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PHMSA NPRM to Harmonize Limited Quantity Exceptions for Corrosive Materials with UN Model Regulations

Date: Aug 27, 2019

Earlier this month, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in response to various petitions for rulemaking submitted by shippers, carriers, manufacturers, and industry representatives. Overall, the NPRM is expected to reduce the burdens on the regulated community in a number of important areas.

Most notably, PHMSA is proposing to harmonize the limited quantity exceptions of more than 100 entries for corrosive materials in the Hazardous Materials Table (HMT), with the UN Model Regulations. This proposal would see Column (8A) of the HMT contain a reference to 49 CFR § 173.154, as opposed to stating “none”, making these materials eligible for the limited quantity exception for Class 8 corrosive materials. Utilization of this exception can allow these shipments to be excepted from certain labeling, shipping paper, and placarding requirements typically required under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR).

Specifically PHMSA is proposing to (among other proposals):

  • Revise Column (8A) of the HMT for ‘‘UN2014, Hydrogen peroxide aqueous solution’’ to allow limited quantities packaging exceptions for this material by referencing § 173.152 for exceptions for Division 5.1 oxidizers;
  • Allow for all waste materials to be managed in accordance with the lab pack exception and associated paragraphs in § 173.12 irrespective of whether they meet the definition of an EPA/RCRA hazardous waste by adopting a definition of waste material;
  • Revise the HMR, consistent with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, to allow a minimum height of 12 mm (0.47 inches) for proper shipping name markings on portable tanks with a capacity of less than 3,000 L (792.52 gallons);
  • Revise Column (8A) (exceptions) of the HMT consistent with the UN Model Regulations for 114 identified entries;
    • PHMSA has stated that the shipment of limited quantities of similar materials is already permitted under the HMR and expanding the exceptions to these additional materials would not cause a reduction in safety;
  • Prohibit after December 31, 2020, the use of rail tank cars with shells or heads constructed of non-normalized steel used for transportation of poison-by-inhalation (PIH) materials;
  • Remove the reference to Special Provision 103 in § 172.101 from Column (7) for four HMT entries to allow them to be shipped as safety devices and 
  • Remove the words ‘‘manufactured before September 1, 1995’’ from § 180.417(a)(3) to allow for an alternative report for cargo tanks manufactured after September 1, 1985.

Comments on this NPRM must be submitted by October 15, 2019. For assistance preparing comments to send to PHMSA, or for more information on the shipment of hazardous materials, please contact us:

Trent Doyle ( +1 202.434.4161), doyle@khlaw.com

Taylor Johnson (+1 202.434.4255), johnsont@khlaw.com