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Archive for the ‘Associations’ Category

Final Rule to Strengthen Safe Transportation of Flammable Liquids by Rail

July 28th, 2015 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

The recent rash of flammable rail accidents has been addressed by DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). This past May, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced a final rule for the safe transportation of flammable liquids by rail. The final rule, developed by the PHMSA and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), in coordination with Canada, focuses on safety improvements that are designed to prevent accidents, mitigate consequences in the event of an accident, and support emergency response.

The Rule:

  1. Unveils a new, enhanced tank car standard and an aggressive, risk-based retrofitting schedule for older tank cars carrying crude oil and ethanol
  2. Requires a new braking standard for certain trains that will offer a superior level of safety by potentially reducing the severity of an accident, and  the "pile-up effect"
  3. Designates new operational protocols for trains transporting large volumes of flammable liquids, such as routing requirements, speed restrictions, and information for local government agencies; and
  4. Provides new sampling and testing requirements to improve classification of energy products placed into transport.

Canada’s Minister of Transport, Lisa Raitt, joined Secretary Foxx to announce Canada’s new tank car standards, which align with the U.S. standard. Read the full story here.

COSTHA Packaging Committee Working with DOT

February 24th, 2015 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

At the January 2015 quarterly meeting of the Council on the Safe Transport of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA) in Arlington, VA., the Packaging Committee spoke with Marc Nichols, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Director of Enforcement. Mr. Nichols has been working with issues related to in-field packaging experience, validation testing and the effectiveness of Closure Instructions. Members of the Packaging Committee expressed concern about the current effectiveness of the DOT initiatives to work with industry to improve the safe transportation of dangerous goods. Specifically, the Committee asked Mr. Nichols for examples of good Closure Instruction; would they consider increasing tolerances for torque; and would DOT participate in a public forum to share data and identify priorities based on risk. The Committee also commented on the significant discrepancy in the Tobyhanna test results from those of the PHMSA approved third party testing labs, self-certifiers and what is being experienced in the field. It was also suggested that PHMSA consider developing a standard operating procedure for in-field inspectors with the goal of eliminating the variation in inspections even within the same region.

Going forward, the Packaging Committee will consider drafting a white paper to describe current industry testing processes and procedures by industry segment. The paper will review the PHMSA Mission Statement as well as the Mission Statement of Tobyhanna which includes Objectives, and Program Policies and Procedures. COSTHA members can participate in the Packaging Committee agenda by contacting Lara Currie at lara@costha.com.

DGIS “Heats-Up” in Scottsdale

October 23rd, 2014 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, HazMat, Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

While people usually don’t flock to the 110F+ temperatures of Phoenix in the summer, last’s month’s Dangerous Goods Instructor’s Symposium hosted by Labelmaster, had a record breaking turn-out with nearly 200 dangerous goods professionals attending. The conference opened with outstanding workshops including, LaQuita Donald demonstrating Effective Teaching Strategies, Sonia Irusta presenting DG Transport Realities and the Trainer, and Geoff Leach presenting an update of ICAO 2015. The following days were filled with riveting presentations by other industry leaders including Kristel Vermeersch, Mike Hoysler, Robert Jaffin, Shannon Mizell, Aaron Montgomery, Bob Benedict, Donna McLean, Bob Richard, Neil McCulloch and Rhonda Jessop. A notable highlight was the powerful presentation given by Wendy Buckley entitled, Lac Megantic — Anatomy of A Tragedy. The conference was held at the W Hotel and everyone enjoyed the social aspects of this annual networking opportunity. Held annually, the 2015 DGIS will be September 9-11 in St. Louis. To register for this free conference, contact Labelmaster.

Fines for In-Transit Leakage are Costly!

May 29th, 2014 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN, HazMat, Skolnik Newsletter

Being a shipper brings packaging liability issues that can be costly if that package leaks while in transportation. At a recent conference of the Council for the Safe Transport of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA), we learned that UPS and FedEx have the greatest number of documented incidents of hazmat spills. It’s understandable as both companies ship, by far, the most packages of any carrier in the US. Plus, where many incidents go undocumented, UPS and FedEx document every spill. As an example of potential shipper liabilities, here is what happened when a non-compliant shipment of 1 gallon of a flammable adhesive was discovered leaking in transit.

On September 16, 2013, Amazon employees improperly shipped a package containing flammable liquid adhesive by air on Federal Express (FedEx) from Whitestown, Ind., to Boulder, Colo. FedEx employees in Boulder discovered a gallon container of the adhesive was leaking. The adhesive is classified as a hazardous material (HazMat) under Department of Transportation regulations. Amazon offered the shipment without the requisite shipping papers or emergency response information, and did not mark, label, or properly package the shipment. Amazon also failed to properly train its employees in preparing HazMat packages for shipment by air. Amazon paid in full a $91,000 civil penalty that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had proposed against the Seattle, Washington company for violating Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Regulations.

Note that the fine went to the reseller, Amazon, not the original packaging manufacturer. It is the entity that introduces the package to transit that carries the liability.

Check out the complete line of Skolnik Hazmat shipping drums in carbon and stainless steel.