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Regulatory Victory: PHMSA drops troublesome closure instruction plan from hazardous materials amendments
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration published in the Federal Register a final rule making miscellaneous amendments to the Hazardous Materials Regulations. Omitted from this final rule, HM-218G, is a provision from the April 2012 proposed rule to require shippers to provide detailed closure instructions to customers and to require customers to follow these instructions when shipping the containers after they are emptied. This is a regulatory victory for NACD.
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Regulatory Compliance Resources: Slides, recording for NACD webinar on OSHA GHS implementation available
The slides and recording of last Thursday's NACD webinar on the new rule to align the Hazard Communication Standard with the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals are now available. During this well-attended webinar, Emily Walter, Regulatory Specialist for ICC Compliance Center, reviewed the upcoming GHS deadlines and provided information on what your company must do to meet these deadlines. The webinar also addressed relationships and conflicts between the new GHS system and other regulations and agencies including U.S. Department of Transportation labeling, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reporting, and Consumer Product Safety Commission rules and requirements. Whether you missed this timely webinar or you would like to review the materials, the information is now available here. The webinar Q-and-A's will also be posted within the next several days. Please note you will need your username and password to access these materials. Also please be aware that the recording will take several minutes to download.
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Regulatory Compliance Resources: OSHA's new guidance for revised GHS Hazard Communication Standard
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced the availability of two new compliance assistance resources for employers to assist in meeting the requirements of the agency's revised Hazard Communication Standard. A new fact sheet discusses the training topics that employers must cover for the first deadline on Dec. 1, 2013. By this date, employers must train workers on the new label elements and safety data sheet format.
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Regulatory Compliance Resources: Responsible Distribution Workshop to include regulatory sessions
Several valuable regulatory sessions will be held as part of the upcoming Responsible Distribution Workshop, which will take place April 2-3 in Atlanta. NACD Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Jennifer Gibson will discuss NACD's recent Regulatory Survey and will distribute and review the latest version of NACD's Regulatory Checklist. In addition, Emily Walter, Regulatory Specialist from ICC Compliance Center, will hold a session on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's new Hazard Communication Standard to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. The material will build upon the information presented during the March 7 webinar.
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Regulatory Compliance Update: Your input needed on CFATS
There are several upcoming opportunities to provide chemical distributor input on the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, or CFATS. The U.S Department of Homeland Security is holding a series of focus group sessions around the country to identify substantive functional requirements for the next generation of the CFATS Chemical Security Assessment Tool, including the Top-screen, Site Vulnerability Assessment and Site Security Plan surveys. DHS hosted the first of these meetings in Houston Feb. 27. The next two sessions are scheduled March 20, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in West Chester, Pa., (near Philadelphia) and tentatively for April 10 in the Los Angeles area. If you would like more information or to sign up, please contact NACD Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Jennifer Gibson at jgibson@nacd.com or (571) 482-3047 or DHS's Mary Blackmoor directly at mary.blackmoor@hq.dhs.gov or (703) 603-4621.
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Regulatory Update: PHMSA publishes more hazmat amendments
In addition to the March 11 HM-218G final rule, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration published in another final rule, HM-219, in the Federal Register March 7 to amend the Hazardous Materials Regulations in response to various industry petitions. Specifically, the rule amends the recordkeeping and package marking requirements for third-party labs and manufacturers to assure the traceability of packaging; harmonizes internationally and provides a limited quantity exception for Division 4.1, self-reactive solids and self-reactive liquids Types B through F; removes the listing for "NA1203, Gasohol, gasoline mixed with ethyl alcohol, with not more than 10 percent alcohol"; allows smokeless powder classified as a Division 1.4C material to be reclassified as a Division 4.1 material; and provides greater flexibility by allowing the Dangerous Cargo Manifest to be in locations designated by the master of the vessel besides "on or near the vessel's bridge" while the vessel is in a United States port.

The final rule becomes effective May 6, 2013, and voluntary compliance is authorized immediately. For a copy of the final rule, go to www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-03-07/pdf/2013-04197.pdf.

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FMCSA highlights hazardous materials BASIC
Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sent a notice to call attention to the Safety Management Cycle that helps identify and address safety and compliance issues related to the Hazardous Materials Compliance Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category, or BASIC. FMCSA says the SMC for the HM BASIC suggests actions that carriers can take to identify the root cause of safety issues, establish and improve their safety management controls and reduce or eliminate violations. For instance, new hire and refresher trainings are effective ways to communicate company policy and expectations about how to safely transport HM cargo.
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State Regulatory Update: Green Chemistry Alliance comments on latest safer consumer products regulations
On Feb. 28, the Green Chemistry Alliance, of which NACD is a member, filed comments in response to the Department of Toxic Substances Control's revised Proposed Safer Consumer Products Regulation. While the comments reflect support for numerous positive changes advocated by business, they note that many onerous issues still remain unresolved, such as the complete lack of a workable de minimis exemption. The DTSC refers to the de minimis as the Alternatives Analysis Threshold, which it now defines as the Practical Quantitation Level and allows it only in the case of undetectable levels of chemicals of concern present only as contaminants.
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      General Business Interest


    FMSCA warns of fake DOT licenses, plates
    Land Line
    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is issuing warnings to drivers and others in the commercial driving and transportation industries to be on the lookout for bogus license plates and CDLs bearing a DOT endorsement. The phony plates typically say "US DOT" on top, followed by a Department of Transportation number. One plate depicted in a photograph from the agency's news release shows the motto "Live Free or Die."
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    Commentary: Geographic disconnects in outlooks of chemical players
    ICIS
    There are some interesting disconnects between how players in one geography view conditions in another and how local players see their own market dynamics. For example, major European chemical companies have a rather optimistic outlook on growth in China and the rest of Asia, pinning their hopes on the region to drive earnings growth in 2013 and beyond. Yet the sentiment is far less sanguine in Asia.
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    Heavy-truck battle gears up
    POLITICO
    Some of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington are shifting into high gear for the battle to increase weight limits for trucks, even though many key lawmakers are staying neutral for now. The issue over whether heavier trucks should be allowed on the nation's interstate highways is pitting unions, independent truckers and the country's largest freight railroads against agricultural groups and the muscular American Trucking Associations. But while those groups are already coming out in full force, lawmakers are treading carefully, since the surface transportation bill likely to address truck weight limits is still more than a year away.
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    Hard enforcement of Canada's eManifest program delayed again
    Land Line
    For the second time, Canadian authorities have moved back the date for hard enforcement of the eManifest program at border crossings. A Canada Border Services Agency press release says that the new deadline will be sometime in the fall and that they'll give 45 days' notice beforehand.
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    Driving a lot less; earning a little more
    Overdrive
    We're all familiar with changes in trucking over recent decades that have changed the owner-operator business. Among them are volatile fuel prices, shorter length of haul and tons of regulations. But how about change in just this past decade? The owner-operator business model has shifted drastically, probably more than in many other industries.
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    Stronger truckload rates predicted
    Fleet Owner
    While most forecasters see truckload rate growth continuing at 2.5 percent through 2013, Noel Perry of FRT Associates and Transportation Economics believes carriers could enjoy much stronger growth, with year-over-year rate increases touching 7 percent by the fourth quarter.
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