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2013 Dangerous Goods Advisory Council Conference in New Orleans

October 31st, 2013 by Lisa Stojanovich

Filed under: Associations, Industry News, Salvage Drum

The Dangerous Goods Advisory Council (DGAC) Conference took place last week at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans.  Monday morning kick started the event with a presentation by Keynote Speaker and President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans, Gary LaGrange.  LaGrange spoke about the Port of New Orleans part in dangerous good transporting.  Following the address, conference attendees were invited to split into groups and choose a morning workshop session.  These sessions allowed for deeper learning about topics such as GHS Classifications, Engineered Nanoparticles, and the Role of the Community and Transportation of Dangerous Goods.

Howard Skolnik attended the workshop presented by Pam Jenkins, a professor at the University of New Orleans who specializes in the academic understanding of “Risk and Place.” He said it was one of the most interesting presentations he has heard; Jenkins’s presentation focused on the needs for communities to plan ahead, from inception, the location of dangerous or high risk facilities in relation to population centers. Too often high risk facilities, which include railroad tracks, are located adjacent to schools, arenas, and other locations that house a large number of people. Ms. Jenkins then went on to talk about responders to incidents and pointed out that the real First Responders to any incident are the survivors who then begin the process of recovery. Coincidentally, the concept of risk and recovery related directly to Skolnik and our Salvage Overpack Drum products which were used throughout New Orleans to safely overpack and contain drifting drums of hazardous materials in the aftermath of Katrina.

Later that afternoon regulation updates that affected US, Canadian, Mexican, and Brazilian markets were announced.  Susan Hauge, from TEN-E Packaging Services, INC spoke on behalf of the US changes made to the 49 CFR. Significant, and effective later this year, HM258B, dealing with Enforcement Procedures, will allow DOT inspectors to open and inspect supposedly non-compliant packages that are in-transit. Though it is unclear how DOT will effectively re-close a packaging according to the specific closure instructions for each package, DOT does state that they will have the necessary tools to effect a proper closure. Procedures like these are the reasons Skolnik makes sure to have proper closure instructions for all their manufactured steel drums available online.  Marie-France Dagenais, Director General of Transport Canada, covered new Canadian Regulatory Initiatives and the July 6th Lac-Megantic derailment, the fourth deadliest rail accident in Canadian history.  Finally, Edgar Rodriguez Sierra, ASHM, Regulatory Specialist for ChemADVISOR, Inc, spoke about changes that are affecting operations in Mexico and Brazil.

Morning sessions on Tuesday brought updates from Amy Parker, Chemical Engineer, on behalf of the International Maritime Organization, changes made to the ICAO Technical Instructions were presented by Neil McCulloch, Manager of International Products at Labelmaster, and Martin Castle, Chief Consultant at the VCA Dangerous Goods Office gave a look to the changes made to European regulations as found in the ADR.

Tuesday’s luncheon also featured two significant events. Al Roberts, the past-President of DGAC and long time Technical Staff announced his retirement, effective December 31, 2013. “Thanks for the years of service Al!” Secondly, The Wilson Award for lifetime achievement was given to Martin Castle. “Congratulations, Martin, on a well deserved award and thank you for helping to make our world a safer place to live!

Wednesday, the final day of the conference, brought more opportunities for networking and another workshop session; this time featuring training choices in the areas of GHS compliance, Hazardous Waste, and a case study of the identifying incident hotspots by using petrochemical incident data location systems.

The conference was a success and attendees can look forward to more at next year’s event held in Charlotte, November 3-5, 2014.


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