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Regulatory Resources: DOT to host Hazardous Materials Training Seminar – March 5-6
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The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration will hold a two-day hazardous materials transportation training seminar on March 5-6 in Oklahoma City, Okla. The seminar will begin with a general session to provide a brief introduction and an overview of the DOT Hazardous Materials Program. The remainder of the seminar will consist of concurrent breakout sessions, which are organized and scheduled into three different tracks: Hazmat Basics, Safety and Compliance, and Hazmat Essentials. Attendees may follow a specific track or attend only those sessions that best meet specific needs. More



Legislative Update: Congressional leaders question whether EPA use of private emails is attempt to circumvent transparency laws
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Last week, Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Sen. David Vitter, ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, sent a highly critical letter to EPA's Region 8 Administrator — EPA's top regulator in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. The legislators noted that, consistent with transparency record-keeping laws, EPA requires employees to conduct government business with government accounts, yet the Region Administrator appeared to be conducting business on accounts not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests. This inquiry into top EPA officials follows disclosure that Lisa Jackson, EPA's administrator through the Obama administration's first term, regularly used an alias to conduct business that was not made publicly available. Some observers have pointed to the irony that, simultaneous with these actions, EPA has been engaged in a serious effort to expand business transparency, particularly in the chemical sector. Click here to view the letter.

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Regulatory Update: CVSA issues inspection bulletin on compliance with Unified Carrier Registration
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The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance recently issued an inspection bulletin to clarify compliance enforcement activities regarding the Unified Carrier Registration Agreement for the 2013 registration year. The bulletin provides guidance for verifying compliance with UCR during roadside inspections and encourages roadside enforcement for the 2013 registration year which took effect on February 1. The bulletin states that in order for roadside enforcement of a previous UCR registration year, enforcement staff should first obtain evidence of interstate/international operations occurring during that particular registration year. More



State Regulatory Update: California revises consumer products rules
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Last week, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control released a revised version of the Safer Consumer Products Regulations. These rules have been in development since 2008 when the state legislature charged the agency to collect information on and evaluate potential hazards of chemicals and to require the identification of safer alternatives. The most recent proposal is in response to concerns that NACD and many other organizations filed on an earlier version of the regulations in 2012. More

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Industry Update: Newly released study highlights impacts of high rail rates and lack of competition on chemical shippers
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Last week, the American Chemistry Council released the findings of a study that examined freight rail rates for chemical and plastics shipments and an industry survey that detailed the impact of rising rates and lack of competition on the chemical industry. The study found that chemical shippers are charged a substantial premium on rail shipments. For example, in 2010, three-quarters of all chemical traffic in the U.S. moved at rates that exceeded the railroad's ratio of 180 percent revenue to variable cost and many shipments moved at even higher rates. The accompanying industry survey found that more than two-thirds of chemical company respondents reported being captive to a single Class 1 railroad and that 7 of 10 chemical shippers and receivers said this lack of competition and resulting high rates interfered with their ability to meet customer demand. The ACC is calling on Congress and the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to promote greater rail-to-rail competition. Click here for more information.

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  •   General Business Interest


    NTSB recommends 10-year employment database for truckers
    Land Line    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    A fatal crash involving a truck and an Amtrak train in Nevada in 2011 could significantly affect the employment screening process for truck drivers if NTSB gets its way. Citing the crash that killed six people including the truck driver on June 24, 2011, near Reno, the National Transportation Safety Board rolled out a list of recommendations to agencies including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Topping the list, NTSB Administrator Deborah Hersman is urging the FMCSA to create a national database for commercial drivers and require motor carriers to screen 10 years of driver employment history prior to hiring. More


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    Inspection detection: CSA score-lowering technology
    Commercial Carrier Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    As part of an ongoing "All Hands on Deck" series, this section details how modern tools can be used during pre- and post-trip inspections to find and fix issues that could dock a carrier's or driver's CSA score if found during a roadside inspection. More



    Truck safety largely exempt from sequestration
    Truckinginfo    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    There's an air of resignation in Washington about the deep cuts in federal spending scheduled for March 1. If sequestration happens, the cuts could affect $1.2 trillion in discretionary and defense spending. Highway safety and construction programs would be spared, for the most part, because their money comes through the Highway Trust Fund. More

    Handy guide to GHS/LCP pictograms
    Hazardous Cargo Bulletin    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    The Chemical Hazards Communication Society has produced a "memocard" explaining the GHS/CLP pictograms. The credit card-size aide memoire gives very brief descriptions of the labels. Anyone interested can get up to five copies free of charge from CHCS. More


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    Proposed modification of SNURs
    TMCnet.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Under the Toxic Substances Control Act, EPA is proposing to amend the significant new use rule for the chemical substance identified as ethaneperoxoic acid, 1,1-dimethylpropyl ester, which was the subject of premanufacture notice P-85-680. This action would amend the SNUR to allow certain uses without requiring a significant new use notice and would extend SNUN requirements to certain additional uses. EPA is proposing this amendment based on review of new toxicity test data. More



    Decrease in risk level for toxics matches decrease in releases since 2001
    Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    The relative risk posed by certain toxic chemical releases from industrial facilities in the United States fell at about the same rate as the quantity of releases from 2001 to 2010, according to Environmental Protection Agency data. The downward trend in both releases and risk could mean facilities that report to EPA's Toxics Release Inventory are controlling their use of higher-toxicity chemicals or curbing releases in areas that would result in higher human exposure, EPA said. More

    TAB Bank winter report shows slow, steady recovery
    Bulk Transporter    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    The Winter Trucking Report released from TAB Bank is showing signs of a slow and steady economic recovery according to monthly truck tonnage, fuel costs, perceived business conditions and invoice size. Historically, trends in trucking and transportation serve as good indicators of the greater economy. More
     

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