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Archive for the ‘Skolnik Newsletter’ Category

90-Day Waiver for ELD for Transporters of Agricultural Commodities

April 17th, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced on March 19, 2018, additional steps to address the unique needs of the country’s agriculture industries and provided further guidance to assist in the effective implementation of the Congressionally-mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule without impeding commerce or safety. The Agency is announced an additional 90-day temporary waiver from the ELD rule for agriculture related transportation. Additionally, during this time period, FMCSA will publish final guidance on both the agricultural 150 air-mile hours-of-service exemption and personal conveyance. FMCSA will continue its outreach to provide assistance to the agricultural industry and community regarding the ELD rule.
Since December 2017, roadside compliance with the hours-of-service record-keeping requirements, including the ELD rule, has been steadily increasing, with roadside compliance reaching a high of 96% in the most recent available data. There are over 330 separate self-certified devices listed on the registration list.
Beginning April 1, 2018 full enforcement of the ELD rule begins. Carriers subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) that do not have an ELD when required will be placed out-of-service. The driver will remain out-of-service for 10 hours in accordance with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) criteria. At that point, to facilitate compliance, the driver will be allowed to travel to the next scheduled stop and should not be dispatched again without an ELD. If the driver is dispatched again without an ELD, the motor carrier will be subject to further enforcement action. Read the complete FMCSA action here.

Solutions to Smoke Taint

April 10th, 2018 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

A recent article in the Sonoma-Index Tribune detailed the search for solutions to smoke taint after the recent Northern California wild fires. The international pursuit of ways to predict how much smoke from a wildfire will end up in finished wine and what to do about it got a boost when the dark clouds of particles pumped out by the massive North Bay fires in October descended on an experimental vineyard in Napa Valley. Australian researchers had done extensive studies of a number of years on the interplay between smoke in the air and unpleasant “ashtray” smells and flavors in the bottle, and such work continues Down Under. Knowledge has increased about the number of culprit compounds to test for — now seven, up from two — but how tests on grapes and on wine over time will predict “smoke taint” and how that relates to winery fixes remains to be solved. As the Business Journal reported in November as samples of possibly tainted wine were flooding into commercial wine labs, a big challenge in such testing is the chemical markers associated with the off odors and flavors travel come in two forms: nonvolatile precursors and volatile compounds consumers can detect. The nonvolatiles bond to sugars in the grape juice and get released gradually during fermentation into the volatile, or free, form. Commercial labs have precision in detecting levels of the nonvolatile and volatile chemicals, but the meaning of those levels in predicting taint isn’t well-known. And insurance companies have been using varying levels in determining claims for crop insurance. Check out our full line of stainless steel wine barrel.

And now, Lithium Battery Smuggling!

March 27th, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

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

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) alleges that on February 22, 2017, two passengers affiliated with the J&J Transportation Group of Miami, offered three checked bags containing hundreds of lithium ion batteries to American Airlines for shipment by air from Miami to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The shipment included 318 lithium ion batteries as well as 85 cell phones and 11 laptop computers that contained lithium ion batteries. FAA proposed a $63,750 civil penalty against J&J Tech for allegedly violating the Hazardous Materials Regulations. American Airlines workers at Miami International Airport discovered the shipment during checked baggage screening.

The FAA alleges J&J Tech Group offered, through checked baggage, a greater number of lithium batteries than were allowed by the regulations. Moreover, regulations prohibit offering these batteries as cargo on a passenger-carrying aircraft.

The FAA further alleges that the shipments were not accompanied by a shipper’s declaration of dangerous goods and were not properly classed, described, packaged, marked, labeled or in the proper condition for shipment. Additionally, the agency alleges J&J Tech Group failed to ensure that each of its employees received required hazardous materials training, and failed to provide emergency response information with the shipment.

DOT & OSHA Release Joint Video on Hazmat Communications.

March 20th, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

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

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) jointly produced and rolled out a YouTube video that provides clarity on the differing agency labeling requirements to communicate the dangers of hazardous materials in transportation (DOT) and in the workplace (OSHA). Both agencies are responsible for enforcing distinct and separate safety standards regarding the appropriate labeling of chemical hazards through PHMSA’s Hazardous Materials Regulations and OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard 2012. Click here to view the video on YouTube. Consider this video for use in HazMat Training.