PHMSA has published a Final Rule amending the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to maintain alignment with international standards by incorporating various amendments, including changes to proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, air transport quantity limitations, and vessel stowage requirements. These revisions were necessary to harmonize the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) with recent changes made to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO Technical Instructions), and the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods-Model Regulations (UN Model Regulations) and address a petition for rulemaking. The amended rules were effective January 1, 2013.
Some of the key amendments to the HMR in this final rule include the following:
• Update references to international regulations including the ICAO Technical Instructions, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, the IMDG Code, the UN Model Regulations, the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria the Canadian Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations and various technical standards.
• Add, revise, or remove certain proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, bulk packaging requirements, and passenger and cargo aircraft maximum quantity limits from the Hazardous Materials Table (HMT).
• Adopt new HMT entries for chemical under pressure and specify acceptable bulk and non-bulk packagings, filling limits and appropriate segregation requirements.
• Adopt an exception for the transport of aircraft batteries aboard passenger aircraft in excess of the quantity limits specified in column 9A of the HMT.
• Revise the vessel stowage provisions in column 10 of the §172.101 Hazardous Materials Table (HMT).
• Adopt minimum size requirements for the “UN” or “NA” markings specified in §172.301.
• Adopt changes throughout Part 173 (packaging requirements) to: (1) authorize the use of wood as a material of package construction for certain explosives; (2) authorize the use of metals other than steel or aluminum for drums and boxes; and (3) where appropriate, permit the use of non-removable head drums in those instances where removable head drums are otherwise authorized.
• Adopt a new packaging definition, operational controls, performance-oriented standards, and testing requirements for Flexible Bulk Containers (FBCs).