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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.

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