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Archive for the ‘HazMat’ Category

Schoonover Speaks to the PHMSA Future at COSTHA

May 23rd, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

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

May 2nd, 2017 in Scottsdale, AZ – At the annual meeting of the Council on the Safe Transport of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA), William (Bill) Schoonover, Associate Administrator for Hazardous Material Safety at the US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) presented the Vision and Mission of PHMSA. Their Vision is to be the most innovative transportation safety organization in the world, and their Mission is to protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials that are essential in our daily lives.

PHMSA will achieve these goals by investing in people, increasing communication internally and externally, positioning for innovation, fostering transparency and improving engagement. This will be achieved by implementing a safety management system that is data driven from information gathered from the 45,000 companies overseen by DOT. This information, and implementation, will include electronic shipping papers, new hazmatics which will improve how data is collected, and the beginning of regulation and data collection of autonomous vehicles. In addition, PHMSA will be the first government agency to have an ISO 9000 certified data collection system.

In addition to Mr. Schoonover, Ryan Pacquet, Director of Approvals and Permits; Shane Kelley, Assistant International Standards Coordinator; and Lindsey Constantino, International Transportation Specialist, also addressed the COSTHA members on the PHMSA strategies for the near future.

Secondary Spill Containment: The Power of Prevention

May 1st, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: HazMat, Safety

Containing and transporting hazardous materials or potentially dangerous goods is not a task to be taken lightly. The DOT, UN and EPA all have their own specific regulations regarding the avoidance and management of hazmat leaks and spills and at Skolnik, we strive to prepare businesses and shippers with the tools they need to maintain compliance and keep everyone safe. A solid plan and preparation is the best defense against a potential spill. The EPA calls such planning SPCC, and while it is specifically written with oil spills in mind, we think it holds several important lessons and tips for the handling of any dangerous good.

What does SPCC mean?

SPCC stands for Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures and it is a key component of the EPA’s oil spill prevention program. Essentially, an SPCC plan is a prevention plan for oil spills and leaks related to non-transportation related on or offshore oil operations.

Prevention is Key

While the EPA also requires oil operations to have a facilities response plan in place – the first step to solving a disaster such as an oil spill is to avoid it all together.

When handling dangerous goods of any kind, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Hazardous materials pose a grave threat to your employees, facility, community and/or the environment as a whole. No matter how careful you are in your operations, there is always a risk of a spill or leak. That’s where an SPCC plan comes in — as a Plan B in case all of your other careful planning has failed you.

In the business of transporting and storing hazardous materials, the most common and trusted form of SPCC are drum spill containers, or secondary spill containers.

Drum Spill Containers / Secondary Spill Containers

Drum spill containers are containers used in the event of an industrial hazardous or chemical spill. All Skolnik steel spill containers are suitable for clean up use or as secondary containment. Secondary spill containers are used either in response to an already leaking package,  in which case the leaking package will be contained in the secondary spill drum, thus mitigating the dangers of the leak; or as a preventative measure, in which case a non-leaking container holding hazardous materials is sealed within a secondary spill container for transportation and storage as an extra safety measure.

Secondary containment requirements are addressed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) contained in title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 264, the 2006 Uniform Fire Code (UFC) in standard 60.3.2.8.3 and in the 2012 International Fire Code (IFC) in 5004.2.

Harmonization Ruling Finalized

April 25th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

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

Just a few months ago, progress on Harmonization of the Hazardous Material regulations was stalled. However, in March 2017, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety administration, PHMSA, issued a final rule to amend the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to maintain consistency with international regulations and standards by incorporating various amendments, including changes to proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, air transport quantity limitations, and vessel stowage requirements. These revisions are necessary to harmonize the HMR with recent changes made to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air, and the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods—Model Regulations. Additionally, PHMSA is adopting several amendments to the HMR that result from coordination with Canada under the U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council.

Voluntary compliance date: January 1, 2017.

Delayed compliance date: Unless otherwise specified, compliance with the amendments adopted in this final rule is required beginning January 1, 2018.

For further information, contact: Steven Webb International Standards, (202) 366-8553, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department of transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001. Read the full Ruling here.

See a Live Listing of Global Incidents!

April 18th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

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

Incidents that affect our lives occur every minute, worldwide. Now, thanks to GlobalIncidentMap.com, just about every reported incident is viewable, live, on line. When I first learned about this map, I watched it for an hour! In addition to HazMat situations, the traceable categories include Forest Fires, Disease Outbreaks, Amber-Alerts, Gang Activity, Border Security Issues, Presidential Threats, Terrorism Event Predictions, Earthquakes, Drug Interdictions, Non-Terror Aviation Incidents, Food/Medicine Incidents and Human Trafficking. On the map, there is also a live feed which offers brief descriptions of all the current incidents that are being watched.

These incidents are all around us and every day, incidents occur. We usually hear about the significant incidents in our local or national news but many of the incidents never become newsworthy. Just today in Chicago, there are highway closures, explosions, suspicious packages, fires, truck overturns and more. In some cases, these incidents happen closer to you than expected.

To check out this map, go to www.globalincidentmap.com and you can filter the maps to indicate HazMat situations, or whatever situation you wish to follow.