FAA and PHMSA Call Public Meeting on Lithium Battery Safety

Posted on 8/28/2015 by Roger Marks

Update 9/16: PHMSA has provided a link to register for this lithium battery safety meeting. Virtual meeting attendance is available via a Live Meeting. 

In the Federal Register on August 28, 2015, two offices of the US Department of Transportation—the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)—called a public meeting to address the unique issues posed by lithium batteries during air transport.

Regulators, stakeholders, and shippers at the meeting will discuss pertinent safety recommendations from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Lithium Battery Transport Group.

Lithium batteries can short-circuit in transit, catalyzing what’s called “thermal runaway,” where the short circuit leads to increased heat and increased current, which speeds up the battery’s chemical reaction rate, in turn creating more heat. Thermal runaway can result in fire, venting of hazardous gases, flying metal shrapnel, harmful smoke, and explosions, all of which are especially dangerous on an airplane. Read more about how lithium batteries become a transport and workplace hazard.
Lithium battery short circuit and fire
The meeting will help the DOT prepare to participate in the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel coming up in October, where lithium batteries are sure to be a major topic for discussion and new safety ideas.

Read about the latest recommendations coming out of the ICAO working groups on lithium batteries here: What’s Next in Lithium Battery Regulations?

According to the Federal Register, the meeting will be held on September 18, from 1-5 PM at the DOT headquaraters in Washington, D.C.

Expert Training on New Lithium Battery Rules

Learn the latest rules and fulfill the DOT, IATA, and IMO training requirements for shipping lithium batteries by ground, air, and vessel with the interactive Shipping Lithium Batteries Online Course. Complete your certification training at your own pace with 24/7 access from any Internet connection. Plus, IT support is standing by 7 days a week to help you get your training done anytime, anywhere.

Live webinar on 9/15! A live, instructor-led update on the latest lithium battery rules for ground, air, and vessel. Get up to speed with what’s changing, and what to expect in 2016 and beyond. Don’t wait—reserve your seat here.

Tags: hazmat shipping, IATA, lithium batteries, new rules

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