Classifying Marine Pollutants

Posted on 11/19/2013 by Kathleen Caton

In addition to setting standards for the safe transport of explosives, compressed gases, acute poisons, various fire hazards, and biological and radioactive hazards, the US DOT’s Hazardous Materials Regulations also protect the long-term health of the public and the environment by regulating various substances that are hazardous to the air, water, and land. One of the primary categories of environmental hazardous substances are marine pollutants—substances that are toxic to aquatic life.
Hazmat Certification Training Banner

US vs. International Criteria for Marine Pollutants
The US DOT defines marine pollutants as materials that contain an elevated concentration of one or more of the chemicals listed in 49 CFR 172.101, Appendix B. For most materials the marine pollutant threshold is a 10% concentration of Appendix B chemicals. Others, known as “severe marine pollutants” (designated by the letters “PP” in Appendix B), are regulated at a 1% concentration.
The international authorities use a different set of criteria for marine pollutants. As codified by the International Maritime Organization in its Dangerous Goods Code, also known as the IMDG Code, a substance is a marine pollutant if it is toxic to the aquatic environment when evaluated by the test methods given in Chapter 2.9.3 of the IMDG Code.Shipping marine pollutants by Vessel
Known and suspected marine pollutants are indicated by the symbol “P” in Column 4 of the Dangerous Goods List in Chapter 3.2 of the IMDG Code or in the MP column of the Code Index. When a substance’s effect on the aquatic environment is unknown, or when you are offering a mixture or solution that contains a designated marine pollutant, you must evaluate the material according to IMDG 2.9.3.
Shipping Marine Pollutants
When transported by vessel, marine pollutants are shipped in much the same way as other hazardous materials. Some additional rules apply, such as extra descriptions on shipping papers and marking requirements for packages. [49 CFR 172.203(l) and 172.322] Also, if a marine pollutant meets the criteria of Hazard Classes 1 through 8, it should be assigned to the appropriate hazard class. If not, then the material should be assigned to Class 9 Packing Group III unless there is a specific entry in Class 9 for the substance. When shipped by ground or air in the United States, marine pollutants require additional communications only when shipped in bulk packages. [49 CFR 171.4]
It is very important to understand the differences in classification in order to properly regulate a material that could pose a danger to an aquatic environment, while at the same time avoiding over-classification.
Ensure compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s rules for shipping hazmat by vessel at the Hazmat Vessel Shipper Certification (IMDG) Webinar! Mandatory compliance with the IMDG Code, Amendment 36-12, begins on January 1, 2014. Don’t be caught off guard when the new rules go into effect.

Tags: DOT, hazmat shipping, IMDG

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

I like Lion's workshops the best because they really dig into the information you need to have when you leave the workshop.

Tom Bush, Jr.

EHS Manager

The instructor was very very informative, helpful, understandable and pleasant. This course answered many questions I had, being new to this industry.

Frances Mona

Shipping Manager

Energetic/enthusiastic! Made training enjoyable, understandable and fun!

Amanda Walsh

Hazardous Waste Professional

Well designed and thorough program. Excellent summary of requirements with references. Inclusion of regulations in hard copy form, as well as full electronic with state pertinent regulations included is a great bonus!

Oscar Fisher

EHS Manager

Very witty instructor, made the long times sitting bearable. One of the few training courses I can say I actually enjoyed.

John Hutchinson

Senior EHS Engineer

This training broke down the regulations in an easy-to-understand manner and made them less overwhelming. I now feel I have the knowledge to make more informed decisions.

Amanda Oswald

Shipping Professional

Lion provided an excellent introduction to environmental regulations, making the transition to a new career as an EHS specialist less daunting of a task. Drinking from a fire hose when the flow of water is lessened, is much more enjoyable!

Stephanie Weathers

SHE Specialist

Attending Lion Technology classes should be mandatory for every facility that ships or stores hazmat.

Genell Drake

Outbound Lead

Lion is at the top of the industry in compliance training. Course content and structure are updated frequently to make annual re-training enjoyable. I like that Lion has experts that I can contact for 1 year after the training.

Caroline Froning

Plant Chemist

Our instructor was very dynamic and kept everyone's interest. Hazmat shipping can be a dry, complicated topic but I was engaged the entire time.

Kimberly Arnao

Senior Director of EH&S

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

The definitive 10-step guide for new hazardous materials shipping managers. Quickly reference the major considerations and details that impact hazmat shipping compliance.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.