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PHMSA Corrects 49 CFR Hazmat Rules for Emergency Phone Numbers, Nitric Acid, More

Posted on 6/18/2018 by Roger Marks

Hazmat_Loading_Dock_shipper.jpgOn June 18, 2018, the US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) amended a previous rulemaking (June 2, 2016) that made miscellaneous updates to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). The rulemaking responds to appeals from hazmat industry groups, chemical shippers, and carriers.

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Emergency Response Phone Numbers (49 CFR 172.604)

In its June 2, 2016 rulemaking, PHMSA prohibited the use of alphanumeric emergency response phone number (e.g., 1-800-HAZMAT) to save time during emergency response situations. Every second counts in a hazmat incident. If individuals must spend crucial seconds converting letters to numbers before calling in an emergency, it could cost lives and exacerbate the damage done.

After the rulemaking, some hazmat carriers requested additional time to convert their electronic systems to comply with the new requirements—which PHMSA intended to grant. PHMSA now says that carriers have had sufficient time to come into compliance, as shown by recent feedback from carriers, and PHMSA will not extend the effective date at this time.

Packaging Requirements for Nitric Acid (49 CFR 173.158)

In response to carrier concerns regarding fires in transport involving nitric acid packaged in glass inner containers, Section 173.158 of the hazmat regulations now requires intermediate packaging for glass inner packagings containing nitric acid in concentrations of less than 90%. Initially, this requirement was set to take effect on June 5, 2016.

2_single_bottle_packaging.jpgSince adding this intermediate container requirement, PHMSA received petitions from industry stakeholders requesting more time to deplete existing packaging stock or design and test new packaging.

In response, PHMSA has now extended the compliance date for the new nitric acid packaging requirements to 90 days from today, i.e., about September 18, 2018.

Corrections to 49 CFR Hazmat Rules

In addition to the two issues above, the July 18 rule also corrects other sections amended by the June 2, 2016 rulemaking. These include:
  • Corrections to the hazmat table at 49 CFR 172.101.
  • Removing PG II instructions from the organic peroxides listing at 49 CFR 173.129, as the June 2 rulemaking removed packing groups for all organic peroxides.  
  • Correcting the table of compliance dates at 49 CFR 180.407 for testing and inspection of DOT specification Cargo Tank Motor Vehicles (CTMVs).
See the full corrections rulemaking in the Federal Register.

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Tags: 49, CFR, hazmat, hazmat shipping, new rules, PHMSA

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