Got a Great Idea for Shipping Hazmat?
Through the Office of Hazardous Materials (OHMS), PHMSA is on the hunt for new ideas, research, and techniques to make it safer to transport hazardous materials. In a Broad Agency Announcement released on June 29, PHMSA’s Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (OHMS) solicits concepts in five research topic areas.
Concepts submitted “could eventually lead to contract awards” valued between $250,000 and $2 million PHMSA says. PHMSA solicits ideas concerning the following research topics:
DOT seeks to harmonize the definition of aerosols and standards with the Model Regulations for seamless international shipping.
Hazard comparison of aerosols.
To this end, PHMSA would like to see “data detailing the risks posed by different aerosols” PHMSA wants someone out there to propose and conduct tests to measure and compare the flammability of aerosols that meet the UNMR definition and aerosols that meet the HMR definition.
DOT is seeking test data to support alternative classification for de minimis quantities of explosive material that normally require approval before transport under 49 CFR 173.56. The goal is to ease the regulatory and time burden on the impacted industry.
De minimis quantities of explosives
DOT wants to establish a performance standard, definition, classification, testing criteria, service life standard, etc. for some non-bulk packages such as cylinders as well as novel bulk packages.
Development of new standards for packaging
DOT is especially interested in the requalification of steel cylinders, standards for reconditioned drums, and establishing service lives for all packaging types.
The HMR is unclear when it comes to the risks posed by combinations of gases and liquids. How much gas dissolved in a liquid makes a material regulated as a gas? How much hazardous gas can be dissolved in a non-hazardous liquid and still have the mixture be classified as non-hazardous?
Understanding the hazards posed by dissolved gases in liquids
PHMSA solicits research proposals to explore the hazards posed by “various types of gases dissolved in various types of liquids.” The research will help the agency develop and issue regulations to clearly delineate how to classify these types of mixtures.
Small quantities and non-bulk quantities of hazardous materials may be over regulated, PHMSA believes. OHMS asks stakeholders to propose materials for de-regulation if they can verify though data and testing that non-bulk quantities of the material (in certain packaging) pose no hazard in transportation.
Deregulation of certain types and quantities of hazardous materials
PHMSA is especially interested in non-bulk combination packages of PG III liquids or solids with inner packagings less than 5 liters (e.g., bottles in a box).
How to Submit Your IdeasPHMSA outlines as two-step process for submitting ideas. Step one is to submit a White Paper before August 24, 2021. Once PHMSA selects white papers that are technical acceptable, the agency will request a full proposal.
Specific specifications and guidance concerning white paper submissions can be found in PHMSA’s Broad Agency Announcement linked on this page.
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