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Dot Begins Discussion of Tobyhanna Goals with Industry

July 8th, 2008 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News

For more than 10 years, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) of the Department of Transportation (DOT) has contracted with a package testing laboratory. The U.S. Army’s Logistics Support Activity Packaging, Storage, and Containerization Center (LOGSA) facility in Tobyhanna, PA, performs UN Performance Testing on hazardous material packagings manufactured and marked in the US. Prior to performance testing, manufacturers were required to test their certified packagings quarterly and retain samples. With the introduction of performance testing, annual recertification is required but there is no sample retention. Initially, LOGSA’s mission was to purchase in-field packagings in order to confirm in-field certification compliance. With in-field incidents for non-bulk packagings being less than a single percent (per DOT incident records, Form 5800), the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association (RIPA) requested DOT to revisit the mission of LOGSA. The key to such an inquiry is how the LOGSA program contributes to improving hazmat and packaging safety. At the first gathering on June 25th, 2008, PHMSA had more than a dozen participants including PHMSA Associate Administrator Ted Willke, and Enforcement Director, Ryan Posten. Representing industry, RIPA President Paul Rankin and RIPA Chairman Calvin Lee were present as well as SSCI President John McQuaid. I attended representing an independent manufacturer and self-certifier. Both DOT and RIPA left with assignments to be presented at the next gathering in August. Both DOT and RIPA see this spirited dialogue as having a beneficial outcome for industry and regulators.

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2 Responses

  1. It is very refreshing to see the level of concern that Skolnik Industries has for both education and innovation regarding industrial packaging.
    As consumers and producers of packaging, we are too often focused solely on “the lowest cost” rather than the “total impact” of the products we buy and sell.

  2. HSkolnik says:

    Phillip, Excellent comment and observation. Yes, when we focus on education and innovation, the cost becomes a consideration, not “thee” consideration.
    Many thanks! Howard

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