Thursday, January 8, 2015

PHMSA Publishes Harmonization Final Rule

Today the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a final rule in the Federal Register (80 FR 1075-1169) finalizing their latest effort to harmonize the US hazardous material regulations (HMR) with their equivalent international counterparts. The NPRM for this rule was published in August.

The following changes proposed in the NPRM were adopted in this final rule. There were some editorial changes made to clarify points raised during the public comments on the NPRM.

• New HMT entries (large number of changes).

I made the comment in my NPRM blog post that PHMSA was under a deadline to get this final rule published by January 1st, 2015 so that US shippers could comply with both the HMR and international regulation changes that were to become effective on that date. PHMSA missed by just a week, but covered themselves by making the effective date January 1st and authorizing voluntary compliance as of that date. The required compliance date for this rule is January 1st, 2016.

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