Wednesday, August 15, 2012

PHMSA Publishes NPRM to Harmonize HMR

Today the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPMR) in the Federal Register (77 FR 49167-49276) with a proposal to update the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to bring it more in line with current international rules and regulations. This is part of an ongoing effort at PHMSA to ensure that US industries do not face unnecessary regulatory hurdles in conducting international business.

In this NPRM PHMSA proposes to:

Incorporate by reference the newest versions of various international hazardous materials standards {77 FR 49168};

Adopt changes throughout the Part 173 packaging requirements to authorize more flexibility when choosing packages for hazardous materials {77 FR 49169};

Revise, consolidate, and delete various vessel stowage codes;

Incorporate a new packaging definition, operational controls, performance-oriented standards, and testing requirements for Flexible Bulk Containers (FBCs);

Revise the HMT to include entries for chemical under pressure as well as incorporate other safety requirements including but not limited to packaging requirements, segregation requirements, quantity limitations, and filling limits;

Add specific size requirements for identification number (i.e., “UN”, “NA”, “ID”) markings as prescribed in § 172.301 for non-bulk packages; and

Amend the § 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table (HMT) to add, revise, or remove certain proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, bulk packaging requirements, passenger and cargo aircraft maximum quantity limits.

PHMSA is soliciting public comments on these proposed changes. Such comments may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal (; Docket # PHMSA-2012-0027). Such comments need to be submitted by October 15th, 2012.

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