Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. agreed to pay an $18-million criminal fine for routinely dumping waste oil from its fleet of cruise ships in US harbors and coastal areas including the Inside Passage of Alaska. In addition to waste oil, toxic materials were also dumped including hazardous chemicals from photo processing equipment, dry cleaning shops and printing presses. The fine is the largest ever paid by a cruise line for polluting US waters. Unresolved are additional fines of $9-million for illegal storage of hazardous waste and toxic chemicals at the Port of Miami. Total fines to the cruise line could reach $27-million.
Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues
Archive for 1999
Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, non-functioning fluorescent light bulbs are classified as hazardous waste due to their mercury content. Effective in January 2000, the EPA has defined these bulbs as Universal Waste to encourage proper waste collection and disposal of these bulbs. Now that there will be an official procedure for bulb disposal, more companies are expected to offer disposal options. We recommend that you collect your used bulbs in the original sleeve or an appropriate container, and have them hauled as Universal Waste to a permitted disposal facility. Contact your disposal company to get their recommended package options.
In the July 1999 issue of Hazardous Cargo Bulletin ("Accidents waiting to happen!"), Ken Hardman of Van Leer states that there is a lack of uniformity between international package testing standards and that product performance is geared to material thickness — "the thinner the material, the lower the performance." The article turned the heads of steel drum fillers and manufacturers worldwide and resulted in a flurry of letter responses to Hazardous Cargo Bulletin. In the September 1999 issue, HCB Editor, Peter Mackay, makes his comments reinforcing the need to examine the test standards and further refine international packaging integrity and two of the response letters are published. Since many of our customers are not able to obtain a copy of Hazardous Cargo Bulletin, we received permission from HCB to load the Hardman Editorial, Mackay Comment, and our own published Letter to the Editor on our web site. Go to www.skolnik.com and click the link to "References and Editorials." to read this trilogy.
The US DOT has published the Final Rule on "HM-224A — Chemical Oxidizers & Compressed Oxygen Aboard Aircraft" in the Federal Register, August 19, 1999. This Final Rule prohibits liquid and solid oxidizers in aircraft cargo compartments. Spent oxygen generators are prohibited on any aircraft and are only permitted to be transported by the surface mode. Compressed oxygen cylinders will be permitted in inaccessible cargo compartments on passenger and cargo aircraft provided that they are in an overpack meeting specifications such as those provided in the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) "Specification 300 — Packaging of Airline Supplies." Under the "One cylinder per passenger requiring oxygen at destination" provision, the operator is not required to provide the oxygen cylinder packaging (overpacks) nor is the operator responsible to provide the oxygen cylinder itself. If the operator chooses to provide these services for its customer, they are free to charge for the use of an overpack packaging as well as for the oxygen cylinder. Please note that the references to "Overpack" in this Final Rule are not directly related to the definition of "Overpack" as found in the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. The term "Overpack" in this Final Rule is the term used by DOT to describe the outer container required to contain the oxygen cylinders.
Two customers of Airborne Express recently had to pay FAA fines as a result of improperly shipping hazardous goods. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has been fined $50,000. for improperly shipping dry-chemical fire extinguishers and Sears, Roebuck & Co. has been fined $55,000. for shipping a garden-tractor battery that contained corrosive materials and explosive gases. Both cases represent the effects of increased haz-mat awareness on the part of transporters and the Federal Aviation Administration. Shippers can verify the hazard level and shipping requirements of contents by contacting the Hazardous Materials department of a transport company.
Ever forget a birthday and air-express someone a bottle or perfume or cologne? Or how about sending a can of aerosol touch up paint to a customer via Fed-Ex? And of course, I am sure that as travelers, you might have carried items such as nail polish remover, cigarette lighters and cold medicines on aircraft. "Undeclared‘ criminals are those that have performed one of these acts and therefore, have unknowingly endangered the lives of passengers, ground personnel and ground populations. While this might be a bit strong, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has declared that passenger and shipper awareness needs to be heightened in order to reduce the risk of intentionally or unintentionally undeclared hazardous materials being brought onto aircraft. For a copy of the DOT pamphlet promoting this awareness, call me at 773.735.0700 x 118 or email me at: email@example.com.