Two New DOT Hazmat Regulations Finalized

Posted on 12/29/2020 by Roger Marks

US DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) finished off 2020 with two new hazmat rulemakings.

On December 21, PHMSA finalized a Rule to make editorial corrections and clarifications to the 49 CFR Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). On December 28, DOT finalized miscellaneous amendments pertaining to DOT-specification cylinders.

Editorial Corrections and Clarifications

Nobody's perfect–not even PHMSA. This Final Rule makes dozens of minor corrections and clarifications to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR), including:


  • Minor edits to the Hazardous Materials Table at 49 CFR 172.101.
  • Minor grammar and syntax corrections throughout the regulations (e.g., spacing, punctuation, units of measure, etc.).
  • Revision of 173.29(b)(2)(iv)(A) to clarify that the exception for empty packagings of ORM-D material that contain only residue of a hazardous material also apply to limited quantity materials. (the phaseout of ORM-D ends December 31, 2020).
  • Deletion of a reference to the transition period for switching to new Class 9 label design. The transition period ended in 2014. 
  • Revision to the definition of “reportable quantity” in 49 CFR 171.8 to include a reference to Appendix A of the Hazardous Materials Table


See the full list of changes in the December 21 Federal Register.


In addition to minor changes to "clean up" the HMR, the Final Rule clarifies the use of the word "movement" within the 49 CFR hazmat regulations.

Because 49 CFR 171.8 defines movement to mean physical transfer of a hazardous material from one place to another, it is an imperfect term to describe materials that change position during handling or stowage. To remedy this, PHMSA has replaced the word "movement" with the words "shifting" or "motion" in various places. 

Misc. Amendments Pertaining to DOT-Spec Cylinders

In response to various petitions from industry groups, PHMSA has amended the requirements for manufacture, use, and requalification of DOT-spec cylinders used to transport Class 2 gases and other hazardous materials.

Effective January 27, the Final Rule updates references incorporated from several Compressed Gas Association publications.
The rule also:
  • Amends the filling requirements for compressed and liquefied gases;
  • Expands the use of salvage cylinders to Class 4 and 5 materials; and
  • Revises and clarifies the manufacture and requalification requirements for cylinders.
Earlier this year, PHMSA finalized a rule to lengthen some requalification periods for certain DOT 4-series cylinders in non-corrosive gas service.

Initial & Recurrent DOT Hazmat Certification for 2021

Kick off 2021 with expert training to simplify hazmat compliance and help satisfy DOT's initial or recurrent training mandate for hazmat employees at 49 CFR 172.704. 

Refresh your hazmat expertise in one day with the Recurrent Hazmat Ground Shipper Certification webinar on January 6. 

Or join a Lion instructor for the two-day Hazmat Ground Shipper Certification webinar on January 19–20. 

Tags: 49 CFR, hazardous materials, new rules

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