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January/February 2020


IPANA welcomed two new members in 2020. Geo Plastics has joined the Plastic Drum Institute. Geo Plastics is based in Los Angeles, California and manufactures plastic drums. Mr. Michael Morris is the point of contact at Geo Plastics. O’Bryan Barrel Company has joined the Industrial Steel Drum Institute.  O’Bryan Barrel is based in Evansville, Indiana and manufactures new steel drums.  Mr. Tim O’Bryan is the contact for O’Bryan Barrel.

The Industrial Steel Drum Institute (ISDI) is a proud sponsor of the TRANSCAER® effort. TRANSCAER’s mission is to help communities prepare for and respond to hazardous materials incidents.  TRANSCAER recently published their magazine after a long hiatus and the article contributed by ISDI is featured on the cover!  The article concerns the use of fusible plugs and also highlights our various educational materials.  You can click on this link to view the article. Each member will receive a hard copy at the upcoming Spring conference.

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Regulatory Updates

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has indicated that the agency will focus on finding ways to decrease large truck fatalities in 2020.  At the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB)  January annual meeting,  Acting FMCSA Administrator Jim Mullen noted  “When I assumed this role as acting administrator three months ago, the members of this panel asked me what are my top priorities.  That to me was a no-brainer. The top priority for me at this agency is to reverse that four-year trend increasing fatalities involved with large trucks and buses.” Reports indicate that the number of large-truck occupant fatalities increased to 885 in 2018 from 815 in 2016. In addition, more than 40% of large-truck drivers who were ejected in fatal crashes had failed to wear their seat belts. The top driver-related factors in large-truck fatal crashes were speeding, distraction and failure to yield right-of-way.

In January, the civil penalty amounts assessed by Occupational Safety and Heath Administration (OSHA) were increased in accordance with Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015. Employers that knowingly violate the OSHA Standards  will  see an approximately 2% increase in civil penalties. Click here to view the memo from Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Loren Sweatt.

At the 56th session of the UN Subcommittee of Experts a paper prepared by International Confederation of Plastic Packaging Manufacturers (ICPP) to permit the use of recycled plastics materials in the manufacture of rigid plastic and composite IBCs with plastic inner receptacles was adopted. Up until now manufacture of these IBCs was limited to manufacture using virgin resin materials. The ICPP proposal was supported by the extensive experience in the US over 30 years with the manufacture of plastic drums from recycled materials. Two papers on the topic prepared by ICPP had been submitted to the Subcommittee for consideration.  ICCR cosponsored the papers. The first paper identified proposals regarding the use of recycled plastic materials. It was introduced by Torben Knoess (ICPP) who was accompanied by Thilo Klein (Schuetz) and Michael Schieck (Mauser). The second provided the Subcommittee with more detail on experience with  the use of recycled plastics. It was introduced by Chris Lind (Mauser).  Frits Wybenga representing ICIBCA lent that organization’s strong support to the proposals. Obtaining agreement to manufacture IBCs from recycled plastic material is a significant step forward. As with the manufacture of plastic drums from recycled plastic materials in the U.S., competent authorities may exercise discretion in applying the QA provisions currently contained in the UN definition for recycled plastic materials.

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In late January, House Democratic leaders released their plan for a $760 billion five year infrastructure package.  President Donald Trump issued a $1.5 trillion, 10 year plan two years ago.  The Democratic proposal includes an ambitious climate change agenda but not many specifics. Regarding funding sources for the plan, Speaker Pelosi said she hoped the plan could spur an “Eisenhower moment, bringing the country together”. Although raising the federal gas tax has been suggested, this isn’t considered a popular solution in Congress. After introduction of the bill, House Transportation Chairman Peter DeFazio has faced an onslaught of requests from members who are detailing their own priorities.

The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has proposed a new rule regarding Accidental Release Reporting. The proposed rule requires owners/operators to report to the CSB within four hours of any accidental release of chemicals that results in a:

  • Fatality;
  • Serious injury; or
  • Substantial property damage

One exception is provided in the proposal if a report was also made to National Response Center  (in which case, an immediate report of NRC ID # must be made to CSB). Interested Parties have file comments noting that the published comment period did not comply with the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) and that the rule is unnecessary. Also, the 4-hour reporting requirement is most likely impractical. This rulemaking was a result of an injunction by the D.C. District court based on a 1990 statute requiring the Chemical Safety Board to establish reporting requirements.  In general, the rule is duplicative and not necessary.

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People, Places & Things

Greif, Inc. has announced it earned two prestigious recognitions in December 2019 for its continued corporate social responsibility efforts. In its December 23, 2019 rating, MSCI recognized Greif with an “A” rating in sustainability performance. The “A” rating reflects Greif’s concerted efforts towards reducing the Company’s environmental impact and advancing responsible business practices. In addition, in December Newsweek recognized Greif on its premiere list of America’s Most Responsible Companies 2020. The list of 300 companies was compiled from a detailed analysis of more than 2,000 public companies, honoring businesses that give back to the communities in which they operate and excel in corporate social responsibility and citizenship efforts.