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July/August 2019


New to IPANA’s Annual Conference this year is a Deep Sea Fishing Outing!  You can sign up when you register for the conference. The subtropical beauty and bounty of the Gulf of Mexico provides excellent year-round action for anglers whether it is bottom-fishing for grouper and snapper, to a major test of strength with cobia, amberjack, shark and goliath grouper, or trolling for the hard-striking king mackerel and barracuda. Deep sea fishing promises an enjoyable day for the seasoned fisherman and the novice alike.

Mark your calendar now for the 2020 IPANA Annual Conference to be held in Chicago, Illinois.  The conference will be held at the luxurious Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile on October 6-8, 2020.  This historic hotel is located on North Michigan Avenue and has exceptional views from the 32nd floor Tower Lounge.

The Industrial Steel Drum Institute (ISDI) and TRANSCAER® have released a second video in the “Seconds Count – Are You Prepared” video series.  The video is a 90-second animation aimed at educating first responders in communities near transportation routes on the basics of the UN markings on new tighthead steel drums. “In business or emergency situations, UN markings provide the critical information needed to ensure drums are safely and securely managed,” said Kyle R. Stavig, chairman of ISDI and CEO of Myers Container LLC, General Steel Drum LLC and CEO of North Coast Container LLC. “We hope this information will help first responders better understand the nature of the materials they are working with and how to handle them during an event.”

The Industrial Steel Drum Institute (ISDI) and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) have partnered to deliver onsite safety training seminars for first responders. Mr. Chris Lind, formerly of Mauser USA LLC, conducted the training for ISDI in Burlington, Vermont and Orange, Virginia.  The ISDI training provides useful information to help first responders better understand the components of a steel drum. At the seminars, ISDI handed out their newly designed challenge coins which each attendee receives after completing the training. In addition, due to popular demand a webinar will be conducted for first responders on November 7, 2019.  Interested parties can click here to register.

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Regulatory Updates

Mr. Bill Schoonover, Associate Administrator Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Agency (PHMSA), has announced the hiring of Carey Davis as Deputy Associate Administrator for Field Operations in the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety. Mr. Davis will be based in Atlanta. Mr. Davis has been a Law Enforcement officer for 27 years. Since 2016, Mr. Davis has held the position of Port Director for the Port of Atlanta.  Mr. Davis is a graduate of the CBP Leadership Institute at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) five-member medical board has completed a review of the agency’s handbook aimed at keeping unhealthy motor vehicle drivers off the road. The revised handbook offers guidance on “best medical practices” for the 50,000 plus certified medical examiners who evaluate complex medical conditions such as heart disease. Medical examiners give truck drivers medical exams at least once every two years and can limit or disqualify a driver based on certain medical issues. The last version of the handbook was deemed out of date in 2015, but board members said that some examiners still use it.  The length of the book was reduced to under 80 pages from 260. The recommendations of the medical review board will be sent back to FMCSA to produce a final draft version of the handbook.  The final draft will be reviewed and approved by the board in a subsequent meeting.

In line with the goals of the Trump Administration, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed new federal regulations that are intended to expand the availability of apprenticeships. The proposal will set standards for formally recognizing and governing what is called, Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs). The intent is to allow businesses to lead high-quality apprenticeship programs in order to train and retain talent.  In a  press release, the DOL described how the program would enable various groups to form a partnership and become a  Standards Recognition Entity (SRE) that sets standards for training, structure and curriculum in relevant industries or occupational areas.  The DOL would then recognize the programs in order to ensure requirements are met.

Recently, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an opinion letter clarifying that truck drivers do not need to be paid while they are sleeping in their truck.  According to the letter, even though many drivers sleep in their truck berths the drivers don’t need to be paid unless they are put on call by their employer. This letter was written in response to an inquiry from a family owned long haul trucking company.

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According to Bob Costello, Chief Economist at the American Trucking Association (ATA), the current driver shortage is not improving. “Over the past 15 years, we’ve watched the shortage rise and fall with economic trends, but it ballooned last year to the highest level we’ve seen to date,” Bob Costello said in a recent statement. “The combination of a surging freight economy and carriers’ need for qualified drivers could severely disrupt the supply chain.” At the end of 2018, the trucking industry needed more than 68,000 drivers according to a new driver shortage report released by the ATA on July 24. Bob Costello is predicting a shortage of 100,000 drivers within the next five years and 150,000 by the year 2028 if things don’t change.

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People, Places & Things

On July 29, the Stavig Group, ISDI and IPANA member, announced plans to centralize support for its four independent packaging solutions brands: Myers Container, Container Management Services, General Steel Drum and North Coast Container. According to the announcement, all the current brands will remain in place but now be connected to the Stavig Group brand to promote to its customers a long term vision and reliable, redundant capabilities. You can view the press release here.

Tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike are set to increase 6%. The commission announced the increase on July 16 and it will go into effect January 5, 2020.   The increase is needed to service existing debt.

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