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PHMSA Corrects 49 CFR Corrections Rule

Posted on 1/13/2021 by Roger Marks

For the second time in the last two weeks, DOT PHMSA published a Final Rule to correct errors in the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). This time, though, it was the corrections that needed correcting.

The new Final Rule corrects a minor error in the  49 CFR editorial corrections rule that PHMSA published just before the New Year, on December 21. The effective date of the editorial changes finalized late last year is January 21, 2021—not January 20, 2021 as the rulemaking originally read.

The correction appears in the January 13, 2021 Federal Register.

Corrections to the hazmat regulations made in the December 21 Final Rule include:
  • 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
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. 

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