2019 Preview: DOT Hazmat Regulations to Watch

Posted on 10/23/2018 by Roger Marks

The semi-annual Regulatory Agenda for Fall 2018 is out now. This Agenda provides insight into what kind of rulemakings major Federal agencies—including US DOT, FAA, EPA, and OSHA—have planned for the next six months.

Lion Members can check out a full breakdown of the Agenda in the Member Area. 

Below, we’re going to cover a handful of the most impactful new hazmat rules coming in late 2018 and early 2019.

Get your training out of the way, then relax for the holidays. Catch the DOT Hazmat Ground Shipper Certification Workshop in DetroitCincinnatiMilwaukeeClevelandPittsburghSt. Louis, and Chicago before the end of the year!

Proposed Rule: Enhanced Safety Provisions for Lithium Batteries

RIN 2137-AF20

DOT will update its rules for shipping lithium batteries by air by adopting emergency amendments added to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) dangerous goods requirements for air shipments.

The new rules for lithium batteries shipped by air will:

  • Prohibit the transport of lithium-ion cells and batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft.
  • Add a requirement that lithium-ion cells and batteries be shipped at 30 percent state-of-charge or less.
  • Limit the use of alternative provisions for small lithium cell or battery shipments to one package per consignment per overpack.
PHMSA will provide limited relief from the passenger aircraft prohibition and the state-of-charge restriction for small lithium-ion batteries transported entirely within Alaska, Hawaii, and US territories. A Final Rule is expected as soon as October 2018.

If you plan to ship lithium batteries big or small in 2019, Lion now offers hazmat training courses designed just for you. Complete the Shipping Lithium Batteries Online Course for full hazmat training to ship lithium batteries by ground, air, or vessel. 

New! Only ship excepted lithium batteries? Now, Lion offers Shipping Excepted Lithium Batteries training to simplify the rules for handling, packaging, marking, and labeling these small lithium batteries. 

Final Rule Oil Spill Response Plans and Information Sharing for High-Hazard Flammable Trains

RIN 2137-AF08

Before the end of this year (2018), PHMSA plans to complete its Final Rule to expand the applicability of comprehensive oil spill response plans (OSRP) based on thresholds of liquid petroleum that apply to an entire train. In addition to expanded oil spill notification rules, this DOT Final Rule will require railroads to share information about high-hazard flammable train operations with State and Tribal emergency response authorities.

Under the current Clean Water Act requirements for oil spill response plans, plans are only required when transporting volumes greater than 1,000 barrels or 42,000 gallons per package. Because a rail car carrying crude oil can hold up to 30,000 gallons, railroads are not currently covered under this existing requirement.

Note that this PHMSA rulemaking will not impact the rules for “basic” oil spill response plans, which are already required for containers with a capacity of 3,500 gallons or more.

Learn what you must know to ship hazardous materials by rail. The Hazmat Ground Shipper—Additional Rail Requirements introduces DG professionals to the unique rail shipping requirements sometimes left out of general DOT hazmat training.   

Final Rule: Miscellaneous Amendments Pertaining to DOT Specification Cylinders

RIN 2137-AE80

PHMSA plans to amend the HMR to revise certain requirements for the manufacture, use, and requalification of DOT-specification cylinders. This rulemaking action was spurred on by petitions for rulemaking submitted by industry and stakeholder groups.

Among the updates in this forthcoming Final Rule are:

  • Incorporating by reference or updating references to several Compressed Gas Association publications.
  • Expanding the use of salvage cylinders.
  • Revising and clarifying the manufacture requirements for cylinders.
  • Revising and clarifying the requalification requirements for cylinders. 
PHMSA believes this Final Rule will be promulgated in February 2019.

Other Hazmat Updates Coming Soon

But those aren’t the only rules coming for hazmat shippers. Not even close.
Other new rules coming soon include PHMSA’s response to petitions from industry to modify and clarify regulations (RIN 2137-AF09), a harmonization rulemaking to match DOT hazmat regulations with international standards (RIN 2137-AF32), and the continued conversion of hazmat Special Permits into the text of 49 CFR (RIN 2137-AF34). 

Online Hazmat Training

Can’t join us live before the end of the year? No problem!

Complete your hazmat training at for a fully-engaged learning experience that drives home critical hazmat topics and always covers the latest regulations. Check out the latest versions of Lion’s popular hazmat online courses:

Hazmat Ground Shipper Certification (DOT)

Recurrent Hazmat Ground Shipper Certification (DOT)

Hazmat Training for New and Experienced Hazmat Employees

New hazmat employees need a solid grasp of the hazmat regulations and what they must do to help maintain compliance. Every step of the hazmat shipping process is regulated in some way, and even small mistakes can lead to fines now approaching $80,000 per day, per violation.

The Shipping Hazmat by Ground—Ops Online Course provides hazmat general awareness, security awareness, and function-specific training for new or experienced hazmat employees. Personnel who complete this course learn how to comply with the regulations that govern their hazmat-related activities.

Have questions about training your team? Reach out to us at and we will be happy to provide some clarity on who needs training, what training they need, and how to get it all accomplished.

Tags: batteries, crude, dangerous, goods, hazmat, lithium, new, oil, rules, shipping

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