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Latest DOT Actions on Hazmat Special Permits

Posted on 8/15/2022 by Roger Marks

US DOT PHMSA announced actions to grant or deny hazardous materials Special Permits in the Federal Register on August 15.

The Special Permit (SP) program allows hazmat shippers, carriers, and packaging manufacturers to innovate new or alternate methods for shipping hazardous materials. The SP mechanism is easier to use and more expeditious than the standard rulemaking process.

Federal hazardous materials transportation law requires DOT to notify the public about its decisions concerning special permits (49 USC 5117(b)).

See the latest announcements in the August 15 Federal Register:
Notice of Actions on Special Permits
Notice of Applications for New Special Permits
Notice of Applications to Modify Special Permits

Among the special permits granted by DOT in the past month are requests from shippers and stakeholders to: manufacture and sell packaging for shipping lithium batteries for recycling, reuse, refurbishment, or evaluation; use alternative packaging to transport lab packs; modify existing hazmat special permits, and more.

DOT/PHMSA maintains a useful hazmat special permit search tool that allows stakeholders to search by special permit number, state, or company name.

What is a Hazmat Special Permit (SP)?

A special permit is a document issued by US DOT to allow a person to do something that is not otherwise authorized in the hazardous materials regulations (HMR).

As DOT puts it: “Special permits enable the hazardous materials industry to quickly and safely integrate new products and technologies into the production and transportation stream... A special permit must achieve at least an equivalent level of safety to that specified in the HMR.”

Hazmat Special Permits (SPs) are commonly used to authorize:
  • Packaging construction criteria that differ from a UN Standard or DOT Specification,
  • Alternative means of testing or closure,
  • The reuse of the packaging,
  • Alternative hazard communication requirements (e.g., relief from labeling or the requirement for additional wording),
  • Alternative segregation requirements, or
  • The transportation of normally forbidden materials under certain conditions.
Read More: Rules for Hazmat Special Permits

Latest DOT Actions on Hazmat Special Permits
 

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Join an expert Lion instructor for a live, one-day webinar to help satisfy DOT’s recurrent hazmat training mandate at 49 CFR 172.704. DOT requires hazmat training once every three years for all “hazmat employees.”

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Tags: hazardous materials, hazmat shipping, special permits

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