFR 172.101), and materials that meet the defining criteria for hazard classes and divisions in 49 CFR Section 173.2.

After an exhausting and extensive examination of both the DOT and OSHA regulations by Traci and I, we were able to identify 16 different hazard classes and/or categories that do not appear in the DOT Regulations. These are chemicals that require an SDS and container label under the OSHA GHS requirements, but do not require a DOT hazmat shipping paper and 4x4 inch hazard class label.

I can explain this discrepancy between the DOT and OSHA hazard classifications using Acetone as an example. Acetone is a flammable liquid under both DOT as a Packing Group II and OSHA as a Category 2, so the DOT 4x4 hazard class label and the flammable pictogram should be displayed on a drum. However, under OSHA, in addition to being a flammable liquid, Acetone also meets the criteria for (1) Specific target organ toxicity—single exposure (STOT-SE), which means specific, non-lethal target organ toxicity arising from a single exposure to a chemical and (2) Eye Irritant.



Highly flammable liquid & vapor Causes severe eye irritation

May cause drowsiness or dizziness


Flammable Liquid Category 2

Eye Irritant Category 2A

Specific Target Organ Toxicity (Single Exposure) Category 3

Precautionary statements



Keep away from heat/sparks/open flames/hot surfaces – No smoking.

Keep containers tightly closed. Use only non-sparking tools.

Take precautionary measures against static discharge.

Wear protective gloves/eye protection/face protection.

Wash hands thoroughly after handling.

Avoid breathing dust/fume/gas/mist/vapors/spray.

Use only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.


If on skin (or hair): Take off immediately all contaminated clothing.

Rinse skin with water/shower.

In case of fire: Use carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder or foam to extinguish.

If in eyes, rinse cautiously with water for several minutes.

Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do.

Continue rinsing.

If eye irritation persists: Get medical advice/attention.

If inhaled: Remove person to fresh air and keep comfortable for breathing

Call a poison center/doctor if you feel unwell


Store in a well-ventilated place.

Keep cool. Keep container tightly closed.

Store locked up.


Dispose of contents/containers in accordance with the EPA CFR Part 260 Hazardous

Waste Management System or in accordance with local, regional, national, and international regulations.


ABC Corp., 555 Main St., Anytown, PA 19530, (555) 555-1212

*Hazard classification/category information not mandatory

So when shipping Acetone, under DOT the 4x4 flammable liquid label is required, and under OSHA, the flammable pictogram AND the exclamation mark pictogram for both the Specific target organ toxicity—single exposure and the Eye Irritant are required on the GHS label.




Flammable Liquid Packing Group II




Flammable Liquid Category 2



Specific target organ toxicity—single exposure

Eye Irritant







Be careful, There are other reasons an OSHA hazardous chemical on an SDS could be regulated under 1910.1200 but not regulated as a hazardous material under DOT on a shipping paper. OSHA breaks down many of its hazard classes into 4 categories. DOT breaks down each of their hazard classes into 3 packing groups. That’s the trouble in attempting to match up the categories and hazard classes. Packing groups I, II and III are usually the same as categories 1, 2 and 3, but most, if not all, of the OSHA Category 4 materials do not meet any DOT hazard classes or packing groups criteria.


If your hazardous chemical is a corrosive liquid on skin in Category 1, 2 or 3 on the SDS, then it would be a DOT hazardous material as a Corrosive Liquid in Packing Group I, II or III on the shipping paper, with a DOT corrosive label and an OSHA corrosive pictogram on the 6-part container label. On the other hand, if your hazardous chemical is a corrosive liquid in Category 4 on the SDS, it would NOT meet the definition of corrosive under DOT and would not be a hazardous material when shipped. Although the container would still be required to display an OSHA exclamation mark pictogram (for the Category 4 Corrosive) on its six part container label.








Dermal Sensitizer

Acute Toxicity (harmful)

Narcotic Effects

Respiratory Tract Irritation







Respiratory Sensitizer Reproductive Toxicity

Target Organ Toxicity


Aspiration Toxicity




The exclamation mark pictogram is one of two pictograms required on OSHA containers of hazardous chemicals that are not required on DOT hazardous materials. The other being the health hazard or “exploding chest” pictogram. The only exception would be the “DOT-similar” corrosive pictograms in Appendices C.4.4 AND C.4.5, which are displayed on containers of (non-DOT) OSHA Skin Corrosion/Irritation & Eye Damage/ Irritation. So even though the GHS container label would display these OSHA corrosive pictograms, the material should never display a DOT corrosive label because DOT does not require testing for eye and skin irritation.


Skin corrosion is the production of irreversible damage to the skin; namely visible necrosis through the epidermis and into the dermis, following the application of a test substance for up to 4 hours. (Appendix A.2)


Serious eye damage is the production of tissue damage in the eye, or serious physical decay of vision, following application of a test substance to the anterior surface of the eye, which is not fully reversible within 21 days of application. (Appendix A.3)

Other than these corrosives, here are the GHS Hazard Classifications (with a short description for each) of the non-DOT Classes and Categories we have identified in Appendix A and B under 29 CFR OSHA that can not be found in the 49 CFR DOT Hazardous Material Hazard Classes in 173.2:


Acute toxicity refers to those adverse effects occurring following oral administration of a single dose of a substance, or multiple doses given within 24 hours. Category 4 chemicals have an LD50 of greater than 300 mg/kg and less than or equal to 2000 mg/kg. (Appendix A.1)


Dermal toxicity refers to those adverse effects occurring following dermal administration of a single dose of a substance, or multiple doses given within 24 hours. Category 4 chemicals have an LD50 of greater than 1000 mg/kg and less than or equal to 2000 mg/kg. (Appendix A.1)


Inhalation toxicity refers to those adverse effects occurring following an inhalation exposure of 4 hours. Category 4 chemicals have an LC50 of greater than 2500 ppmV and less than or equal to 20000 ppmV for gases; greater than 10.0 mg/l and less than or equal to 20.0 mg/l for vapors; and greater than 1.0 mg/l and less than or equal to 5.0 mg/l for dusts and mists. (Appendix A.1)


Skin irritation is the production of reversible damage to the skin following the application of a test substance for up to 4 hours. The major criterion for Category 2 is that at least two tested animals have a mean score of greater than or equal to 2.3 and less than or equal to 4.0. (Appendix A.2)




Eye irritation is the production of changes in the eye following the application of test substance to the anterior surface of the eye, which are fully reversible within 21 days of application. (Appendix A.3)


Respiratory sensitizermeans a chemical that will lead to hypersensitivity of the airways following inhalation of the chemical. (Appendix A.4)


Skin sensitizer means a chemical that will lead to an allergic response following skin contact.

(Appendix A.4)


A mutation is defined as a permanent change in the amount or structure of the genetic material in a cell. It applies both to heritable genetic changes that may be manifested at the phenotypic level and to the underlying DNA modifications when knows (including, for example, specific base pair changes and chromosomal translocations). The term mutagenic and mutagen will be used for agents giving rise to an increased occurrence of mutations in populations of cells and/or organisms. This hazard class is primarily concerned with chemicals that may cause mutations in the germ cells of humans that can be transmitted to the progeny. (Appendix A.5)


Carcinogenmeans a substance or a mixture of substances which induce cancer or increase its incidence. Classification of a substance or mixture as posing a carcinogenic hazard is based on its inherent properties and does not provide information on the level of the human cancer risk which the use of the substance or mixture may represent. (Appendix A.6)



Reproductive toxicity includes adverse effects on sexual function and fertility in adult males and females, as well as adverse effects on development of the offspring. Adverse effects on sexual function and fertility means any effect of chemicals that interferes with reproductive ability or sexual capacity. This includes, but is not limited to, alterations to the female and male reproductive system, adverse effects on onset of puberty, gamete production and transport, reproductive cycle normality, sexual behavior, fertility, parturition, pregnancy outcomes, premature reproductive senescence, or modifications in other functions that are dependent on the integrity of the reproductive systems. Adverse effects on development of the offspring means any effect of chemicals which interferes with normal development of the conceptus either before or after birth, which in induced during pregnancy or results from parental exposure. These effects can be manifested at any point in the life span of the organism. Major manifestations of developmental toxicity include death of the developing organism, structural abnormality, altered growth and functional deficiency. (Appendix A.7)

Adverse effects on or via lactation are also included in reproductive toxicity, but for classification purposes, such effects are treated separately. Chemicals that are absorbed by women and have been shown to interfere with lactation or that may be present (including metabolites) in breast milk in amounts sufficient to cause concern for the health of a breastfed child, shall be classified to indicate this property hazardous to breastfed babies. (Appendix A.7)


Specific target organ toxicity-single exposure(STOT-SE) means specific, non-lethal target organ toxicity arising from a single exposure to a chemical. Category 1 are substances that have produced significant toxicity in humans, or that, on the basis of evidence from studies in experimental animals can be presumed to have the potential to produce significant toxicity in humans following single exposure. Category 2 are substances that, on the basis of evidence from studies in experimental animals, can be presumed to have the potential to be harmful to human health following single exposure. (Appendix A.8)


Specific target organ toxicity-single exposure (STOT-SE) means specific, non-lethal target organ toxicity arising from a single exposure to a chemical. Category 3 are transient organ effects. These are effects which adversely alter human function for a short duration after exposure and from which humans may recover in a reasonable period without leaving significant alteration of structure or function. This category only includes narcotic effects and respiratory tract irritation. (Appendix A.8)


Specific target organ toxicity-repeated exposure(STOT-RE) means specific target organ toxicity arising from repeated exposure to a substance or mixture. All significant health effects that can impair function, both reversible and irreversible, immediate and/or delayed and not specifically addressed under another hazard are included. (Appendix A.9)


Aspiration means the entry of a liquid or solid chemical directly through the oral or nasal cavity, or indirectly from vomiting, into the trachea and lower respiratory system. Aspiration toxicity includes sever acute effects such as chemical pneumonia, varying degrees of pulmonary injury or death following aspiration. (Appendix A.10)


As defined in the 1910.1200(c), Pyrophoric gas means a chemical in a gaseous state that will ignite spontaneously in air at a temperature of 130 degrees F (54.4 degrees C) or below.


As defined in the 1910.1200(c), Simple asphyxiant means a substance or mixture that displaces oxygen in the ambient atmosphere, and can thus cause oxygen deprivation in those who are exposed, leading to unconsciousness and death.


Per footnote 2 in Appendix C.4.30, the chemical manufacturer or importer shall label chemicals that are shipped in dust form, and present a combustible dust hazard in that form when used downstream, under paragraph (f)(1); 2) the chemical manufacturer or importer shipping chemicals that are in a form that is not yet a dust must provide a label to customers under paragraph (f)(4) if, under normal conditions of use, the chemicals are processed in a downstream workplace in such a way that they present combustible dust hazard; and 3) the employer shall follow the workplace labeling requirements under paragraph (f)(6) where combustible dust hazards are present.

The United Nations wrote both Dangerous Goods Transportation Recommendations and GHS Hazard Communication Worker Protection Recommendations, so it makes a lot of sense that they would recommend similar hazard classification tests. The trouble is that they did not recommend all of the same tests. That is why we have compiled and provided a listing of the hazard classes and categories under the OSHA GHS that DOT does not regulate in transportation. However, these chemicals would still require an SDS and the 6-part container label with the OSHA pictograms, before they were transported.


Why re-identify your OSHA hazardous chemicals when the material has already been identified by the shipper under the DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations on the material’s hazmat shipping paper. If it’s your job to classify chemicals under the new OSHA GHS Hazard Communication Regulations, don’t over-think it. Simply extract the OSHA GHS classification information off of the DOT hazmat shipping paper, and then see if it meets one or more of the additional non-DOT classifications listed above. This is a task which will be much easier once we send you our GHS/DOT Hazard Classification Smackdown post (coming soon), in which we show the side-by-side comparison of the DOT hazard classes and packing groups with the OSHA GHS classes and categories that are exactly the same. This way, you will have a list of the GHS and DOT tests that are the same and a separate list of the GHS hazard classes and categories that are not regulated under DOT.






February 23,2015





If you ship lithium batteries by ground, you're in luck. On August 6, 2014, the Department of Transportation (DOT), in consultation with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), published a final rule affecting the transportation of lithium cells and batteries. This final rule realigned the Hazardous Materials Regulations hazard communication and packaging provisions for lithium batteries with the United Nations UN Model Regulations, the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air, and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods IMDG Code for water. Back in the August 6, 2014 final rule, DOT authorized a mandatory six month compliance date for shippers to incorporate the new requirements into standard operating procedures and complete training of affected personnel.


However, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the Food Marketing Institute, the National Retail Federation, and the Rechargeable Battery Association submitted a joint request to DOT for a six month extension to the original February 6, 2015 compliance date. These groups contend that the six month transitional period did not provide sufficient time to comply with the new requirements. This short time frame has proven to be extremely challenging for the retail industry to implement in all modes. These trade groups felt that “the new regulations require that domestic ground shipments of products with lithium batteries adhere to shipping standards previously only required for international air and sea transportation.”


The DOT agrees since the primary focus of the HM–224F final rulemaking was to align the requirements of the HMR for air transportation of lithium batteries with those of the ICAO Technical Instructions. So DOT has delayed the Hazard Communication and Training final compliance date until August 7, 2015 for shipments of lithium batteries in the ground mode. This does not affect compliance in the air mode, where DOT maintains that the February 6, 2015 compliance date is appropriate and important for aviation safety when offering, acceptance, and transportation lithium batteries by aircraft.


Don’t push your luck when you use, ship or dispose of any hazardous material, hazardous waste, hazardous chemical, or hazardous substance and you're not sure if you're doing it correctly. Give us a call and we will help you out. Thank you for your readership and support.



January 27,2015





I always tell my seminar attendees, the key to any regulation is the section or paragraph that covers the regulation’s definitions. This is especially true when preparing the New OSHA GHS safety data sheets and GHS container labels for your hazardous chemicals. Without the definitions, it would be impossible to explain how similar the mandatory information on the SDS and label is, using 1910.1200 Appendix C when formatting and preparing Section 1 Identification and Section 2 Hazard(s) Identification.

29 CFR Section 1910.1200(f) Labels mandates the use of the 6-part container labels, 2 parts of which are chemical specific statements and 4 parts are mandatory phraseology statements outlined in Appendix C. Appendix D of 1910.1200 mandates the required SDS information and format. It is the similarity between Sections 1 and 2 of the SDS and the container labels that I want to discuss. But first, what is a container, a label or even a hazard class under 1910.1200?


In 1910.1200(c) OSHA defines Container as any bag, barrel, bottle, box, can, cylinder, drum, reaction vessel, storage tank, or the like that contains a hazardous chemical. For purposes of Section 1910.1200, pipes or piping systems, and engines, fuel tanks, or other operating systems in a vehicle, are not considered to be containers.

Hazard category means the division of criteria within each hazard class, e.g., oral acute toxicity and flammable liquids include four hazard categories. These categories compare hazard severity within a hazard class and should not be taken as a comparison of hazard categories more generally.

Hazard class means the nature of the physical or health hazards, e.g., flammable solid, carcinogen, oral acute toxicity.

Health hazard means a chemical which is classified as posing one of the following hazardous effects: acute toxicity (any route of exposure); skin corrosion or irritation; serious eye damage or eye irritation; respiratory or skin sensitization; germ cell mutagenicity; carcinogenicity; reproductive toxicity; specific target organ toxicity (single or repeated exposure); or aspiration hazard. The criteria for determining whether a chemical is classified as a health hazard are detailed in Appendix A to §1910.1200—Health Hazard Criteria

Physical hazard means a chemical that is classified as posing one of the following hazardous effects: explosive; flammable (gases, aerosols, liquids, or solids); oxidizer (liquid, solid or gas); self-reactive; pyrophoric (liquid or solid); self-heating; organic peroxide; corrosive to metal; gas under pressure; or in contact with water emits flammable gas. See Appendix B to §1910.1200—Physical Hazard Criteria.

Label means an appropriate group of written, printed or graphic information elements concerning a hazardous chemical that is affixed to, printed on, or attached to the immediate container of a hazardous chemical, or to the outside packaging.


Label Elements means the:

Product identifier

Signal word

Hazard statement

Specified pictogram

Precautionary statement for each hazard class and category, and

Name, telephone number and address.


.The GHS container labels and Sections 1 and 2 of the SDS must both include:

The CHEMICAL SPECIFIC Product identifier. Product identifier means the name or number used for a hazardous chemical on a label or in the SDS. It provides a unique means by which the user can identify the chemical. The product identifier used shall permit cross-references to be made among the list of hazardous chemicals required in the written hazard communication program, the label and the SDS. (See label and SDS Section 1 heading (a) below)

The MANDATORY PHRASEOLOGY (App C) Signal word. Signal word means a word used to indicate the relative level of severity of hazard and alert the reader to a potential hazard on the label. The signal words used in Section 1910.1200 are “danger” and “warning.” “Danger” is used for the more severe hazards, while “warning” is used for the less severe. (See label and SDS Section 2 heading (b) below)

The MANDATORY PHRASEOLOGY (App C) Hazard statement(s). Hazard statement means a statement assigned to a hazard class. Hazard class means the nature of the physical or health hazards, e.g., flammable solid, carcinogen, oral acute toxicity) in Appendix A to §1910.1200 Health Hazard Criteria. See Appendix B to §1910.1200—Physical Hazard Criteria) (See label and SDS Section 2 heading (b) below)

The MANDATORY PHRASEOLOGY (App C) Pictograms. Pictogram means a composition that may include a symbol plus other graphic elements, such as a border, background pattern, or color, that is intended to convey specific information about the hazards of a chemical. Eight pictograms are designated under this standard for application to a hazard category. (See label and SDS Section 2 heading (b) below)

The MANDATORY PHRASEOLOGY (App C) Precautionary statement(s). Precautionary statement (Prevention, Response, Storage, Disposal) means a phrase that describes recommended measures that should be taken to minimize or prevent adverse effects resulting from exposure to a hazardous chemical, or improper storage or handling. (See label and SDS Section 2 heading (b) below)

The CHEMICAL SPECIFIC Responsible party Information for the chemical manufacturer, importer, or other responsible party. This includes name, address, and telephone number. (See label and SDS Section 2 heading (b) below)


.Now if you check out the mandatory chemical specific and mandatory phraseology from Appendix C on the container label, you will see that it is the same mandatory information in Section 1 and 2 of the SDS.



1. Identification

Product identifier used on the label (1910.1200(f)(1)(i) same as container label)

Other means of identification

Recommended use of the chemical and restrictions on use

Name, address, and telephone number of the chemical manufacturer, importer, or other esponsible party (1910.1200(f)(1)(vi) same as container label)

Emergency phone number

( 1910.1200(f)(1)(vi) same as container label)

2. Hazard(s) Identification

Classification of the chemical in accordance with paragraph (d) of §1910.1200

Signal word, hazard statement(s), symbol(s) and precautionary statement(s) in accordance with paragraph (f) of §1910.1200. (Hazard symbols may be provided as graphical reproductions in black and white or the name of the symbol, e.g., flame, skull and crossbones)

(1910.1200(f)(1)(ii)(iii) same as container label)

Describe any hazards not otherwise classified that have been identified during the classification process.

Where an ingredient with unknown acute toxicity is used in a mixture at a concentration ≥1% and the mixture is not classified based on testing of the mixture as a whole, a statement that X% of the mixture consists of ingredient(s) of unknown acute toxicity is required



The chemical specific and mandatory phraseology information on the container label and Sections 1 and 2 on the SDS would have to be the heart, center, soul and the starting point of the GHS Hazard Communication Regulations. You should start with the mandatory information that must be displayed on the container labels, which is the same chemical specific and mandatory phraseology from Appendix C required on the SDS in Section 1 Identification and Section 2 Hazard(s) Identification, that will lay down the foundation for the SDS.




Highly flammable liquid & vapor

Causes severe eye irritation

May cause drowsiness or dizziness


Flammable Liquid Category 2

Eye Irritant Category 2A

Specific Target Organ Toxicity (Single Exposure)

Category 3

Precautionary statements



Keep away from heat/sparks/open flames/hot surfaces – No smoking.

Keep containers tightly closed.

Use only non-sparking tools.

Take precautionary measures against static discharge.

Wear protective gloves/eye protection/face protection. Wash hands thoroughly after handling.

Avoid breathing dust/fume/gas/mist/vapors/spray.

Use only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.


If on skin (or hair): Take off immediately all contaminated clothing. Rinse skin with water/shower.

In case of fire: Use carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder or foam to extinguish.

If in eyes, rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do.

Continue rinsing.

If eye irritation persists: Get medical advice/attention.

If inhaled: Remove person to fresh air and keep comfortable for breathing.

Call a poison center/doctor if you feel unwell.


Store in a well-ventilated place. Keep cool.

Keep container tightly closed.

Store locked up.


Dispose of contents/containers in accordance with the EPA CFR Part 260 Hazardous Waste Management System or in accordance with local, regional, national, and international regulations.

ABC Corp., 555 Main St., Anytown, PA 19530, (555) 555-1212

*Hazard classification/category information not mandatory











a) Acetone

b) 2-Propanone, dimethyl ketone, ketone propane

c) Parts cleaning, laboratory reagent, cleaning solvent

d) ABC Corp.

555 Main Street Anytown, Pa 19530 Office Telephone 555-555-5556 email:

Emergency Telephone; 555-555-5555

24-hr/day and 7 days/week












i) Prevention

Keep away from heat/sparks/open flames/hot surfaces – No smoking.

Keep containers tightly closed.

Use only non-sparking tools.

Take precautionary measures against static discharge.

Wear protective gloves/eye protection/face protection.

Wash hands thoroughly after handling.

Avoid breathing dust/fume/gas/mist/vapors/spray.

Use only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.

ii) Response

If on skin (or hair): Take off immediately all contaminated clothing. Rinse skin with water/shower.

In case of fire: Use carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder or foam to extinguish.

If in eyes, rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing.

If eye irritation persists: Get medical advice/attention. If inhaled: Remove person to fresh air and keep comfortable for breathing.

Call a poison center/doctor if you feel unwell.

iii) Storage

Store in a well-ventilated place. Keep cool. Keep container tightly closed. Store locked up.

iv) Disposal

Dispose of contents/containers in accordance with the EPA CFR Part 260 Hazardous Waste

Management System or in accordance with local, regional, national, and international regulations.

Other hazards: Not Available

Acute toxicity: Not Available



Sections 1 and 2 of the SDS display the same chemical specific and mandatory phraseology information that must be on the container labels, and the container labels must display the same information mandatory phraseology as in in Section 1 and 2 on the SDS. All the additional information in Sections 3 through 16 on your SDS can be extracted off your old MSDSs using any appropriate non-mandatory terminology AFTER determining the mandatory phraseology statements in Sections 1 and 2.

Having trouble with your GHS compliance? Give us a call if you need some help finding the required information before the compliance date of June 1, 2015. Or sign up for one of my upcoming seminars. If you bring some of your SDSs and labels, I can take a look and tell you what I think. Thank you for your readership and support.



January 13, 2015




I am not surprised that I am still being asked if the old National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and American Coatings Association (ACA) HMIS labeling systems that use color codes and numerical rankings of hazards will meet the new GHS Hazard Communication container labels regulations. The answer, unfortunately, is no.


Manufacturers, distributors and other responsible parties are allowed to display anything, including the NFPA and HMIS labels on a container as long as it is not inconsistent with the Department of Labor Hazard Communication Regulations in 29 CFR 1910.1200. Unfortunately, many of the old private and non-government organizations’ labeling recommendations do not meet the requirements of the new GHS container labels.


I believe that most individuals do not really understand what the National Fire Protection Association or the American Coatings Association are and what authority they possess. These industry groups, in many cases, are private, non-profit and/or non-government associations who set industry standards, then sell their guidelines and recommendations in books, journals or online. They can also be funded by charging membership fees, and providing or accrediting paid certifications for various industrial applications or regulatory requirements. Their guidelines may be, at some point, incorporated into the government regulations, but these groups have no authority to promulgate or enforce government regulations.


In the preamble to the Hazard Communication regulations, OSHA states that “a common label format used by industry was that provided by the ANSI Z129, Hazardous Industrial Chemicals—Precautionary Labeling Standard.” This might have been fine if they met all the new requirements and every organization agreed to use the same non-mandatory recommendations to meet the OSHA Hazard Communication labeling requirements, which not all organizations do.


I know that the old NFPA and HMIS container labels do not meet the new GHS label requirements. What about the above mentioned American National Standards Institute Z129.1 Hazardous Industrial Chemicals- Precautionary Labeling Standard? I don’t think so, but to be honest, I am not about to spend the $100 it costs to buy their book just to find out. The hundreds of pages of OSHA’s Proposed Rules, Final Rules, Preambles, 1910.1200 Regulation, SDS and Container mandatory information and format can be found at no cost on the US Government Printing Office website.



Before GHS under the old container labeling system, the Hazardous Materials Information System (HMIS) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) labeling systems both met and exceeded the 1910.1200 Hazard Communication Regulations. But not any more. Now under the new GHS standard the container labels must display the chemical’s: (i) product identifier, (ii) signal word, (iii) hazard statement(s), (iv) pictogram( s), (v) precautionary statement(s) and (vi) name, address and telephone number of the responsible party (based on the hazard classes and categories of the material.)



Highly flammable liquid & vapor Causes severe eye irritation

May cause drowsiness or dizziness


Flammable Liquid Category 2

Eye Irritant Category 2A

Specific Target Organ Toxicity (Single Exposure) Category 3

Precautionary statements



Keep away from heat/sparks/open flames/hot surfaces – No smoking.

Keep containers tightly closed. Use only non-sparking tools.

Take precautionary measures against static discharge.

Wear protective gloves/eye protection/face protection.

Wash hands thoroughly after handling.

Avoid breathing dust/fume/gas/mist/vapors/spray.

Use only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.


If on skin (or hair): Take off immediately all contaminated clothing.

Rinse skin with water/shower.

In case of fire: Use carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder or foam to extinguish.

If in eyes, rinse cautiously with water for several minutes.

Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do.

Continue rinsing.

If eye irritation persists: Get medical advice/attention.

If inhaled: Remove person to fresh air and keep comfortable for breathing

Call a poison center/doctor if you feel unwell


Store in a well-ventilated place.

Keep cool. Keep container tightly closed.

Store locked up.


Dispose of contents/containers in accordance with the EPA CFR Part 260 Hazardous

Waste Management System or in accordance with local, regional, national, and international regulations.


ABC Corp., 555 Main St., Anytown, PA 19530, (555) 555-1212

*Hazard classification/category information not mandatory


The biggest difference between the new GHS and the old Hazard Communication Regulations would have to be the now mandatory Appendix C Label Elements - information with the new pictograms, along with Appendix A Health Hazards (tests), Appendix B Physical Hazards (tests) and Appendix D the Safety Data Sheet (format and information). OSHA didn’t change 1910.1200 as much as they added Appendices A, B, C and D, and made some SDS information and the container labels information mandatory.


When preparing a new SDS, use Appendices A, B, C and D to determine the information that appears in Section 1 and Section 2 of the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). Then use the information in Section 1 and Section 2 of the SDS to determine what mandatory information must appear on the new OSHA GHS container labels. Then use the old MSDS to extrapolate the rest of the information needed to complete Sections 3 thru 16.

I would like to hear from you if you are still not sure of how, what, when, which or where the new GHS labels affect you or if you are having trouble with the new GHS SDSs, so give us a ring or drop us a line and we will be glad to get you back on track. Thank you for your readership and support.

January 8, 2015




When some of America's finest hospitals, universities and military facilities are your customers, it is not hard to feel a tremendous amount of pride and satisfaction in your job. That is not to say that I don’t have just as much admiration for those in healthcare, medical research and protection organizations in the private sector. But it is the public workforce who are asked to be first on the scene as the general public flees from these perceived hot zones.

OSHA wrote the 1910.120 HAZWOPER and 1910.1030 Bloodborne Pathogens Regulations to protect the private workforce from hazardous substances such as Hepatitis, AIDS, antibiotic resistant bacteria. And DOT protects transportation with “infectious substances” and “regulated medical wastes” hazardous material shipping names in the 172.101 Table. However, most of these Federal, State and Local government workers are not so protected. The regulations cover only the private workforce, not the public. And that is not going to change, but recently DOT has offered some guidelines in the Federal Register for those public workers and cut some red tape for private sector workers who we often asked to take up these difficult and dangerous new challenges.


Now, as we fight to control the Ebola virus, which has decimated thousands of individuals, families and communities around the world, many of our same customers are on the forefront of a new battle. So to aid in the fight, DOT has issued guidance for those who may not normally fall under the DOT HMR because they are Federal, State, or Local government employees to aid in the safe operation of motor vehicles, aircraft, or vessels solely for non-commercial Federal, State, or Local government purposes.


As strange as it may seem, DOT does not regulate the transportation of uncontaminated blood under the Hazardous Materials Regulations. But the infectious substance definition in 49 CFR 173.133 clearly classifies any material contaminated or suspected of being contaminated with Ebola as a Category A infectious substance. These hazardous materials under DOT and hazardous substances under OSHA must be handled, packaged and treated properly, regardless of whether the employee is private or public.


So in an October Federal Register, DOT provided some general guidance and information, without addressing the specific provisions and exceptions contained in the HMR. This guidance and information should not be a substitute for strict compliance with the HMR. DOT always recommends full compliance when transporting any hazardous material or waste generated from the treatment of a patient contaminated or suspected of being contaminated with the Ebola virus, transported by a Federal, state, or local government employee, even though they may not be subject to the HMR.


In the Federal Register, DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has compiled and recommends the use of the following guidance documents:

‘‘DOT Guidance for Preparing Packages of Ebola Contaminated Waste for Transportation and Disposal’’ provides guidance to prepare packages containing waste contaminated or suspected of being contaminated with the Ebola virus for transportation to off- site treatment and disposal.

‘‘DOT Guidance for Transporting Ebola Contaminated Items, a Category A Infectious Substance’’ provides common FAQs regarding the HMR requirements for Category A infectious substances. .

‘‘Transporting Infectious Substances Safely’’ brochure explains the HMR for transporting infectious substances.

For more information on the HMR requirements see:


In addition, to aid with the transport of the larger volume of contaminated waste generated during the treatment of Ebola patients and materials contaminated or suspected of being contaminated with the Ebola virus, Special Permit DOT–SP 16279 provides certain carriers with alternative authorized packaging options. DOT will allow a company to become a party to a special permit if the applicant can demonstrate that their alternative packaging will achieve a safety level that is at least equal to the safety level required.


The special permit allows for a variance from the HMR packaging requirements in 173.196(a). If necessary, DOT can provide emergency processing of Special Permit DOT–SP 16279 to prevent significant injury to persons or property not preventable under normal processing, national security, or to prevent significant economic loss. To qualify for emergency processing, the application must provide specific criteria including the potential impact if the special permit is not granted. Waste haulers may apply for party status to Special Permit DOT–SP 16279 per 49 CFR 107.107.


For guidance on how to handle infectious substances before transporting them, DOT refers you to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It should be noted that any Ebola contaminated materials that have been appropriately incinerated, autoclaved, or otherwise inactivated are not considered Category A infectious substances and are not subject to the requirements of the HMR.


For questions on specific HMR requirements, DOT encourages you to contact the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Hazardous Materials Information Center at 1-800- 467-4922, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Eastern time or Magdy El-Sibaie, Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.


Regardless of your status as a private or public worker, if you have any questions or comments, you can always call or write me. We would love to hear from you. Thank you for your readership and support.


January 2015




I love January because that is when I travel to Honolulu and San Juan to run my annual Hazardous Materials & Waste Seminars and IATA Dangerous Goods by Air Seminars. Since these are both islands, I always like to check DOT 49 CFR 172.101 Hazardous Material Table’s Appendix B - Marine Pollutant List for additions or changes to the rule. The marine pollutant regulations, when they were originally incorporated into the HMR in the 1990’s, were only for vessels like boats, ships and barges. Although many countries regulated marine pollutants in all modes, air, ground and water, the US initially decided to only regulate marine pollutants in the water mode.


Shortly thereafter, a marine pollutant being shipped in railcars out in California rolled off the track, down the bank and broke open into the Sacramento River which 47 miles later flows into Shasta Lake, one of the most beautiful, largest reservoirs and its third-largest body of water after Lake Tahoe and the Salton Sea. After killing everything in the river, DOT decided that the marine pollutant regulations should not be for just water shipments. They decided to regulate bulk containers of marine pollutants in all modes. All bulk containers over 119 gallons, 882 pounds or 1000 gal water capacity for gases each meeting the definition of a marine pollutant or a severe marine pollutant in 171.8 would now be marine pollutants when transported in all modes.


The IMDG maintains a list of marine pollutants, allows for bridging and includes alternative methods for determining if a material is a marine pollutant in their requirements for international shippers. However, they could at some point require the shipper to run a test. A LAYMAN'S GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING THE PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFYING MARINE POLLUTANTS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF IMDG CODE AMENDMENT 34-08 at decribes the marine pollutant test as follows: “The test guidelines set out by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) provide the method for exposing a specified number and species of fish within an allowable size tolerance to a 96 hour test where the water in which the fish is to be tested contains 1 mg or less per liter of water of the substance to be tested for toxicity. If 50% of the test population of fish expire within the 96 hours (LC50) the tested substance would meet the criteria for acute toxicity in Category 1. The test can also be conducted using the same concentration of the substance in water where crustacea are exposed for 48 hours and the test population experience the effective concentration (EC50) that causes 50% of the maximum response (fatalities). A similar test concentration using algae or other aquatic plants demonstrating a reduction in growth (ErC50) may be used to determine if the substance is within category acute.”


For domestic shipments DOT does not require shippers to run the OECD tests. Shippers are allowed to reference Appendix B to 172.101 - Hazardous Material Table instead of running the tests. This was all covered in a previous blog (Marine Pollutants).


Now, Allyl alcohol; Ammonia, anhydrous; Creosote salts; Heptanes; Hexane; and Octanes have all been nominated for inclusion in the Marine Pollutant List in Appendix B in the Aug. 25, 2014 Proposed Rule under HM-215M. These materials, along with fifty-six other new entries, have been proposed because they have been determined to meet the Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection’s (GESAMP) definition of a marine pollutant consistent with the IMDG Code.


.Not only are there proposed additions to the Marine Pollutant List, there is also one chemical that will be removed. Under this proposed rule the entry ‘‘Chlorotoluenes (meta-;para-)’’ will be delisted based on its removal from the IMDG Code. You can check out the other marine pollutant additions by reviewing the Federal Register at


Where does DOT say in the regulations that you may use the List in Appendix B, as opposed to run the OECD test? Well there is a provision in Appendix B, before you get to the Marine Pollutant List, in Paragraph 4 that states, “If a material is not listed in this appendix but meets the criteria for a marine pollutant as provided in Chapter 2.9 of the IMDG Code, (incorporated by reference; see §171.7 of this subchapter), the material may be transported as a marine pollutant in accordance with the applicable requirements of this subchapter.”


We have been running the seminar in Honolulu and San Juan for the last 42 years and it is always special not just because of the sun and surfing, but because the people are always so warm and welcoming. Even if you don't live or get to work on an island but you have a question on marine pollutants, let us give you a hand. Thank you for your readership and support. If you have questions or comments, call or email us.



December 2014




I got a call recently about the hazmat registration fees under the Department of Transportation for anyone who offers or accepts for transportation certain hazard classes and quantities of hazardous materials in foreign, interstate or intrastate commerce. Explicitly, the question was how far back does one have to register? One year, two years or do I have to register for all past years that I have not registered?


I am not sure how far the DOT would go to investigate any claims made by a registrant. But, I know that hazardous waste manifests must be kept for 3 years under EPA and DOT in 172.201 and hazmat bills of lading must be kept at least 2 years (while various sources recommend they should be kept for at least seven years.) I can tell you I would certainly not test their resolve and I would make every effort to be accurate.


Per 49 CFR 107.608, the registration and fee requirements apply to anyone who “offers” for transportation or “transports”, in foreign, interstate or intrastate commerce:

A highway route-controlled quantity of a Class 7 (radioactive) material;

More than 25 kg (55 pounds) of a Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 (explosive) material in a motor vehicle, rail car or freight container;

More than one L (1.06 quarts) per package of a material extremely toxic by inhalation that meets the criteria for “hazard zone A”;

A shipment of a quantity of hazardous materials in a bulk packaging having a capacity equal to or greater than 13,248 L (3,500 gallons) for liquids or gases or more than 13.24 cubic meters (468 cubic feet) for solids;

A shipment in other than a bulk packaging of 2,268 kg (5,000 pounds) gross weight or more of one class of hazardous materials for which placarding of a vehicle, rail car, or freight container is required for that class, under Subpart F of Part 172; or

Except for activities of a farmer, that are in direct support of the farmer's farming operations, a quantity of hazardous material that requires placarding, under the provisions of Subpart F of Part 172.

The term “shipment” means the offering or loading of hazardous material at one loading facility using one transport vehicle, or the transport of that transport vehicle.


You will not be rewarded for not registering for past years. Not only do you have to register for past years and pay the associated fees, you could also be fined for years that you failed to register. Registration fees are based on the size and status of your organization; small businesses and not-for-profits pay up to $250 a year, less than everyone else which could be as much as $2,575. The fees and years are listed as follows:

Registration year


Small business


Not-for- profit



Other than small business or




2014-2015 and later
















2012-2013, 2011-2012, 2010-2011








2009-2010, 2008-2009, 2007-2008, 2006-2007








2005-2006, 2004-2005, 2003-2004








2002-2003, 2001-2002, 2000-2001








1999-2000 and earlier








1 Fee appropriate for small or other than small business.



Each person submitting a registration statement must pay a processing fee of $25 for registration years 2000-2001 and later for each registration statement filed. A single statement may be filed for one, two, or three registration years. For registration years 1999-2000 and earlier, the processing fee would be $50 for each registration statement filed, and a separate statement must be filed for each year.


The enforcement of registration could be conducted cooperatively by federal, state, and local agencies which means that federal, state, or local officials could impose the penalties for failing to register or failing to meet the recordkeeping requirements. The following are baselines which would only go up and could include jail time, if the inspector felt that it was a willful violation.



Violation Description


Section or cite


Baseline assessment


General Requirements






A. Registration Requirements: Failure to register as an offeror or carrier of hazardous material and pay registration fee:


107.608, 107.612.




1. Small business or not-for-profit




$1,200 + $600 each additional year.


2. All others




$3,500 + $1,000 each additional year.




The form may also be filled out electronically on the DOT Web site or printed out, and mailed with payment. Completed registration forms and payment should be mailed together to: U.S. Department of Transportation, Hazardous Materials Registration. P.O. Box 530273, Atlanta, GA 30353-0273. You can also submit electronically at


I’ll be damned if I could find him any exceptions, interpretations, or special permits that would alleviate any of the financial burden for the compounded fees and fines that could quickly add up. If you know of any out there that I have missed, let me know and I will pass it on to my readers. In the meantime, if you have a question or comment give us a call. Hope to see you in one of my in-houses or regular seminars in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Honolulu or San Juan coming up January. Thank you for readership and support.


December 2014




When my children were every small, Katharine, Taylor and Ethan were a handful for my wife Erin. With all the travelling for my seminars, Erin was the one who took care of everything, including Katharine’s severe and life threatening asthma and allergies. Because of this, Katharine was not as able to take part in many activities. So, she started to read at a very early age.



Katharine is quick as a whip, which could get her in trouble sometimes. When still very young, when Katharine would find herself in trouble, she was always ready with an alibi. On the few occasions that we would have her dead-to-rights or she couldn’t wiggle out of trouble and she could not come up with a plausible excuse for her offense, she still would not admit her fault. Her last resort would be to look you straight in the eye, turn her the palms up and out and simply state it had happened “ON ACCIDENT.”


When a hazmat shipper finds himself in trouble, we often get calls to the office asking how much do we think DOT will fine them? It is a very common question for those who have broken a DOT Hazardous Materials Transportation Regulation. We found the best place to look for the baseline amounts is the List of Frequently Cited Violations in Appendix A to Subpart D of Part 107 in 49 CFR. The appendix outlines the baseline amounts for a violation; that is if it is just an honest mistake.


Office workers, warehouse workers, product-line workers, salespeople and other employees who could comes across any hazardous material in the plant or who might be asked unwittingly to carry out a DOT hazmat function must receive at least the General Awareness training so they know that the company has, uses or ships hazardous materials or waste. The training could also include a review of the Function-Specific training requirements so they would know what DOT hazmat functions they can perform, and more importantly, the functions they can not perform without being further trained and tested.


Let’s look at the example of a salesman doing a favor for one his accounts, who places a few small bottles of the company’s new food flavoring into an overnight delivery box, then drops the box into a Federal Express kiosk at the airport on his way home because the company’s shipping department closes at 4;30. After all it is just a food product, food! Sure it has some alcohol in it, but the salesman sees the stuff is shipped by ground all the time on the company’s trucks as a non-hazardous material.



If trained, the employee would know about the regulations on identification, packaging, labeling, marking, placarding and hazmat shipping papers. If trained, he would have known that in 173.150(f)(1) there is an exception in the ground mode for Class 3 Flammable Liquids with flash points over 100 degrees, allowing a shipper to reclassify a Flammable Liquid that flashes over 100 degrees as a Combustible Liquid.


Then in 173.150(f)(2) the combustible liquid becomes unregulated when shipped by highway in containers below 119 gallons each (non-bulk). However, this exception only applies in the ground mode, not air, where flavorings are regulated because the airlines (or IATA) do not recognize, accept or acknowledge the DOT’’s domestic combustible liquid or their exception.


The salesman has unwittingly violated the regulations. Now the shipper could be fined at the very least for “Shipping an undeclared hazardous material,” “Not providing the proper Hazard Communication Information (shipping paper, marks, labels), Using the wrong container and finally for not being Trained and Tested.


Offeror Requirements—All hazardous materials


Section or cite





A. Undeclared Shipment:


172.200, 172.300, 172.400, 172.500.




1. Offering for transportation a hazardous material without shipping papers, package markings, labels, and placards (where required):






a. Packing Group I and §172.504 Table 1 materials




$30,000 and up.


b. Packing Group II






c. Packing Group III






d. Consumer Commodity, ORM-D






2. Offering for transportation a hazardous material that is misclassified on the shipping paper, markings, labels, and placards (including improper treatment as consumer commodity, ORM-D):






a. Packing Group I and §172.504 Table I materials






b. Packing Group II






c. Packing Group III






3. Offering for transportation a forbidden hazardous material:






a. Packing Group I and §172.504 Table I materials






b. Packing Group II






c. Packing Group III






4. Offering for transportation a lithium battery, without shipping papers, package markings, labels, or placards (when required):






a. For air transport






b. For ground transport







This would not have been a problem if these bottles of flammable liquid had not broken open at 2:00 in the morning at a Federal Express terminal in California, which then had to stop operations until the hazmat team arrived, suited up, determined the danger and carried out the respond to this “UNDECLARED HAZARDOUS MATERIAL SHIPMENT.” And even though no one was hurt and no property damage was done, I was told the DOT initially proposed a $43,000 fine, not for a willful violation, just an honest mistake. The fines and penalties could go up and include jail time if the DOT determines the violation is willful.


I hope that DOT would realize that a trained employee who is aware of the requirements and repercussions will ask the right questions before they act and would not willfully disregard the requirements. I find that it is the employee that you don’t tell, who gets you in trouble. Because in the end, it might all come down to the fact of whether the DOT thinks you did it willfully or "on accident."

Call us if you need training or have a question on hazardous materials, hazardous substances, marine pollutants, elevated temperatures, hazardous waste or hazardous chemicals under DOT, EPA or OSHA. Or bring it up in one of our upcoming seminars in Oak Lawn, Grand Rapids, and Troy. Thank you for your readership and support.

December 2014




In 1927, while attempting to find a way to estimate the poisoning potential of drugs and medicines, J.W. Trevan became the father of the LD50 test. Now, LD50s are used to protect the public in spills, and in writing transportation, environmental and worker protection regulations. One of the best sources for a chemical’s LD50 value would have to be “The Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances” (RTECS). RTECS was maintained by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) until 2001 for free, but is now only available from the private company Symyx Technologies for a fee or by subscription (per Wikipedia).



Now that the Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Regulations and Occupational Safety and Health Administration Global Harmonization System are both using the the same LD50 tests, I thought I might use LD50s to help you to get started on the new GHS Hazard Communication Regulations. Relax; its should be a breeze, because if the DOT hazardous materials shipping paper states that you are shipping a 6.1 Toxic Material in Packing Group I, the OSHA SDS better say the material is also a Toxic in Category 1 because the DOT and OSHA are now using the same tests.


.LD50 (median lethal dose) for acute oral toxicity is the statistically derived single dose of a substance that can be expected to cause death within 14 days in 50% of young adult albino rats when administered orally. The LD50 value is expressed in terms of mass of test substance per mass of test animal (mg/kg).


. LD50 for acute dermal toxicity means that dose of the material which, administered by continuous contact for 24 hours with the shaved intact skin (avoiding abrading) of an albino rabbit, causes death within 14 days in half of the animals tested. The number of animals tested must be sufficient to give statistically valid results and be in conformity with good pharmacological practices. The result is expressed in mg/kg.


Packing group means a grouping according to the degree of danger presented by hazardous materials. Packing Group I indicates great danger; Packing Group II, medium danger; Packing Group III, minor danger.


Packing group


Oral toxicity LD50 (mg/kg)


Dermal     toxicity LD50



Inhalation toxicity by dusts and mists LC50 (mg/L)












>5.0 and ≤50


>50 and ≤200


>0.2 and ≤2.0




>50 and ≤300


>200 and ≤1000


>2.0 and ≤4.0




Category is the name used to describe the sub-sections of classes. For example, Category 1 indicates the greatest danger; Category 2 upper medium danger; Category 3 lower medium danger and Category 4, minor danger.



Exposure route


Category 1


Category 2


Category 3


Category 4


Oral (mg/kg bodyweight)




>5 and ≤50


>50 and ≤300


>300 and ≤2000.


Dermal (mg/kg bodyweight)




>50 and ≤200


>200 and ≤1000


>1000 and ≤2000.



As I have been telling you for the last 3 years, most of the tests under the HMR are the same tests under GHS. When it comes to Poison or Toxic, toxicity of 5 mg/kg is a DOT Packing Group I and also a OSHA GHS Category. OSHA GHS Category 2 is over 5 mg/kg but less than 50 mg/kg, which is the same as DOT Packing Group II and if the material tested is over 50 mg/kg but less than 300 mg/kg, it is a DOT Packing Group III and an OSHA GHS Category 3.


Health Hazards and Categories:

GHS Acute toxicity = CLASS 2.3 AND CLASS 6.1

GHS Skin corrosion = DOT CLASS 8

(1910.1200 APPENDIX A)

Criteria for classifying chemicals have been developed for the following physical hazard classes

(1910.1200 APPENDIX B):

Physical Hazards and Categories:

GHS Explosives = DOT CLASS 1

GHS Flammable gases = DOT CLASS 2

GHS Aerosols = DOT CLASS 2

GHS Oxidizing gases = DOT CLASS 2, 8

GHS Gases under pressure = DOT CLASS 2

GHS Flammable liquids = DOT CLASS 3

GHS Flammable solids = DOT DIVISION 4.1

GHS Self-reactive substances and mixtures = DOT DIVISION 4.1

GHS Pyrophoric liquids = DOT DIVISION 4.2

GHS Pyrophoric solids =DOT DIVISION 4.2

GHS Self-heating substances and mixtures = DOT DIVISION 4.2

GHS Substances and mixtures which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases = DOT DIVISION 4.3

GHS Oxidizing liquids = DOT DIVISION 5.1

GHS Oxidizing solids =DOT DIVISION 5.1

GHS Organic peroxides = DOT DIVISION 5.2

GHS Corrosive to metals = DOT CLASS 8

Criteria for classifying chemicals have been developed for the following health hazard classes: Health Hazards Only (1910.1200 APPENDIX A)


Corrosive / Skin irritation ONLY.*


Serious eye damage/eye irritation.*

Respiratory or skin sensitization.*

Germ cell mutagenicity.*


Reproductive toxicity.*

Specific target organ toxicity - single exposure.*

Specific target organ toxicity - repeated exposure.*

Aspiration hazard.*



If you match your DOT Hazard Class definitions and their packing group assignments in 49 CFR 173.2 to the OSHA GHS Worker Protection physical & health hazards and categories in Appendix A and B of 29 CFR 1910.1200, you will have very little trouble figuring out the GHS hazard classifications which determine the most critical parts of the GHS. Once you know which GHS Hazard Classes and the Hazard Categories your material meets you can complete the container labels using Appendix C. Then use the same information in Section 1 and 2 on the SDS using Appendix D. Then you should be able to extract the information in that is required in Section 3 through 16 off your old MSDSs. Simply arrange the information in the sequence required in Appendix D to 1910.1200.


The three big differences are DOT will still lets you still use the word Poison instead of Toxic domestically on the shipping paper, whereas the OSHA GHS requires the use of Toxic on the SDS. DOT does not have a Packing Group IV so Category 4 should not meet a DOT definition and would not be transported as a hazardous material unless it was a hazardous waste, hazardous substance, marine pollutant, an elevated temperature material or a bulk container of combustible liquid. Finally, the majority of health hazards in OSHA GHS in 1910.1200 Appendix A, do not have corresponding hazard classes in the DOT 49 CFR 173.2 only the Acute toxicity hazard and Corrosion on skin.

I hope this was helpful. I hope to see you in Illinois or Michigan next week, or any of our upcoming classes. Thanks for your support and readership.


November 2014




You can’t trust what you hear, remember that. I heard that Canada was not going to adopt the Global Harmonization System. I heard wrong. After over 10 years of work, the GHS was adopted by the UN in 2001. The GHS will mandate the new Hazard Communication Container Labels and the Safety Data Sheets (SDS). On August 11, 2014, Health Canada proposed regulatory amendments under the Hazardous Products Regulations that will change the WHMIS regulations by implementing the GHS.



Health Canada’s GHS will require container labels with the chemical name, signal word, hazard statement, precautionary statements, and the name of the company responsible for preparing the label. The Canadian SDS will be 16 parts with its hazard identification, composition and information on ingredients, first aid measures, fire fighting measures, accidental releases, handling and storage, exposure controls and personal protection, physical and chemical properties, stability and reactivity, toxicological information, ecological information, disposal considerations and the most recent revision date.


Back in 2011 the Canadian PM and President Obama established the Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council. The Canadian and US governments have been working since 2013 to implement the GHS. Health Canada has announced an administrative policy which allows a properly prepared and formatted GHS Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to be used in Canada at this time if all of the information required by the 9-section Canadian MSDS is listed on the GHS SDS.


The Canadian SDSs must be made available in English and French, must not have a preparation date exceeding 3 years, must provide the name and address of a Canadian supplier and hazardous ingredients must be disclosed according to the requirements of the Hazardous Products Act. They also may not adopt the Ecological and Marine Pollutant Classifications in the SDSs, instead implementing those requirements under other Canadian Government Ministries.


Mexico also recommended that manufacturers, distributors and importers provide the GHS Hazard Communication labels and the 16-part Safety Data Sheets back in June of 2011. They will not enforce or require the use of the GHS. Mexico has a recently amended a standard on dangerous chemicals, hazard communication and the risks to workers, allowing GHS as an alternative to the current standard.

The only reason I checked into this was a customer, that we ran an In-House Seminar for in New York City recently, emailed me a question about use of the old HMIS labels, which will not currently meet the GHS requirements. If you are having trouble with your GHS compliance drop me an email. Thank you for your readership and support.

November 2014




We received an email recently concerning a small container (under 1 L) of nitrogen in a service vehicle. The question was could a small container of liquid nitrogen be carried in a salesman’s car or service vehicle. I had never been asked this before and my initial thought was, not without the shipping paper and the correct DOT/UN container.




We knew that the container was too large to consider the small quantity and excepted quantity exceptions in 173.4 and 173.4a. Excepted quantities would be very small inner containers of up to 30 mL or 30 g each in strong outer packagings with a maximum aggregate quantity of materials of up to 1 L. The small quantity exceptions are for 1 ounce of a liquid, 1 ounce of a solid or 1 g of a poison material for the inner containers, up to 29 kg in the complete outer packaging. We were sure that these sizes might just be a little too small for my customer to use.


Our second thought was the Materials of Trade Exception in 173.6 for salesmen and service vehicles, which does have an exception for 2.2 non-flammable, non-poisonous gas in cylinders or Dewar flasks. The Dewar flask is basically a thermos. These containers consist of an inner packaging surrounded by a vacuum. We thought this would be a good exception to take for the shipment. But is it the best way to ship this material? By taking the materials of trade exception, the shipper would be excepted from having a hazardous materials shipping paper and the hazard class labels, but the containers would have to be DOT specification packaging or equivalent and the proper shipping name or a common name would also be required on each container. The driver would also need to be trained on the materials of trade exception. All in all not a bad exception, but we still felt we could do better.



There is a third possible exception, authorized in Column 8A of the HMT for the proper shipping name Nitrogen, Refrigerated Liquid Cryogenic Liquid which is a Division 2.2 non-flammable, non-poisonous compressed gas, with the UN number of UN1977 and the labeling requirements calling for a Division 2.2 non-flammable gas label on the non-bulk cylinders. That’s right, in the Column 8A Exceptions, there is an exception of 173.320 indicated. Section 173.320 Cryogenic Liquids; Exceptions does provide relief from labels, placards and specification containers, but does not provide any relief from the hazmat shipping papers, marking, emergency response and training requirements. Again, no specification containers, no hazard class labels and placards, but the shipper still has to meet the incident report requirements in Sections 171.15 and 171.16; the Hazard Communication Regulations in Part 172 - Subpart A - General Requirements; Subpart B - The Hazmat Table; Subpart C - Shipping Papers; Subpart D - Marking; Subpart G - Emergency Response Information; Subpart H - Training; Subparts A and B of 173; and 177.804 and 177.823.


After looking at the 173.4 Small Quantities,173.4a Excepted Quantities, 173.6 Materials of Trade Exceptions and Column 8A’s 173.320 Cryogenic Liquids Exceptions, we knew I/we had only one chance left. The Special Provisions in Column 7 of the 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table. Sure enough Special Provision 345 is indicated in Column 7 for Nitrogen, refrigerated liquid cryogenic liquid.

Special Provision 345 states:

“Nitrogen, refrigerated liquid (cryogenic liquid), UN1977” transported in open cryogenic receptacles with a maximum capacity of 1 L are not subject to the requirements of this subchapter. The receptacles must be constructed with glass double walls having the space between the walls vacuum insulated and each receptacle must be transported in an outer packaging with sufficient cushioning and absorbent materials to protect the receptacle from damage


So Special Provision 345 would allow the shipper of the nitrogen refrigerated liquid cryogenic liquid in open cryogenic containers under 1 liter to be shipped as unregulated, out of the HMR. No shipping papers, no labels, no marks and no UN/DOT specification containers would be required if the shipper met the 345 Special Provision requirements.


What If the receptacle has a capacity of over 1 liter? That is ok, because there is a second Special Provision in Column 7 for this material, Special Provision 346.

Special Provision 346 states:

“Nitrogen, refrigerated liquid (cryogenic liquid), UN1977” transported in accordance with the requirements for open cryogenic receptacles in §173.320 and this special provision are not subject to any other requirements of this subchapter. The receptacle must contain no hazardous materials other than the liquid nitrogen which must be fully absorbed in a porous material in the receptacle.

By taking special provision 346, and transporting in accordance with 173.320, the shipper would not be restricted to 1 liter. The shipper could use an open cryogenic receptacle but would have to ensure that the liquid nitrogen was absorbed in a porous material.

Special Provisions are not always exceptions though. For example, Column 8C Bulk Packaging restricts certain intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) and Column 7 authorizes them. Column 8A could authorize a steel drum (1A1, 1A2) and in Column 7, Special Provision N25, which states “Steel single containers are not authorized,” could take it away. I find that we don’t consult the Special Provisions in Column 7 of the Hazardous Materials Table as soon and as often as we should. They are regulations and required to be met for each and every shipment of hazardous material.

Thank you for your leadership and support.

November 2014



Call of Duty


What is considered “on duty” under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations? Is it the time that the driver of the vehicle is in control of his vehicle or does it include all work done by the driver? I am certainly not trying to portray myself as an expert on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. However, I do deal with hazmat drivers and should have known the reference and the answer. So I was happy to receive this question in an email after a seminar.


I did not have a current copy of the regulations, so I called the FMCSA Hotline and was directed to the state office, which I called and was transferred to an enforcement officer’s voicemail. So, I went to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website and under commonly asked questions I was able to find this one:


Question 111: Must non-transportation-related work for a motor carrier be recorded as on-duty time?

Guidance: Yes. All work for a motor carrier, whether compensated or not, must be recorded as on-duty time. The term “work” as used in the definition of “on-duty time” in §395.2 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) is not limited to driving or other non-transportation-related employment.

The FMCSA definitions in 395.2 state:

On-duty time means all time from the time a driver begins to work or is required to be in readiness to work until the time the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work. On-duty time shall include:

All time at a plant, terminal, facility, or other property of a motor carrier or shipper, or on any public property, waiting to be dispatched, unless the driver has been relieved from duty by the motor carrier;

All time inspecting, servicing, or conditioning any commercial motor vehicle at any time;

All driving time as defined in the term driving time;

All time in or on a commercial motor vehicle, (other than: (i) Time spent resting in or on a parked vehicle, except as otherwise provided in § 397.5 of this subchapter; (ii) Time spent resting in a sleeper berth; or (iii) Up to 2 hours riding in the passenger seat of a property-carrying vehicle moving on the highway immediately before or after a period of at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth);

All time loading or unloading a commercial motor vehicle, supervising, or assisting in the loading or unloading, attending a commercial motor vehicle being loaded or unloaded, remaining in readiness to operate the commercial motor vehicle, or in giving or receiving receipts for shipments loaded or unloaded;

All time repairing, obtaining assistance, or remaining in attendance upon a disabled commercial motor vehicle;

All time spent providing a breath sample or urine specimen, including travel time to and from the collection site, to comply with the random, reasonable suspicion, post-crash, or follow-up testing required by part 382 of this subchapter when directed by a motor carrier;

Performing any other work in the capacity, employ, or service of, a motor carrier; and

Performing any compensated work for a person who is not a motor carrier.

So it would seem that any time the driver is doing any work from the moment he is required to be ready to work until he is relieved of any work and responsibility assigned would be included in his or her on-duty time, without regard to whether the driver were being paid or not.

I don’t always know the correct answer, so when I have a question I must admit that the Government Agencies and their websites have done a great job of providing information and interpretations. One of my favorites is the DOT Website ( and Hotline (800-467-4922) they are always ready to help me understand and interpret the Hazardous Material Regulations. I could not write about the requirements as confidently and concisely without their help.

October 2014





Recently, I had a very enjoyable in-house seminar at a leading hazardous waste service company on Long Island. One of the reasons I enjoy doing the seminars so much is because it keeps me on my toes. I cannot remember a seminar where I was asked so many really good questions. One of those many questions was on the size requirement for the proper shipping name and UN number markings on non-bulk containers. And I stated I had seen a recent Federal Register notice relating to that fact.



As you may already know, it was under HM-215L that the change was made in January 2013, and it is in the new Hazardous Materials, Substances and Wastes Compliance Guide in Section 172.301, if I had taken the time to look. Each person who offers a hazardous material for transportation in a non-bulk package must mark the package with the proper shipping name and the identification number shown in the 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table. The size requirement applies only for the UN number not the proper shipping name.


The identification markings preceded by “UN,” “NA” or “ID,” as appropriate, must be marked in characters at least 12 millimeters or 0.47 inches high on most non-bulk packages.


Packages having a maximum capacity of 30 liters (8 gallons) or less, 30 kilograms (66 pounds) maximum net mass, or cylinders with a water capacity of 60 liters (16 gallons) or less must be marked with characters at least 6 millimeters or 0.24 inches high.


Packages with a maximum capacity of 5 liters (1.32 gallons) or 5 kilograms (11 pounds) or less must be marked in a size appropriate for the size of the package.

I am sorry I have not mentioned this change to the Hazardous Material Regulations sooner. I will say that there is a transition date until January 1, 2017. So before you order your pre-printed, hazardous material marks, labels and packagings, make sure that they are the correct sizes. I still have a few more questions to follow up on and I will include them in future posts after I get back from this week’s seminars. Thanks for your readership and support.

September 2014





Back in 2002 under PB 25201.16, the State of California incorporated aerosol cans into the Universal Waste Requirements. Before, aerosol cans were required to be managed under the hazardous waste regulations if they were ignitable, reactive, corrosive or toxic under the hazardous waste characteristics definitions.



Engine starter, bug killers, and medical inhalers are all aerosols. In 1979, when chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were banned in the United States, followed by the 1994 ban on the related compounds, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), most aerosol propellants were replaced with hydrocarbons which tend to be very flammable.


If an aerosol can is completely empty of its contents and contains no free liquids or solids, it would not be considered a hazardous waste. However, non-empty aerosol cans that have not been used, are plugged, not working or propellant-depleted may have been considered hazardous waste if they met a hazardous waste characteristic classification.


Universal wastes are considered to pose very low risk to the environment, even though they may meet the definition of a hazardous waste. Under the previous regulations, aerosol cans would have triggered the requirements for an EPA identification number, numerous accumulation time limits, hazardous waste transporters and uniform hazardous waste manifests. Handlers of universal waste aerosols are required to meets the Health and Safety Code in Section 25201.16(e), (f) and (g). However, handlers that also process aerosols have additional 25201.16 requirements. The off-site commercial processors would still be subject to the hazardous waste management regulations which include proper authorization.


Before 2002, if the aerosol cans were punctured, drained and crushed on-site, this was considered to be a hazardous waste treatment function, requiring authorization from the state.

California now allows qualified handlers to puncture, drain, and crush the aerosol cans as universal waste. Qualified universal waste handlers with notification, may now process the cans on-site without a permit or other state authorization.


If there is not an notification form to fill out, notification to the appropriate agency or the CUPA. The notification may be made in person or by letter with certified mail and return receipt requested. This would include a 30-day re-notification requirement upon any changes. Training of employees would be required and written operating procedures must be developed and implemented for safely processing the cans and handling emergencies.


Now, if your equipment meets Air Pollution Control District requirements, you may process hazardous waste aerosol cans on-site. The processing equipment is required to be designed, maintained and operated to prevent explosion, unauthorized releases or fire. It should be noted that any contents, extracted from the cans would still be considered hazardous waste if it met one of the four characteristics for hazardous waste.


Containers of universal waste aerosol cans may be stored on-site for up to one year if they are marked or labeled with one of the following phrases:

Universal Waste-Aerosol Cans,

Waste Aerosol Cans, or

Used Aerosol Cans


When accumulating, processing, or transporting universal waste aerosol cans, containers must be structurally sound and content-compatible. While on-site they must be covered unless waste is being added or removed and closed at the end of each workday. Segregated incompatible materials are required to be in separate containers. Containers that show evidence of leaks, spills, or damage must not be used. Contents of the drained aerosol cans and any cleaned up spill or leak must be promptly transferred to appropriate containers. Accumulation containers and units must be a safe distance from heat and flames, in a well-ventilated area above a non-earthen floor that is free of cracks or gaps and is sufficiently impervious and bermed to control leaks and spills.



For more information or a listing of universal wastes, see the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) fact sheets entitled “Designate Aerosol Cans as Universal Waste” and “Managing Universal Waste in California.”

I hope this helps those of you in California who have the difficult job of determining the disposal requirements under all of the federal and state agencies. Satellite accumulation, empty containers and Universal waste always come up at the seminars and I thought this would be a good time to bone up on the differences between state and federal regulations. Hope to see you next week when I'm out in San Jose, Anaheim and San Diego. Thank you for your support and readership.

September 2014





California does not make it easy on hazardous waste generators. California has different storage times, waste streams and other inconsistencies with the Federal regulations. In California there are two levels of regulation governing hazardous waste accumulation activities. One level allows different accumulation times based on the generator's rate of hazardous waste generation per month. Though commonly known as "90-day accumulation," this allows accumulation times ranging from 90 to 270 days. The other level, commonly known as "satellite accumulation," allows generations to store hazardous waste onsite, subject to certain limitations. It is the Satellite Accumulation in California that I want to discuss.



Under Federal and California rules, generators may accumulate up to 55 gallons of hazardous waste (or one quart of acutely or extremely hazardous waste) without a permit at the initial point of accumulation, under the control of the operator of the process, known as a satellite accumulation area. However, California has additional operational requirements under their satellite accumulation regulations, including container marks and an onsite storage limits.


Unlike the Federal requirements, California requires the words "Hazardous Waste," the name and address of the generator, and the start date that hazardous waste is placed in the container to be marked on the containers. California also mandates that a statement be prepared, calling attention to the particular hazardous properties along with the composition and physical state of the wastes.


Then there is also a one-year accumulation limit that applies to the time during which the waste is allowed onsite. That means the combined accumulation time, regardless of where the waste is stored (both the satellite accumulation point, where the waste is generated and initially accumulated, and the 90-day accumulation area where the waste could be transferred when the "satellite" limit is reached).


Once the 55-gallon (or one quart) accumulation limit is reached, the generator must move the container to a 90-day storage area. The container must be marked with the date the satellite accumulation limit is reached. This is the start of the 90-day period, not the day the container is moved. The waste is not required to go to the 90-day storage area if it could be shipped offsite to a TSDF hazardous waste facility within three days after the accumulation limit is reached..


In order for a generator’s accumulation activity to qualify for management under satellite accumulation, California requires the hazardous waste be accumulated in containers, not tanks. The hazardous waste must be accumulated "at or near” the initial accumulation point where the waste is generated. The “initial accumulation point" means that the generator may not accumulate waste from more than one waste accumulation location into a single satellite area.


However, certain maintenance activities may be managed under satellite accumulation. For example, temporary interim accumulation of the waste in drip pans collecting oil at hard-to-reach locations or when maintenance crews are working on scaffolding, is permitted, as long as the waste is placed in the satellite accumulation area at the end of the work shift. But no treatment of the hazardous waste is allowed during the accumulation period under satellite accumulation. This would include residuals from the treatment of onsite waste, which may not be accumulated under satellite accumulation because that does not qualify as initial accumulation.


The term "under the control" means that the accumulation container must be in the line of sight of the operator or in a locked compartment to which the operator controls access. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that the operator controls all access to and management of the accumulated waste.


To prevent mixing of incompatible wastes and other unsafe management practices, the initial accumulation point must be under the control of the “operator of the process.” The “operator of the process" means the hands-on operator of the machinery or activity that generates the waste, not the overall operator of the generator site or facility as a whole.

Generators taking the satellite accumulation exception must ensure that a process or group of processes is subject to a single 55-gallon (or one quart) accumulation limit. Generators may apply a separate 55-gallon (or one-quart) limit to compatible waste streams only after review and approval by DTSC.

I don’t believe that California hazardous waste generators begrudge the State requirements. With its pristine, unique and diverse ecosystems of coastline, farmland and mountains, California has more to lose. If you have question on managing hazardous waste, hazardous materials or hazardous substances, give us a call or sign up for one of our seminars, and we will see you in October when I make my way down the the coast from San Jose to San Diego.


Thank you for your support and readership.

September 2014





You have seen them - the numerical, colorful bars or diamonds on the sides of containers. Most popular is the National Fire Protection Association Hazard Communication Diamond with the numerical and color coded system for identifying reactivity, physical and chemical hazards to employees and emergency response per- sonnel. Well, OSHA may not want to see them anymore.





For years OSHA has required that containers of hazardous chemicals be marked with information on the Ma- terial Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) or the new Safety Data Sheets (SDS). This is not a new requirement. Every hazardous chemical was required to be marked and accompanied by a Materials Safety Data Sheet with the first shipment to the customer, distributor or supplier.


The National Fire Protection Association diamond shaped label recommendation was the one most commonly used. This system is basically a diamond shape divided into four smaller diamonds within the larger dia- mond. Each smaller diamond was assigned a particular color based on the chemical’s hazards. Inside each color coded diamond was a number from zero to four. The number conveys the severity level of the hazard, with “0” being no hazard and “4” being the most severe.


There are four diamonds on the NFPA labels: red for flammability, blue for reactivity, orange for heat hazards and white for non-NFPA information. The trouble with using the National Fire Protection Association recom- mendations is that the National Fire Protection Association is trade group within the fire protection industry, and not a government agency, who came up with this system. That would be great and work very well if we were talking about the United States only. Unfortunately, a lot of these hazardous chemicals that we use can be produced or distributed overseas, and most producers of chemicals around the world do not want follow United States domestic trade association recommendations.


Most governments around the world do not write their own regulations, they adopt United Nations or other in- ternational recommendations. These recommendations are written by the international governments, not U.S. companies. The new United Nations Recommendations for Hazard Communication Container Labels and the old National Fire Protection Association color-coded numerical diamond shaped labels are not the same. The NFPA labels will no longer meet all of the 1910.1200 OSHA GHS Hazard Communication regulations after June 1, 2015.




In place of the National Fire Protection Association Color Coded Numerical Diamond System will be the UN Hazard Communication 6-part label. The GHS container label is required to display a Product identifier, Sig- nal word, Hazard statement(s), Pictogram(s), Precautionary statement(s) and the name, address, and tele- phone number of the chemical manufacturer, importer, or other responsible party.

The chemical manufacturer, importer, or distributor shall ensure that the information provided is: in accor- dance with Appendix C to § 1910.1200 for each hazard class and associated hazard category for the haz- ardous chemical; prominently displayed in English, although other languages may also be included, but must be located together on the label or tag.


Did OSHA adopt the United Nations Hazard Communication? No! They aligned with them. There are quite a few differences. OSHA did not adopt the numerical cross reference (UN uses words and numbers on label and SDSs); they did not adopt the Marine Pollutants (they are not workers); and they did not adopt all of the Hazard Categories (UN has 5 Categories, OSHA has 4). See a comparision at:


.The Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not require anyone to use their 1910.1200 OSHA GHS system, they only require you to meet the 1910.1200 Hazard Communication Regulations. In other words, you could use a similar system if it met all of the requirements. But very few companies shipping both domestically and internationally would have the influence, time or money to train their customers on their own personal hazard communication system, who in turn would have train their customers and so on and so on....!


It is the same with the Safety Data Sheet requirements of the OSHA Hazard Communication Regulations. As long as you meet the requirements, your SDS does not have to be exactly the way it is appears in the OSHA Regulations. There was no required MSDS format either; OSHA allowed people to use any system that they felt appropriate, as long as it provided the required information.


As of June 1, 2015 the New OSHA GHS 1910.1200 SDSs and 6-part labels are required to be in place. If you have not trained your employees on the new SDSs and the new 6-part OSHA labels, written an OSHA Hazard Communication Plan, updated your Safety Data Sheets and OSHA container labels, please go on to our web- site or call the office. We can send you our OSHA GHS Compliance kit. In the OSHA kit, there is a written OSHA GHS Hazard Communication Plan, an example of a new Safety Data Sheet, an example of the new OSHA GHS 6-part container label. And on my blog you will find posts relating to the OSHA GHS procedures and problems.



Even though it is not going to be easy, I think it is good to have one international standard to promote trade and commerce. The new OSHA GHS Hazard Communication Regulations will be good in the long run be- cause they do align with the DOT Hazardous Material Transportation Regulations. I have written about most of the problems and inconsistencies in my blog on the website. But if you have a question, a problem, or just want to talk to someone, give us a call. Thank you for your attendance at the seminars, your support and your readership.

September 2014






At what point does a hazardous material stop being a hazardous material? What I'm trying to say is that a hazardous material is only considered to be a hazardous material when it is in transportation. Now obviously, if the hazardous material is in a truck going down a public road, it is regulated as a DOT hazardous material. In 49 CFR 171.8, a hazardous material is defined as a material determined by the Secretary of Transportation to pose an unreasonable risk to safety, health and property when transported in commerce.


The Department of Transportation protects our transportation system, not workers, that comes under OSHA, and certainly not the environment, that is EPA. So, if a material is in your plant and has not been shipped to anyone, is not being shipped to anyone, just sitting on your private property, it is not a DOT hazardous material.


DOT 49 CFR 171.1

Loading and unloading is considered to be a DOT hazardous material transportation function, but sometimes it is and sometimes it is not. If you were to look at 171.1(c), you would see that transportation begins when the driver takes physical possession of the material to be transported. More telling I think, is what DOT says is not regulated in 171.1(d). The DOT examples of activities to which the HMR do not apply:


Storage of a freight container, transport vehicle, or package containing a hazardous material is not regulated by the DOT as a hazardous material, if it is at an offeror facility prior to a carrier taking physical possession of the hazardous material for transportation in commerce.


Hazardous materials unloaded from a transport vehicle or a bulk packaging by a person employed by or working under contract to the consignee following delivery of the hazardous material by the carrier to its destination and departure from the consignee's premises of the carrier's personnel or, for private carrier, departure of the driver from the unloading area are not DOT hazardous materials.


Hazardous materials stored in a freight container, transport vehicle or package are not considered to be DOT hazardous materials if it occurs after delivery by a carrier to the destination indicated on a shipping document, package markings or other medium, or in the case of a rail car, storage of a rail car on private track.


Hazardous material moved by rail or motor vehicle is not a DOT hazardous material if it is exclusively within a contiguous facility boundary where public access is restricted, except to the extent that the movement is on or crosses a public road or is on track that is part of the general railroad system of transportation, unless access to the public road is restricted by signals, lights, gates, or similar controls.


A hazardous material transported in a motor vehicle, aircraft, or vessel operated by a Federal, state, or local government employee solely for noncommercial Federal, state, or local government purposes is not a DOT hazardous material.


A hazardous material transported by an individual for non-commercial purposes, in a private motor vehicle, including a leased or rented motor vehicle is not a DOT hazardous material.


Any material is not a DOT hazardous material when it is shipped subject to the postal laws and regulations of the United States.

It is critical to understand the breadth and scope of each particular agency’s powers. Knowing when, where, and whose regulation your material is under as it moves through its regulatory life cycle is the first step to total compliance.

If you have a question or some input, give me a call and I will try and help you out. Thank you for your attendance, readership and support.

September 2014





Training it's the law! Training can be expensive and take time. But it has got to be done and if you use, ship or store chemicals, you have to train. Hazmat employees must be trained and tested every three years under the Hazardous Materials Regulations, right? Not really. You might have to train more than once every three years. The Department of Transportation requires that hazmat employers train and test their hazmat employees if they change job functions or there is a change to the regulations that affects their job.



A hazmat employer is a person who employs or uses at least one hazmat employee who transports, prepares or causes hazardous materials to be transported in commerce; a person who is self-employed (including an owner-operator of a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft) who transports, prepares or causes hazardous materials to be transported in commerce; or a department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States Government, or an authority of a State, political subdivision of a State, or an Indian tribe who transports, prepares or causes hazardous materials to be transported in commerce.


Hazmat employee means a person who, in the course of full time, part time or temporary employment, directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety; or a self-employed person (an owner-operator of a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft) transporting hazardous materials in commerce who directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety. This includes anyone who handles or is responsible for the safety of transporting hazardous materials, loads or unloads a vehicle used to transport hazardous materials, including a railroad signalman or railroad maintenance-of-way employee.


49 CFR 172.700 Training requires four different components of training: General Awareness; Function-Specific; Safety; and Security Training.


You don’t have to train everyone in the facility on all of the Hazardous Materials Regulations, only on what they do. But how would an employee know that they are not trained to carry out a hazardous materials function if they had never been trained on what a hazardous materials function is? An employee may believe they are doing the company a favor by overnighting a product at the end of the day when no one's around, to keep a customer happy, when he is not trained to do so. Salesmen and support personnel need to know they're not allowed to improperly carry samples on airplanes or in company vehicles. How would an employee know what a proper shipping name was, what a label meant or what a mark could imply on a package if they had not been trained on shipping names, UN numbers and hazard class labels? Employees that you train will ask the right questions before they act, an employee you have not trained will not know when to ask the question. If hazardous materials are present, employees must be trained on General Awareness.


Hazmat employees shall not carry out a hazardous materials function until they are trained and tested on the requirements specific to that function. Hazmat employee function-specific training could include:














3) SAFETY TRAINING - 49 CFR 172.704(a)(3)

Hazmat employees shall receive safety training concerning the Emergency Response Information in 172.600 which must be attached to or provided with the hazardous materials shipping paper. You can make up your own form, you can use an OSHA Safety Data Sheet (SDS) or you can have a copy of the Emergency Response Guidebook, which will provide the information to the emergency response personnel in the event of an accident or incident. The Emergency Response Information Requirements include providing a clearly visible 24-hour emergency response telephone number on the shipping paper to be used in the event of an accident or incident. Safety training shall also include measures to protect the employee from the hazards associated with hazardous materials to which they may be exposed in the workplace, including measures to protect employees from exposure, and methods and procedures to prevent accidents.


Each hazmat employee must receive Security Awareness training on security risks associated with hazardous materials transportation and methods to enhance transportation security. This training must also include how to recognize and respond to possible security threats.


Additionally, each hazmat employee of a company required to have a security plan, who handles hazardous materials covered by the plan, performs a regulated function covered by the plan, or is responsible for implementing the plan must be trained concerning the security plan and its implementation. The training shall cover company security objectives, organizational security structure, specific security procedures, specific security duties and responsibilities for each employee, and specific actions to be taken by each employee in the event of a security breach.


Now we get to how often hazmat employees must be trained in 49 CFR 172.704(c)(2). DOT states under Recurrent training: “A hazmat employee must receive the training required by this subpart at least once every three years.” That’s what the CFR says but what does the Federal Register say?


It can be very hard to understand the DOT 49 CFR. The CFR only tells you the regulations, not what they mean or how to follow them. That's what the Federal Register does. I rely quite a bit on the Federal Register, which explains the regulations



Before a regulation becomes law, it must go through a process in the Federal Register. First a Notice of Rulemaking and then the Proposed Rule with a preamble (the explanation) appear in the Federal Register. The Proposed Rule sets a comment period to allow those affected to comment or to respond to the proposed regulations. Then after the comment period, the agency will review the comments and respond to them in the preamble when they publish the Final Rule. The Final Rule will then be incorporated into the regulations (but not the preamble) in the CFR and it becomes a regulation.


There could be only one or two pages of new regulations in the CFR but if you were to go back and look at the preambles in the Notice of Rulemaking, Proposed and Final Rules in the Federal Register, there could be 10 or 20 pages or more that would explain in layman's terms the regulation and answer the most commonly asked questions that came up in the comment periods regarding the changes or the new rule.

Well, what do you know, back on May 30,1996 in the Federal Register, DOT explains exactly why, when and what the retraining requirement means when in the preamble it states: “Some commenters also expressed concern with the statement that hazmat employees must be retrained every time a change to the HMR is adopted because it could require retraining several times a year. If a new regulation is adopted, or an existing regulation is changed that relates to a function performed by a hazmat employee, that hazmat employee must be instructed in those new or revised function-specific requirements without regard to the timing of the three year training cycle... For example, if a new requirement is added to the shipping paper requirements, a hazmat employee must be instructed regarding the new requirement prior to performance of a function affected by the new or revised rule.” DOT goes on to say that “an employee must be instructed in the requirements of the HMR that apply to each function performed by the employee without reference to the requirements of Subpart H.”


Lisa is the person at TSP who is responsible for keeping us up-to-date on the Federal Register changes. Every day Lisa scours the Federal Register to look for changes to the regulations. We felt that if we had to look them up anyway, why not provide it to you at no charge. So, when she finds a change or update to a pertinent regulation, she will post that on our website so that you see that change or update and be prepared to act on any changes that could affect your company. You can even (see below) sign up for our free Hazardous Materials, Substances & Wastes Federal Register Reprint Service and we will automatically send the changes directly to you.


So I might have to train my employees 10 to 15 times a month?!? No! In the Federal Register, the DOT will usually give hazmat employers a transition date or a delay in meeting the new regulation. In the last 25 years that I have been training people on the Hazardous Materials Regulations, DOT has given anywhere from six months to a year or more to comply or transition into the new regulation. For example, if a final rule appears in the Federal Register on October 1, 2014, DOT will most likely give you until at least October 1, 2015 to comply.


It would be easy if everyone waited until the transition period is over, but that is not always the case. If a supplier decides to follow the new requirement right away, then their customers would have to train their employees right away too, before they could reship that material.


EPA for Hazardous Waste Generators and OSHA for Hazardous Substances Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste sites and TSDF site workers and Hazmat Teams require training every year. So, that is why we always suggest that our customers train every year on DOT at the same time. Train once but on all three agencies (DOT in the truck, OSHA in the plant and EPA when you throw it away) at the same time. That way they would never be in violation with the DOT hazardous materials changes that appeared in the Federal Register within that normal one year transition date. Sign up for the Federal Register Reprint Service. Then you would always be ready for a new regulation or a change to an old one.

If you have a training question or if you have a comment or question give us a call and we will try and help you out. Thanks for your attendance, support and readership.

September 2014





The Department of Transportation is proposing to establish a new section in the Hazardous Materials Regulations concerning return or “reverse logistics'' shipments of certain hazardous materials by motor vehicle. Reverse logistics are hazardous materials intended to be returned to or between a vendor, distributor, manufacturer, or other person for the purpose of returning for credit, recalling product, replacement, or similar reason. The proposed rule is aimed at reducing the burden of hazardous materials see, hazard communication, and training requirements for reverse logistics shipments.



Currently, the HMR do not provide any specific exceptions for shipments made in a reverse logistics supply chain, so any hazardous material sent from a retail outlet back to the distribution center is fully regulated. However, investigations conducted by DOT field operations staff found the requirements of the HMR were often misunderstood or overlooked by the retail outlet employees.

Lack of hazardous materials training for the employees at retail outlets, substandard packaging and lack of knowledge regarding the hazards of hazardous materials were sighted by inspectors. They also noted that retail outlets were not meeting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hazardous waste manifest rules and consumer commodities were often improperly packaged. Shipping of undeclared hazardous materials, original packaging being improperly re-used and packagings that were not authorized were also discovered. They also found that the absence of shipping papers, identification numbers, placards, labels, and markings was common.

So, the Department of Transportation has proposed this new rule to specify the applicability of requirements to these reverse logistics shipments. First, what does the Department of Transportation consider reverse logistics? Well, they have added a definition to 171.8 in which they state, “Reverse logistics is the process of moving goods from their final destination for the purpose of capturing value, recall, replacement, proper disposal, or similar reason.”


Hazardous materials authorized to be shipped under Reverse Logistics are:

1.4S and 1.4G fireworks, flares, signals and ammunition;


Class 3, 8, 9, Division 4.1, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1 or 6.2 material in a packaging with a gross mass or capacity in each inner packaging not exceeding 0.5 kg or 0.5 L for PG I; 1.0 kg or 1 L for PG II; 5 kg or 5 L for a PG III or ORM-D material; Diluted mixture (2 percent concentration or less) of Class 3, 8 or 9 or Division 6.1 not exceeding 30 L;


Division 2.1 or 2.2 material in a cylinder or aerosol container with a gross weight not over 30 kg;


Division 4.3 material in PG II or Ill contained in a packaging having a gross capacity not exceeding 1L.



The outer packaging (other than a cylinder shipped as a single packaging) must be marked with a common name or proper shipping name of the material. The manufacturer's original packaging must be used when available or a packaging of equal or greater strength and integrity. Packagings must be leak tight for liquids and gases, sift proof for solids, and be securely closed, secured against shifting, and protected against damage.


Inner packagings must be secured against movement within the outer package and protected against damage under conditions normally incident to transportation. For liquids, the inner packaging must be leak proof and the outer packaging must contain sufficient absorbent material to absorb the entire contents of the inner packaging. For solids, inner packaging must be sift proof.


Different hazard classes of materials in reverse logistics may be transported in the same cargo transport unit, provided that they are adequately separated to prevent commingling of materials that may result in a dangerous reaction in the event of an accidental release during transport. However, any materials that may react dangerously with one another may not be transported in the same outer packaging.


Outer packagings are not required for receptacles (e.g., cans and bottles) that are secured against shifting in cages, carts, bins, boxes or compartments. However, any compromised receptacle must be placed in an inner packaging or outer packing that will prevent spillage in transportation.


For equipment powered by an internal combustion engine, fuel tank and fuel lines must have the flammable liquid fuel drained to the greatest degree possible, any shut-off valves must be in the closed position and all fuel tank caps or closures must be securely in place. Equipment powered by an internal combustion engine using flammable gas fuel, or other devices, such as camping equipment, lighting devices, and torch kits, must have the flammable gas source disconnected and all shut-off devices closed.


Equipment powered by electric storage batteries must indicate the proper orientation, be protected against short circuit and properly installed within the equipment. The activation switch must be protected to prevent inadvertent activation. If the battery or switches may not be protected because of damage, the battery should be removed and packaged separately in a manner that will protect against short circuit if not properly protected.


Reverse Logistics aerosols and cylinders containing Division 2.1 or 2.2 materials may be shipped as long as the gross weight not is not over 30 kg, even if the exact pressure is unknown. Each aerosol container must be secured with a cap to protect the valve stem and packed to prevent inadvertent discharge. Cylinders or other pressure vessels containing Division 2.1 or 2.2 materials such as DOT-39 cylinders and cylinders of limited quantities of compressed gases have additional marking requirements and must conform to the packaging, qualification, maintenance, and use requirements of Subchapter C.


Hazmat employers must train their hazmat employees on the conditions and limitations of the reverse logistics regulations. They must provide training and supervision to employees who prepare and offer reverse logistics shipments. The training must enable employees to recognize reverse logistics hazardous materials and the associated hazards with these materials when in transportation. Records must be maintained on the reverse logistics training completed. It is also the responsibility of the hazmat employer to ensure that motor vehicle operators are informed of the presence of reverse logistics materials and the requirements the reverse logistics regulations.

Since the hazard classes and the packaging amounts are so similar to the limited quantity and consumer commodity ground exceptions now incorporated in the HMR, it probably makes sense to extend the same exceptions to reverse logistics shipments. But I will leave it up to you to decide. And if you don't agree ,why not contact the Department of Transportation before the comment period is up on Oct. 10, 2014.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to call or email us. Thanks for your support and readership.

September 2014





Ironically, California has identified recyclers and reconditioning facilities as major sources of environmental contamination based on the mismanagement of hazardous material residue that was improperly removed and disposed from empty containers, which is why the state of California has the most stringent empty container rule.



I think it would make sense, before we talk about empty containers, to look at the definition of a container. California defines hazardous waste containers the same way as the federal government. When people hear the word container, traditionally they tend to visualize a 55 gallon drum. California considers a container to be any portable device where a material can be stored, handled, treated, transported, recycled or disposed. So any package from a small bottle or vial to a drum and its liner, up to a tank car or rail car would be considered a container. California's definition of a container is found in California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Section 22620.10.


California DTSC has different requirements for empty containers depending on whether they are 119 gallons or less or over 119 gallons. The Department of Transportation conveniently also classifies containers that are 119 gallons or less as non-bulk containers. Containers over 119 gallons capacity are considered bulk containers when transported. I was hoping to discuss here non-bulk containers under the California empty container requirements.


The Federal Environmental Protection Agency Regulations consider empty containers below 119 gallons to be excepted from the hazardous waste regulations if no more than 1 inch remains and all wastes have been removed that can be removed using “practices commonly employed to remove the material” from the container (e.g., pumping, pouring and aspirating) and no more than 1 inch or 3% of the total weight of the container’s contents remains in the container.


California feels this standard is not stringent enough. The state of California feels a container is empty when there is “no longer a continuous stream of material coming from the opening when the container is held in any orientation.” In order to retain the exception from the regulations, empty containers must be reclaimed on-site or sent to a person who will reclaim the container’s scrap value. If not reclaimed, the empty containers would be required to be reconditioned or remanufactured by the generator or at an off-site facility.


California has three regulatory standards based on whether the container holds pourable material, non-pourable material or acute or extremely hazardous waste. California Fact Sheet (Feb. 2009) outlines the following:


“For containers that held a material that can be readily poured, all material must be removed by any practicable means (including draining, pouring, pumping or aspirating) before the container can be considered empty. In regards to draining, a container is empty when there is no longer a continuous stream of material coming from the opening when the container is held in any orientation.”


“For containers that previously held materials that are non-pourable, no hazardous material shall remain in the container that can feasibly be removed by physical methods, including scraping and chipping, but not rinsing. This standard applies to materials that pour slowly or don’t pour at all from the container, including, but not limited to, viscous materials, solids which have ‘caked up’ the container, and non-pourable sludges.”


Containers which previously held acute or extremely hazardous waste are considered empty only if the container has been triple-rinsed using a solvent capable of removing the material, or cleaning by another method which is proven to achieve equivalent removal to triple-rinsing. These activities may require formal authorization (permitting) by DTSC or the CUPA. This standard is similar to the federal standard.”


Empty containers of five gallons or less in capacity are considered empty if: the container’s scrap value is reclaimed on-site or the container is reconditioned or remanufactured on-site. Also the container may be shipped to a person who reconditions or remanufactures the container or who reclaims the container’s scrap value. Containers under 5 gallons could also be sent to an appropriate solid waste facility that accepts empty, unrinsed containers. Many solid waste facilities and municipal waste haulers will not accept them. For this reason, generators should check with their local solid waste management agencies before trying to disposing of these containers as solid wastes.


If a container is sent back to the manufacturer for refilling, it would also be exempt from the California Hazardous Waste Regulations if certain requirements are met: the container was last used to hold a hazardous material acquired from the supplier of the hazardous material; the empty container and transportation regulations are met for both the Federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation respectively; the container is not treated prior to return to the supplier nor after receipt by the supplier (except as provided in Section 66261.7); and the container must be refilled by the supplier with hazardous materials that are compatible with the hazardous materials that were previously held in the container unless the container has been adequately decontaminated.


Compressed gas cylinders are exempt from regulation when the pressure in the cylinder approaches atmospheric pressure. Aerosol cans that did not previously hold an acute or extremely hazardous waste are exempt from regulation when the container is emptied to the maximum extent practical under normal use provided the container is not regulated by Federal law under RCRA.


Obviously, the exemptions would not apply to containers made of wood, cardboard, cloth or paper that have come into direct contact and absorbed hazardous material. Portable tanks, tank cars and cargo tanks over 119 gallons each are all considered to be bulk containers and are under different requirements. Bulk containers which are reused may also be required to be managed under the contaminated container regulations before reuse.

I have included a link to the fact sheet from the State of California which has much more detailed information and direction on empty non-bulk containers. If you have a question on your empty containers, give us a call or drop us an email or maybe I'll see you in California when I am out there doing my seminars the first two weeks in October. Thanks for your readership and support


August 2014






There is one very important thing to remember when training your Hazmat Team under OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120 - Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER). Where it pertains to protecting workers from hazardous substances, the Hazmat Teams were not really the main focus of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA). OSHA consistently uses wording like “intended,” “common sense” and “continue to believe” when justifying Hazmat Teams and Emergency Response Requirements in their proposed rules in the Federal Register. What OSHA mandated was that workers “involved in a hazardous waste operation covered by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA)” must be protected.


In the Rulemaking Notice for 1910.120, it clearly covered two very specific types of workers:




This first group is found under the present 1910.120(b-o), covering any workers who could come into contact with hazardous substances at RCRA/EPA Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Sites, such as Love Canal, NY, Times Beach, MO, and the Valley of Drums, KY. Managers and site workers are required by 1910.120(e)(3)(i)-(v) to have at least 40 hours of off-site training and 3 days field experience under the direct supervision of a trained, experienced supervisor, before managers, supervisors, general site workers, equipment operators, general labor and supervisory personnel could engage in hazardous substance removal or other activities at RCRA/EPA Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Site Operations. This includes an annual 8-hour refresher training requirement.


Also, 1910.120(e)(3)(ii)-(iii) requires temporary RCRA/EPA Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Site workers who are on that site only occasionally for “a specific limited task (such as, but not limited to, groundwater monitoring, land surveying or geophysical surveying)” and workers on-site “regularly” but who are “unlikely to be exposed over permissible exposure limits or published exposure limits” to have at least 24 hours of initial training off-site and 1 day of field experience, including an annual 8-hour refresher training.



The second group of workers covered are workers at RCRA Permitted EPA Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDF). Training is for employees exposed to health hazards or hazardous substances at TSDF operations. Section 1910.120(p) - Certain Operations Conducted under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) in the current regulations require training designed “to enable the employees to perform their assigned duties and functions in a safe and healthful manner as to not endanger themselves or other employees.” This includes individuals who respond to a release or potential release of hazardous substances at the TSDF. Section 1910.120(p)(7) - Training requires TSDF workers to have at least 24 hours of training off-site for individuals who handle hazardous waste at EPA Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities. TSDF workers are also required to receive an 8 hour refresher training.



It was during the comment periods in the Federal Register, between the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking & Interim Final Rule on December 19, 1986 and the Final Rule on August 10, 1987, that 1910.120 paragraph (q) evolved. OSHA agreed with many of the commenters and maintained that even if someone did not work at an EPA Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Site under 1910.120(b-o), and did not handle hazardous waste at an EPA Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility (TSDF) under 1910.120(p), they should be trained under HAZWOPER to protect themselves when responding to releases of those same hazardous substances at any workplace, even during transportation.


So when the dust settled, even though the regulation was originally meant to cover only a few thousand workers at EPA Uncontrolled Waste Sites and TSDFs workers who handle hazardous waste, HAZWOPER would now protect millions of workers responding to hazardous substance releases anywhere, at any time.



Section 1910.120(q) - Emergency Response to Hazardous Substance Releases mandates the following five levels for Hazmat Emergency Response Team Training:


1) First Responder Awareness Level, with no hourly training requirement

First Responder Awareness Level personnel need to know how to identify hazardous substances and use the latest edition of the Emergency Response Guidebook. First Responder Awareness Level employees must also know when to implement the Emergency Response Plan under 1910.38(a) to initiate an emergency response sequence by notifying the proper authorities of the release. They take no further action beyond that.


2) First Responder Operations Level, requiring at least 8 hours of initial training

First Responder Operations Level personnel require at least 8 hours of training in addition to the Awareness Level. First Responder Operations Level personnel are not allowed to approach the release. They act as part of the initial response to the site for the purpose of protecting nearby persons, property and the environment from the effects of the release. Their function is to contain the release from a safe distance, keep it from spreading, and prevent exposure. Operations Level workers may turn off a valve, shut down the process or throw down spill pillows before following the First Responder Awareness Level workers out of the release area once the hazmat team shows up.


3) Hazmat Technician Level, requiring at least 24 hours of training

Hazardous Materials Technicians need at least 24 hours of training to the First Responder Operations Level, with additional competencies. This is the first level that can approach the release in order to plug, patch or otherwise stop the release of hazardous substances.


4) Hazmat Specialist Level, requiring at least 24 hours for initial training

Hazardous Materials Specialists require at least 24 hours to the Technician Level, with additional competencies, and can act as the rescue team. They stay on the sidelines and act as liaisons with federal/state/local agencies and they may have more information or in-depth knowledge of the material(s) involved.


5) On-Scene Incident Commander, also requiring at least 24 hours of training

On-scene Incident Commanders require at least 24 hours of training to the First Responder Operations Level, with additional competencies. On-Scene Incident Commanders would assume control of the incident scene beyond the First Responder Awareness Level.




I do not want to discuss the 1910.120 HAZWOPER initial training requirements themselves, only the refresher training for Hazmat Teams and Post Emergency Response Workers responding to hazardous substances releases and post emergency response operations under 1910.120(q)(8).


See, if you do not work at an EPA Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Site or a TSDF, but still work on a Hazmat Team under 1910.120(q), once the initial minimum eight or 24 hours of training in 1910.120(q)(6) has been completed, the annual refresher training requirements do not require Hazmat Teams to go through 8-hour refresher training.


Hazmat Team Refresher training in 1910.120(q)(8) has no mandated hours for the refresher training. 1910.120 states that each Hazmat Team member shall "receive annual refresher training of sufficient content and duration to maintain the competencies or demonstrate competencies in those areas at least yearly" under 1910.120(q)(8)(i). A statement must be made by the employer on the training or competencies as required by 1910.120(q)(8)(ii). If a statement of competency is made, the employer shall keep a record of the methodology used to demonstrate competency.



In addition, Section 1910.120(a) defines “Post Emergency Response” as “that portion of an emergency response performed after the immediate threat of a release has been stabilized or eliminated and cleanup of the site has begun. If post emergency response is performed by an employer's own employees who were part of the initial emergency response, it is considered to be part of the initial response and not post emergency response. However, if a group of an employer’s own employees, separate from the group providing initial response, performs the cleanup operation, then the separate group of employees would be considered to be performing post emergency response and subject to one of two requirements in paragraph 1910.(q)(11).”


The Hazmat Team requirements in 1910.120(q)(11) - Post Emergency Response Operations state that upon “completion of the emergency response, if it is deemed necessary to remove the hazardous substances, health hazards and materials contaminated with them, such as equipment, contaminated soils or elements of the natural environment, from the site of the incident the employer conducting a cleanup shall comply with one of the following:



When the post emergency response can be completed on plant property using plant or workplace employees, they do not require the Hazmat Team training in 1910.120(q)(6). Such employees are only required to have “completed the training requirements in 1910.38 (the Emergency Action Plan), 1910.134 (Respiratory Protection), 1910.1200 (GHS Hazard Communication), and other appropriate safety and health training made necessary by the tasks they are expected to perform, such as personal protective equipment and decontamination procedures. All equipment to be used in the performance of the cleanup shall be in serviceable condition and be inspected prior to use.”



If the post emergency response is completed off-site, there is a caveat. If the initial release response is made by Hazmat Team A, and they go on to complete the cleanup operation and post emergency response, they may do so with their Hazmat Team 24 hours of training. If Team A is unable to complete the off-site cleanup, and Team B is sent in after the release has been stopped and post emergency response has begun, Team B is not authorized to finish the cleanup with only the 24-hour Hazmat Team training. If new workers are brought in to “remove hazardous substances, health hazards, and materials contaminated with them (such as contaminated soil or other elements of the natural environment) from the incident site,” the employer conducting the cleanup must then meet all of the RCRA/EPA Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Site requirements, mandating not just the 40-hour or 24-hour Hazardous Waste Site Worker and annual 8-hour refresher training requirements, but ALL of the requirements under 1910.120(b)-(o).


I am not talking about the State regulations here, only the Federal OSHA Worker Protection Regulations in 29 CFR 1910.120. Your state may require an annual 8-hour update and if you can find that in your State’s Worker Protection Regulations, please let me know so that I can tell attendees at the seminars. I am not against annual training of your Hazmat Team, which you must complete and document, I am only against wasting time and money that may not be required. If you are not sure about your state or any of the EPA, DOT or OSHA training requirements, give us a call or drop us an email and we will help you out. Thank you for your readership and support.


August 2014





Do Consumer Commodities ORM-D have to be shipped to consumers? No. You can ship a Consumer Commodity ORM-D to anyone. In fact, you can even ship hazardous waste as Consumer Commodities.



If you don't believe me, you can see a letter of interpretation from the Department of Transportation Consumer Commodity ORM-D and Consumer Commodity, ID8000, Class 9 are combination containers of aerosols, flammable liquids, or poisons that are packaged in a form intended for use by consumers:


Consumer commodity means a material that is packaged and distributed in a form intended or suitable for sale through retail sales agencies or instrumentalities for consumption by individuals for purposes of personal care or household use. This term also includes drugs and medicines. (49 CFR 171.8)



DOT does not require anyone to take the Consumer Commodity ORM-D exceptions in Column 8A of the 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table. They are exceptions from the regulations; they are voluntary. If a shipper feels that their company would benefit by taking these exceptions, then he could reclassify certain small inner containers of up to 5 liters each in combination packaging as Consumer Commodity ORM-D.


Combination packaging means a combination of packaging, for transport purposes, consisting of one or more inner packagings secured in a non-bulk outer packaging. It does not include a composite packaging. (49 CFR 171.8)



I do not want to explain how to reclassify a material as a Consumer Commodity ORM-D, since I have done that in previous posts. I was hoping to discuss the regulations for shipping Consumer Commodities. In place of meeting all of the requirements of the HMR, if a shipper decides to reclassify his material as a Consumer Commodity ORM-D in the highway mode he would be excepted from hazardous materials shipping papers, proper shipping name & UN ID number marks, hazard labels on the containers, placards and DOT/UN specification containers.



The question that arises is what happens when a Consumer Commodity ORM-D is to be disposed. If the Consumer Commodity’s inner container was removed from its outer combination packaging, most waste contractors would lab pack these small inner containers together into a 55 gallon drum using the exceptions for Lab Packs in 173.12. However, if the Consumer Commodity were still in its original combination packaging, there would be no reason to open up the outer packaging and then place the inner container into a lab pack.



Think about it. If a Consumer Commodity ORM-D can be shipped over and over again by ground as a product to anyone, anywhere, why couldn’t you ship your Consumer Commodity ORM-D one more time as a hazardous waste for disposal? Considering that Consumer Commodities ORM-D don't just go to consumers, it makes sense. To be honest, even if the Consumer Commodity ORM-D were removed from its outer container and was not in its original combination packaging, I think it still would be easier to put it into a non-specification cardboard box and ship as Waste Consumer Commodity, ORM-D.



What is the difference between shipping your small containers as Waste Consumer Commodity ORM-D under Column 8A or in a lab pack under 173.12? Lab packs will allow for larger containers (larger boxes, larger drums, even IBCs up to 452 pounds) because they are UN/DOT specification. Consumer Commodities ORM-D do not require the use of a UN/DOT specification container, just a strong outer package, so they can not exceed 66 pounds each. Waste Consumer Commodity ORM-D would always require a hazardous waste manifest. But you would be able to take all other exceptions for Consumer Commodity ORM-D, like no hazard label, no specification container and no placards as Waste Consumer Commodity ORM-D..



The second reason for not lab packing your Consumer Commodities is the time and the effort of removing the inner containers from its non-spec. outer container, disposing or recycling the non-spec. outer container, then placing inner containers into a spec. drum with sufficient absorbent materials to absorb the total liquid content as required in 173.12. Don’t get me wrong; I think the lab pack exceptions are great, just not for Consumer Commodity ORM-Ds. Considering how much room would be left inside the lab pack drum (with all the required absorbent material) and the cost of paying someone to repackage the Waste Consumer Commodity ORM-D into a lab pack, I believe shipping the material as Waste Consumer Commodity ORM-D would be easier and less expensive.



And if you are using the new Consumer Commodity, ID8000, Class 9 exception as opposed to the old Consumer Commodity ORM-D, don’t worry; those too can be shipped as Waste Consumer Commodities for the same reasons. What about shipping waste using the new Limited Quantity Mark under Limited Quantity exceptions for Hazardous Waste? I will let you think about that one and I will cover it later after I do a little research.


I am not trying to cause any trouble, but disposing of hazardous waste is time consuming and expensive to begin with, so if you can save some time and money why not?


The 2014/2015 seminar registrations are coming fast and furious so sign up now and don’t be left out. Call Traci and we will get you set up. Thanks for your readership, attendance and support.


August 2014






Oil, black gold, Texas tea. It doesn't matter what you call it, we have been shipping a lot more crude oil. The United States imports much less oil than we have in the past. Domestic production has increased exponentially in the United States in the last 10 years. So the Department of Transportation has now proposed additional requirements for high hazard flammable trains (HHFT) comprised of more than 20 car loads of Class 3 flammable liquids.



According to the rail industry there has been an increase in car loads of crude oil from 10,800 car loads in 2009 up to over 400,000 car loads in 2013. Rail car shipments of ethanol have gone from 292,000 rail cars up to over 400,000. In the Bakken region of the Williston Basin alone, shipments have reached 1,000,000 barrels per day. That is why DOT is proposing this new rule that will primarily impact rail shipments of crude oil and ethanol.



.Obviously with the rate of ethanol and crude oil carload shipments increasing, so has the numbers of accidents. Accidents involving crude oil for main line train shipments have increased from 0 in 2010 to 25 thus far in 2014. Ironically, at the same time rail car accidents and hazardous material releases are decreasing, even though the total volume of shipments has increased. Total accidents have decreased or declined by 43 percent since 2000 and accidents involving hazardous materials have declined 16 percent in the same time.



.An accident on July 6, 2013 in Quebec resulted in 47 deaths when an unattended freight train transporting crude oil rolled down a descending grade, derailed and released its lading, causing a subsequent fires and explosions. An accident and fire on December 30, 2013 near Casselton, ND prompted authorities to issue a voluntary evacuation of the city and surrounding areas.


On August 5, 2012, a train derailed, releasing its lading and causing the evacuation of a nearby highway and over a million dollars in damage. On October 7, 2011, when 10 rail cars loaded with ethanol derailed in Illinois, the release and resulting fire initiated the evacuation of over 500 residents within a quarter mile radius of the accident scene and caused damages of over 1.8 million dollars. On June 19, 2009 near Rockville, IL, 19 cars of ethanol derailed, 13 of which caught fire, destroying the single main track, the entire highway grade crossing and releasing approximately 60,000 gallons of ethanol into a nearby stream. Over 2,000 residents were evacuated and the total damages were approximately 1.7 million dollars.



The Department of Transportation proposes to add the definition of High Hazard Flammable Train as "a train carrying 20 or more tank car loads of flammable liquids including crude oil and ethanol." Shippers must develop and implement a written sampling and testing program for all mined gases and liquids such as crude oil.



Shippers of HHFT would be required to document the frequency of sampling and testing at various points along the supply chain; sampling methods that ensure a representative sample of the entire mixture; testing methods to enable better analysis and classification of a material; statistical justification for sample frequencies; and duplicate samples for quality assurance could be required. In addition, the proposed rule would make the offeror certify that the sampling and testing program is in place, document the testing and sampling program and make program information available to DOT personnel upon request.



HHFT Carriers would be required to perform a Rail Routing Risk Assessment Analysis for Highly Hazard Flammable Trains. The assessment would consider 27 safety and security factors.



The proposed rule would codify the May 2014 emergency order that required trains containing 1 million gallons of Bakken crude oil to notify State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) or other appropriate state delegated entities about the operation of the high hazard flammable trains through their states.



PHMSA is seeking comments on three speed restriction options for high hazard flammable trains that contain cars not meeting the enhanced tank car standards in the new proposed rule: 40-mph maximum speed restrictions in all area; 40-mph speed restriction in high threat urban areas; and a 40-mph speed restriction in areas with a 100,000+. For rail cars meeting the high hazard flammable train specifications, a 50-mph speed limit in all areas is proposed.



This proposed rule could require high hazard flammable trains to be equipped with alternative brake signal propagation systems. These enhanced braking systems could be operated with either electronic controlled pneumatic brakes (ECP), a 2-way end of train device (EOT) or distributed power (DP). DOT is also evaluating a 30-mph speed restriction for high hazard flammable trains that do not comply with the enhanced braking requirements.



This rule proposes new standards for tank cars constructed after October 1, 2015 for high hazard flammable train tank cars to meet criteria for a selected option. These enhanced criteria would include specific design requirements and performance criteria for thermal, top fittings, and bottom outlet protection, tank head and shell puncture resistance).



It's not too late; this is a proposed rule. There is still a comment period. That's right, you still have time to let DOT know what your thoughts and feelings are on this rule. Until September 30, comments will be accepted by DOT. If this effects your company, you might want to download the proposed rule at:


I hope this has helped you understand and be prepared for these regulations. However ,if you have a more detailed question give us a call and we will help you out.


Thank you for your support and readership.




August 2014






I really enjoy running our IATA Dangerous Goods Seminars for Shipping Dangerous Goods by Air. They tend to be relatively small and informal, yet dynamic seminars. And they give me a chance to sit down face-to-face with a few customers and delve into both the domestic and international hazardous materials scenarios.



In the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, there is a list of training requirements. The very first training requirement is philosophy. This struck me as very odd and I wondered why. I guess it could be helpful to explain the history or the reason behind a particular regulation. But there is so little time during the course of the seminar already when you are trying to cover all of the overwhelming, overlapping and confusing regulatory requirements.



.OK, here's why. The Department of Transportation does not recognize the airlines, or IATA, as equals. IATA (the airlines) does not have regulatory authority over anyone but their customers and membership. In the Dangerous Goods Air Seminar we use the IATA Regulations. You know, the airlines book. The problem is IATA, or the airlines, do not have the authority to write Federal Regulations.



In 49 CFR 171.22, though 171.24 the Department of Transportation authorizes the use of the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) Technical Instructions to and from airports as long as a portion of the shipment is by air only if additional government and airline requirements or variations are met. Note ICAO, and not IATA, is authorized.



IATA is a trade association of airlines which helps to create and support aviation industry policy. While IATA has an advisory positions and assists in setting airline standards, it does not have the authority to set or enforce laws. IATA is made up of 240 airlines, representing some 84 percent of total airline traffic.



ICAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations which works with its member states, industry and aviation organizations to develop international standards and recommended practices to assist states in developing their civil aviation laws. There are 191 ICAO Members, 190 of which are UN Members. Governments make up the members of ICAO; airlines make up the membership of IATA. The United States is a member of ICAO. In fact, they are not just a member, the US is an ICAO Council Member. DOT is not a member of IATA. IATA is not a member of ICAO.



So, the reason I am required as an instructor to explain the philosophy of the IATA Regulations is because they are not regulations. The IATA Regulations, the ones that everyone uses to train their people to ship dangerous goods by air, are actually made up of four different books. The airlines have taken the UN Recommendations on the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods, the International Atomic Energy Agency Safety Standards Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material, and the International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air, and referenced all of the additional requirements that the operators (airlines) and the States (governments) want you to meet and put them all in one book.



Can you meet all of the DOT regulations by using just the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations? No! You would still need a copy of the DOT regulations in 49 CFR to be able to legally ship by air. There are 15 discrepancies, or more correctly, United States Government Variations (USG) listed in both the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (airlines) and the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (governments). I am pretty sure that ICAO compiles and then provides a list of the "State Variations" (governments) to IATA (airlines) and IATA compiles and provides Operator Variations (airline) to ICAO.



The Operators Variations (airlines) are provided in both the IATA and ICAO books, but the State Variations (governments) are not. The State Variations themselves are only referenced, not provided. IATA and ICAO tell you DOT has Reportable Quantities (RQ), but they do not provide the Reportable Quantity Regulations nor the RQ List. They tell you that DOT requires a Security Plan, but IATA and ICAO do not provide the Security Plan Requirements. The IATA and ICAO tell you that DOT has a requirement for Emergency Response Information and Telephone Numbers, but does not provide the actual regulation.



This is why I require all of the attendees in the IATA Dangerous Goods by Air Seminar to have already successfully completed a DOT Hazardous Materials Seminar. If you want to ship a hazardous material or dangerous good by air, you might consider going to two different seminars. A lot of DOT Hazardous Materials Seminars don't train on all the additional State and Operator Variations and IATA Requirements and a lot of the IATA Dangerous Goods Seminars don't train on the additional DOT Regulations. I have seen very few that take the time to cover both.



Don't take my word for it , I think I can back this up. In 49 CFR, 171.24 you will find no mention of IATA, only ICAO. This section also lists the additional State Variations, or the US government regulations, that must be met when shipping by air. In fact, Subpart C 171.22 through 171.36 covers the use of International Dangerous Goods Recommendations.


If you want to ship a hazardous material to France, Mexico, Canada or other international destinations, I would love to help. Drop us an email, give us a call or come to my next seminar. Thank you for your readership and support.

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