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September 2002 Newsletter

News Archive
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Your HAZMAT quiz for September , 2002:
Just roll your mouse over the for the answer!

Due to the length of this month's newsletter you can have the month off, sort of - the quiz has only one question:

From a U.S. D.O.T. quiz:

Because of the "square-on-point" configuration, a hazard label is considered to have what shape?

(a) Square        (b) triangle        (c) oblong         (d) round          (e) diamond

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Comments about this quiz? You can send them to:
This month we honor the innocent victims of the vicious attacks of September 11, 2001. We have set up a link to one of the many websites that have honored the victims, their surviving families, and the countless heroes who answered the calls for assistance. The link is in our "Hot Links" section of this page, right under this newsletter. The victims will never be forgotten. The fanatics who perpetrated the attacks will not be forgotten either, but for far different reasons. 

Please turn on your speakers and click on that link and be prepared for some very emotional moments.

The aftermath of 9-11 has fostered many changes in the American way of life. Almost every division of federal, state and local government has instituted new security programs that will have a lasting impact on how Americans will conduct business, travel, and their personal lives.

The Research and Special Programs Administration of the Department of Transportation has a number of proposed rules dealing with security concerns and the transportation of dangerous goods (hazardous materials).

HM-228 - requirements for carriage by aircraft.

"These changes would modify or clarify requirements to promote safer transportation practices; promote compliance and enforcement; eliminate unnecessary regulatory requirements; convert certain exemptions into regulations of general applicability; finalize outstanding petitions for rulemaking; facilitate international commerce; and make these requirements easier to understand. In response to requests by members of the regulated community, the comment period for the advanced proposed rule is extended until September 30, 2002".

There are a number of proposals and requests for comments dealing with training, documentation, packaging, and enforcement. Undeclared dangerous goods and better methods of reporting these violations are important features of this proposed regulation.

HM-232 - Hazardous Materials: Security Requirements for Offerors and Transporters of Hazardous Materials.

This proposed regulation places some severe burdens on shippers, forwarders, and carriers and has attracted more comments than we personally can recall over many years.

The highlight of this proposal is the mandatory requirement for manufacturers, shippers, storage facilities, forwarders, and carriers to implement a training program and train all of their hazmat employees in a formal security program within 90 days after the adoption of the final rule. Other features will include additional documentation and DOT Hazmat Registration requirements. This is likely to be a very costly rule change. Check the U.S. D.O.T. website for the final rule. http://hazmat.dot.gov/ 

"HM-232A - Security Requirements for Motor Carriers Transporting Hazardous Materials.

 Advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM); Published 7/16/2002, 67 FR 46622.

SUMMARY: The Research and Special Programs Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are examining the need for enhanced security requirements for the motor carrier transportation of hazardous materials. The two agencies are seeking comments on the feasibility of specific security enhancements and the potential costs and benefits of deploying such enhancements. Security measures being considered include escorts, vehicle tracking and monitoring systems, emergency warning systems, remote shut-offs, direct short-range communications, and notification to state and local authorities".

This proposed rule is likely to be a very costly compliance issue for the trucking industry. When we brought this up at a recent training class you could hear the screams of anguish for blocks around the training facility. Hey! We don't make the rules. We just tell you about them!

" RSPA-02-12773 (HM-232B) TITLE: Revision to Periodic Tire Check Requirement for Motor Carriers Transporting Hazardous Materials; Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); Published 7/16/2002, 67 FR 46624.

SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing to eliminate an outdated requirement for certain motor vehicle operators to stop periodically to check their tires. Eliminating this requirement will enhance the security of hazardous materials shipments".

This proposed rule should make everyone happy. The driver will be permitted to perform his required safety inspection before and after the trip and each time that the vehicle is parked as opposed to once every 2 hours or 100 miles.

 The Dangerous Goods Advisory Council will be conducting its 2002 Annual Conference and Transportation Exhibition in Tempe, AZ on November 7-9, 2002. Contact the DGAC at www.dgac.org  for details.

This year's agenda is "Dangerous Goods in Dangerous Times"

Hope to see you in Tempe.

Our August NewsLetter

Our gripe about placing hazard labels incorrectly on packages of dangerous goods caused quite a number of comments. Most carrier personnel said that despite the rules they would not reject shipments on such a minor issue. A number of shippers pretty much agreed with the carriers. One enforcement officer (a highway patrolman) said he never gave it any thought.

In 49CFR the rule is 172.407(a), (b), and (c).

As Yogi used to say "you can look it up"!

We are aware of at least one interpretation by RSPA that if the box were not large enough it would be OK to place the hazard label on the package in the square shape.

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