DOT Needs More Input from Hazmat Shippers on 49 CFR Regulatory Review

Posted on 11/3/2017 by Roger Marks

US DOT this week reopened the public comment period for transportation industry stakeholders to submit comments and recommendations to help the Federal government reduce the regulatory impact on US business.

DOT wants input from shippers, freight forwarders, carriers, and others about which 49 CFR transportation regulations are most burdensome and where PHMSA, FAA, FRA, FMSCA, and other DOT agencies can simplify or clarify the requirements to minimize that burden. To spur comments and ideas, US DOT provided a list of economically significant rulemakings in Appendix A of its initial call for comments in the Federal Register on October 2.

The extended comment period will run from November 1 to December 1, 2017.

DOT Needs More Input from Hazmat Shippers!

Of the roughly 1,400 public comments submitted so far, fewer than 20 contain the phrase “hazardous materials,” “hazmat,” or “dangerous goods.” By comparison, more than 1,DOT-HQ-FULL.jpg000 of those comments submitted mention DOT’s new requirements for carriers to utilize Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). 

The comments from hazmat shippers and stakeholders that DOT has received so far provide an illuminating look at the myriad challenges facing hazmat shippers in 2018.  
Here are some of the hazmat transport challenges being raised in public comments, available at PHMSA’s website:
  • Medical devices containing lithium batteries
  • Harmonizing the definition of “Aerosol” with UN Model Regulations 
  • Testing procedures for aerosol cans 
  • Recommending a higher threshold for the “Materials of Trade” exception at 49 CFR
  • Flammable gases in refrigeration machines for air transport  
  • Rescue backpacks, which often contain 2.2 compressed gas cylinders and/or small lithium batteries for air transport
  • Pressure testing requirements for cargo tanks at 49 CFR 180.605
  • Placarding provisions for petroleum distillates

Have Strong Feelings About the Hazmat Regs?

Whether you have ideas to share about how DOT can reduce the regulatory burden posed by 49 CFR hazmat rules or you think DOT should leave the hazmat rules alone, you can submit comments until December 1, 2017. You can submit online under docket DOT-OST-2017-0069.

Or, submit comments by any of these methods:

Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. 

Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. 

Fax: (202) 493–2251.

Instructions: You must include the agency name and docket number DOT– OST–2017–0069 at the beginning of your submission. All submissions received will be posted without change to, including any personal information provided.   

DOT Hazmat Training—Anytime, Anywhere

Multiple_Placards.jpgBe confident your shipping personnel know their responsivities for keeping dangerous goods shipments safe and in compliance.  At, find hazmat training options to help managers, warehouse staff, pickers, packers, administrative employees, and other master the DOT hazmat rules.
The final DOT Hazmat Ground Shipper Certification Workshops of 2017 are coming to Cleveland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Chicago this winter. Satisfy DOT training requirements and build the expertise needed to ship hazmat in full compliance with 49 CFR requirements—every time. A variety of hazmat online training is also available to help you train employees without the travel or lodging expenses.
Employees who know their responsibilities work more efficiently, and can ensure your shipments reach their destinations safely and on-time.  

Tags: 49, CFR, dangerous goods, hazmat, hazmat shipping, new rules

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