The Spring 2019 IPANA conference dates have been set. The meeting will be held April 29 – May 1 in the legendary Napa Valley, California. The Meritage Resort and Spa will be the location and Roland Strassberger, CEO of Schuetz Container has already agreed to deliver the keynote address. Following this meeting, the International Confederation of Plastic Packaging Producers (ICPP) will hold their annual meeting at the Meritage. You should have received an email with the preliminary schedule and hotel reservation link. Please contact the IPANA office if you have any questions or need assistance.
ISDI recently traveled to Milan, Italy to participate in the International Confederation of Drum Manufacturers (ICDM) meeting. ISDI is the current Secretariat of ICDM and Mr. Kyle Stavig is Chairman of the ICDM. Regional reports from SEFA (European Association of Steel Drum Manufacturers), AOSD (Association of Asia-Oceanic Steel Manufacturers) and ISDI were shared. Of particular interest are the reports which provide annual production statistics and safety data. Mr. Alain Sirejacob of Greif and current Chairman of SEFA also provided a very interesting presentation on the circular economy in Europe and the draft regulations that will affect manufacturers and users in the EU.
The UN Subcommittee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods recently completed the 53rd session. Several packaging issues were discussed including a late informal paper submitted by the United Kingdom. You can click here to view the United Kingdom proposal for a rewrite of the requirements for IBCs. Based on the large number of papers on IBCs, the UK proposed that the requirements for IBCs be rewritten by an intersessional working group in the course of the next biennium. ICIBCA opposed this proposal pointing out the significant work done approximately 11 years ago culminating with the application of the US vibration test and the demonstrated IBC safety record. Other experts also agreed. The UK indicated that they would take comments into account for the next session.
PHMSA has updated their HAZMATICS site and is now ready to accept electronic submission of the DOT 5800 forms used for incident reporting. In order to assist users, PHMSA has compiled several pieces of information. You can access the materials by clicking here for the videos and here for written instructions. Meanwhile, PHMSA has advised that the Hazmat Incident Data and Statistics reports along with the Hazmat Incident Report Search Tool is still unavailable on the website. In the interim, for any data inquires/requests you can submit requests to HMRequests@dot.gov.
FMCSA is seeking approval from the OMB to start up a pilot program to determine whether or not drivers between the ages 18 and 21 with military experience should operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce. As part of an effort to help reduce the driver shortage, a notice was posted in the Federal Register on July 6 seeking input from the public and interested parties regarding the data collection study. Over a three year period, FMCSA will study crashes, moving violations, inspection violations and safety critical events of drivers under the age of 21 with military experience. At the completion of the pilot program, a report will be issued to Congress. While this is considered a good first step, industry experts do not expect this to alleviate the current driver shortage.
OSHA delayed the implementation of its new proposed Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule in July of 2017. The rule would have required electronic reporting of injuries and illness resulting in disclosure to the public. On Thursday, July 26, OSHA released its long-awaited notice of proposed rule making (NPRM). The proposal does eliminate the electronic reporting requirement for OSHA forms 300 and 301. Comments will be due 60 days after the proposal is officially published in the Federal Register.
The EPA is actively seeking comment on how to improve the way it writes its regulations, and is seeking input from stakeholders on issues such as cost-benefit analysis, cumulative impact of regulations, the need for robust risk assessment to inform benefits calculation, the proper use and counting of co-benefits, peer review, and retrospective review of regulations. More information can be found here. The EPA comment period closes August 13, 2018. You can submit comments under docket number EPA-HQ-OA-2018-0107 by using this link.
A group of stakeholders, including the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), recently sent a letter to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget concerning new regulations. The group has asked that the Trump administration only consider commonsense reforms in addition to requiring federal agencies to weigh the costs and benefits of new regulations affecting manufacturers prior to enactment. According to the NAM, “The letter specifically focused on cost-benefit analyses for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, suggesting that regulations be subject to a balanced peer review and scientific advisory panels to help ensure that flawed or outdated studies do not influence public policy.” You can click here to read the full letter.
The cost of gasoline has risen in several states including Oklahoma, South Carolina, Indiana, Maryland, Tennessee, Vermont and Iowa. As of July 1, these seven states joined others that have already increased taxes to funnel more revenue to transportation and construction projects. Oklahoma raised its tax to 19 cents for gas and diesel, a tax that had not been increased in 31 years. July 1 is a popular start date as it coincides with the start of many states’ fiscal years.
People, Places & Things
Mauser USA has opened a new manufacturing facility in North Wales, Pennsylvania that will supply virgin IBC bottles to its National Container Group (NCG) reconditioning affiliate. “IBCs and reconditioned packaging continue to be the drivers of growth within the industrial packaging industry,” says Jeff DeLiberty, Mauser USA’s director of new markets and business development. “Providing these solutions in the north-eastern US corridor is critical as it further completes Mauser’s North American footprint. In addition, this new location is ideal for Mauser to enhance lead times and improve customer service.”
Greif announced the addition of a new blow molder in its Alsip, IL Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) facility. This new blow molder will double the current production capacity of IBC units in the Midwest of the United States. “As Greif continues to grow in the IBC market place, it is imperative that we are able to meet our customers’ demands for product. This new blow molder increases our capacity in the Midwest region and creates the production flexibility to provide our customers with more true value” explains Gaylord Benner, Vice President and General Manager – Midwest.
In late June, Norfolk Southern Corporation announced that Vanessa L. Allen Sutherland has been named vice president of law. Prior to joining Norfolk Southern, she was chief executive officer and chairperson of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board in Washington, D.C. Previously, she served as chief counsel with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Vanessa Sutherland holds an undergraduate degree from Drew University and a Juris Doctor and an MBA from American University.