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July 2006 Newsletter
News Archive
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Upcoming Dangerous Goods Training Dates at JFK

  • July - In-House training at various locations
  • August 8, 2006 - Recurrent Air Transportation (limited number of openings available)
  • August 14-15-16, 2006 - Initial Air Transportation – note: this schedule has been moved up by one day.
  • New On Line Training for the Cosmetics Industry. (Link coming soon) check back

U.S. and International Transportation Laws require that any employee who prepares hazardous materials (dangerous goods) for transportation must be trained.

July 4 - Independence Day - U.S.A.
This July 4 the United States of America celebrates its 230th birthday. It is a national holiday and most businesses, including ours, will be closed so that our employees may celebrate our country's independence with their families.

Many communities in the U.S. will feature parades, parties and fireworks displays as part of the celebration. The fireworks will be accomplished by trained experts who know how to safely handle explosives.

We would caution the amateurs that fireworks can cause a considerable amount of property damage and fires. We in the HAZMAT industry would also warn the public that fireworks can cause serious personal injury or death.

Each year at this time newspapers and TV news programs detail numerous tragedies caused by fireworks. Children are particularly vulnerable because they trust their parents and other adults. We can recount many stories of children victimized by thoughtless adults who should have left fireworks displays to the professionals.  Children who have had hands or fingers blown off are not unusual stories in newspapers published on July 5th each year. Others have lost their lives due to carelessness or stupidity in handling fireworks.

In our community a couple of years ago, a young father was firing off rocket-type fireworks in order to entertain his family and neighbors at a block party. One rocket never fired and after a couple of minutes he went to inspect the faulty rocket. As he leaned over the firing tube, the rocket roared to life and decapitated the poor soul. After the rocket hit the man, it went wildly into a wooded area behind his home and set fire to trees.

Last week, on a highway in a neighboring community, the county police pulled over a truck with out-of-state license plate for a routine inspection. The truck contained 9000 lbs. (4082 kg.) of  fireworks - enough explosives to destroy every building within 300 metres. The truck was not placarded. The driver had false shipping papers. The driver had no HAZMAT training nor a DOT Hazmat Registration.

Please! Avoid a potential tragedy. Don't play with fireworks.

Lithium Batteries

The Dangerous Goods Advisory Council (www.dgac.org) sent us a notice that the National Transportation Safety Board will convene a hearing on July 12-13, 2006 to consider safety issues surrounding cargo aircraft and the potential risks of transporting cargo such as lithium batteries. The hearing is part of an investigation of an aircraft fire on board a DC-8 freighter on February 8, 2006.

Lithium batteries continue to be a mystery to shippers, forwarders and carriers judging by the number of phone calls that we receive each month.

If the batteries have not been tested according to the United Nations Manual of Tests and Criteria the U.S. D.O.T. requires that an approval must be issued prior to transportation by air on an all cargo type aircraft (they are forbidden on passenger aircraft).

If the batteries are excepted from the regulations per special provision A-45, Primary Lithium Batteries, non-rechargeable batteries such as for watches and hearing aids are forbidden to be loaded on passenger aircraft even though they are technically non-regulated. The boxes must be marked  "PRIMARY LITHIUM BATTERIES - FORBIDDEN FOR TRANSPORT ABOARD PASSENGER AIRCRAFT."

Secondary Lithium Batteries are rechargeable batteries and, at least for now, may be transported on passenger aircraft if they qualify as excepted under special provision A-45.

Our opinion?
We would suggest that non-manufacturing entrepreneurs who buy, sell and ship lithium batteries should demand a current MSDS that factually spells out how the batteries are regulated and if they passed the U.N. Test Procedures. (We assume you have been trained)

We would also suggest that manufacturers eliminate a "one size fits all" type of MSDS where they provide some generic information but nothing factual about the actual battery that is being sold.

And finally, we would also suggest that boxes containing primary lithium batteries that are "not regulated" by air be marked "PRIMARY LITHIUM BATTERIES - FORBIDDEN FOR TRANSPORT ABOARD PASSENGER AIRCRAFT." even when the batteries were not intended to be shipped by air.

Next issue - recycled lithium batteries being shipped as "not regulated."


  • Do you know what TWIC means?
  • “Transport Workers Identification Card”
  • The TSA Press Release issued on May 10, 2006:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Program
TWIC is an acronym for Transportation Worker Identification Credential. TSA has tested a system-wide common credential that can be used across all transportation modes. TWIC can be used for all personnel requiring unescorted physical and/or computer access to secure areas of the national transportation system. TWIC was developed in response to threats and vulnerabilities identified in the transportation system. TWIC was developed in accordance with the legislative provisions of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA) and the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA).

The TWIC will positively tie the person to their credential and to their threat assessment. The credential can then be used with the local facility access control system to allow unescorted access to those in possession of a valid TWIC card.

The program is currently preparing for production. The Prototype test was successful and ended on 30 June 2005. The first two phases involved developing the plan for the program and evaluating the data storage technology. The third phase has tested the business processes that include enrolling workers, conducting the security assessment, issuing cards and daily usage of the credential. (Program brochure pending release).

TSA and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) have jointed to develop a proposed rule to implement the TWIC for the maritime mode. As a result of this effort, USCG is providing significant input to TSA regarding the impacts and processes involved in a future TWIC program. TSA and USCG have issued a joint New Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) that outlines various requirements and applicability for the TWIC. The regulation will seek to achieve the security benefits that Congress expected when the MTSA was enacted without imposing unnecessary burdens on the regulated community. An exact date or timetable for completion of this effort and enactment of the rule will follow after the review process is completed.

TSA began the Prototype Phase of its Transportation Worker Identity Credential on November 17, 2004. The Credential was introduced at 26 different sites including ports in the East/West and Florida. Each site used a biometric technology to provide authorized transportation workers access to controlled areas.

The TWIC Program will enhance security at U.S. transportation facilities while boosting the efficiency of commercial activity. Up to 850,000 maritime port transportation workers are expected to participate in the initial rollout of the program over eighteen months starting by the end of 2006. This initial effort will include enrollment centers in 125 different ports located in 38 states.

Transportation Worker Identification Credential NPRM http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/14mar20010800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2006/pdf/06-4508.pdf  (PDF 525 KB)
Merchant Mariner Qualification Credential NPRM http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/14mar20010800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2006/pdf/06-4509.pdf  (PDF 392 KB)


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