At the IPANA Annual Conference in Houston, Mr. Brian Minnich of Schuetz Container Systems was elected Chairman of the Plastic Drum Institute (PDI). Mr. Kevin Kling of Greif will serve as Vice-Chairman of PDI. Mr. Chris Pajak of NOVA Chemicals was appointed to represent the associate members of IPANA. Mr. Jim Gillis of CDF previously served as the representative for the associate members of IPANA. Mr. Larry Anderson of Ten-E Packaging Services was the previous Chairman of PDI.
During the recent IPANA conference, the IPANA Board finalized an addition to the IPANA mission statement. This new statement reflects IPANA’s position on the sustainability of industrial packaging. The addition to the mission statement is as follows:
Promote the use of industrial packaging that is designed to be effective and safe throughout its lifecycle while meeting the market requirements for performance and cost. Once used, the packaging is recycled or reconditioned for reuse, reducing its environmental impact and promoting a circular economy.
In response to a request from the Interested Parties for Hazardous Materials, Bill Schoonover, Associate Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced the restoration of all rulemaking documents to the agency’s website. This renewed page provides PHMSA stakeholders with PDF links to all rulemaking documents published before 1995, along with the publication date, HM-#, title, Federal Register number, and publication type. Rulemakings published after 1995 can be found on the federalregister.gov website under the “Recently Published Rulemakings” tab. He also noted that rulemakings are now displayed by publication date, instead of HM/Docket Number.
PHMSA published the Final Rule HM-219A (PHMSA–2015–0102) on November 7, 2018. The rule updates, clarifies, or provides relief from miscellaneous regulatory requirements. Specifically, PHMSA has accepted the changes RIBCA requested in their Petition P-1662 concerning the marking of IBCs. The final rule acknowledges that the marked date of manufacture on a composite intermediate bulk container (IBC) may differ from the marked date of manufacture on the inner receptacle of that IBC. In this final rule, PHMSA also eliminated the phrase, ‘‘provided that the retest and inspection of IBCs be based on the earliest marked date.”
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that over 5,000 comments were received online regarding potential changes to the hours of service (HOS) rules. Most commenters asked for more flexibility. The agency also hosted five listening sessions around the country in order to gather industry feedback. According to Jim Muller, Chief Counsel at FMCSA, the majority of respondents recommended eliminating the 30 minute rest break. Most drivers said they don’t mind a 30-minute break but don’t want to be told when to take one. Respondents also expressed a strong opinion that the 100 air-mile “short haul” exemption should be increased to 150 air-miles. Another preference was the ability to add two hours of drive time in adverse conditions. FMCSA indicated they are carefully considering all comments.
On October 4, 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Agency (FMCSA) issued a notice to medical examiners informing them that they must use a new medical form immediately. FMCSA stated that certificates and forms dated 8/31/18 can no longer be used. Typically, the agency provides a grace period but this notice required use of the new form immediately. On the forms, the expiration date appears in the upper right corner. The new expiration date, as set by OMB, is September 30, 2019. The sudden change in medical forms could harm CDL-holding drivers whose exams get recorded on expired forms. The FMCSA instructed state licensing agencies to accept medical cards with the 8/31/18 expiration date only if they were signed by the medical examiner on or before October 4, 2018. Motor carriers must ensure that any driver medical exams performed after October 4, 2018, are documented on medical forms showing an OMB expiration date of 9/30/2019.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) received a $5 million budget increase on September 28 after President Donald Trump signed a “minibus” appropriations bill that included a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open until Dec. 7. The appropriations bill provides approximately $557.8 million for OSHA in fiscal year 2019, and is also the first time since 1996 that the Department of Labor (DOL) appropriations are in place before Oct. 1, the start of the federal government’s fiscal year. OSHA’s enforcement budget received an increase in funding of $1 million for a total of $209 million. The agency’s compliance assistance efforts will receive a $2.5 million increase to $73.5 million, with $3.5 million going to the Voluntary Protection Programs.
After delaying the implementation of its new rule, Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, OSHA published its long-awaited notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) Docket No. OSHA-2013-0023. The new proposed rule would eliminate the requirement to submit the 300 and 301 logs, but retain the requirement to submit the 300A summaries. The National Association of Manufacturers, along with 27 members of the Council of Manufacturing Associations, filed comments. The NAM’s comments argued that OSHA’s final rule should guarantee confidentiality of any reported information as well as provide certainty and clarity around employers ability to maintain safe workplaces through incentive programs and post-accident drug testing. Over 1887 comments were submitted on this controversial rule. The comment period closed September 28, 2018.
Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), will become House Transportation Chairman. He is a strong proponent of increased funding for infrastructure. According to Rep. DeFazio, “Welcome to the day after the election. This is the day we begin planning to deliver a major infrastructure package.” He remains optimistic that he can work with President Trump on a bipartisan infrastructure plan.
According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), more than 75% of manufacturing companies in the United States have fewer than 20 employees. Small manufacturers are driving innovation in the United States. Also, there are nearly 12.5 million manufacturing workers in the United States, accounting for 8.5 percent of the workforce. Since the end of the Great Recession, manufacturers have hired more than one million workers.
People, Places & Things
IPANA members should mark their calendars now for the second annual Industrial Pack exhibition located in Atlanta, Georgia on March 27 – 28, 2019. The exhibition will be held at the Cobb Center Galleria with several IPANA members exhibiting. IPANA will once again deliver the keynote address at the exhibition.