ISDI Prepares to Issue Revised ANSI MH2 Standard. ISDI is leading the ANSI MH2 consensus body conducting a review and update of the ANSI MH2 Standard for Steel Drums and pails. Dave Sovol of North Coast Container is the Chairman of the consensus body and Ralph Reitenbach of Reitenbach Consulting is heading the effort to complete the revision of this standard by the end of 2017. The consensus body consists of users, manufacturers and interested parties and totals 12 participants. Other ISDI members include Jordan Brodsky of Greif, Inc. and Chris Lind of Mauser USA, LLC.
Mauser’s National Container Group (NCG) reconditioning subsidiary has acquired New Jersey’s Recycle, Inc East (RIE) in a move that will allow it to more than double its current capacity for both PCR and drums made from 100% recycled plastics. “I am thrilled that Recycle has become part of NCG and the Mauser Group,” says RIE president Jeff Bey. “They are a global company with a strong commitment to quality and service, environmental stewardship and tremendous employee dedication, which is a great platform for the future of our customers and partners.”
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced the opening of The Roberts HAZMAT Training Center named in honor of Al Roberts, former Associate Administrator of RSPA (now PHMSA). In their announcement, PHMSA stated, “The Roberts HAZMAT Training Center is an appropriate recognition for a true HAZMAT professional.” Al Roberts had a remarkable career with over 54 years of service dedicated to making the world a safer place. He was also Chairman of the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, which provides guidance for handling hazardous shipments throughout the world. After retirement in 1999 from his long his federal career, he was persuaded to lead the Dangerous Goods Advisory Council (DGAC) as its president.
President Trump nominates rail veteran Howard R. Elliott of Indiana to the position of Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in the Department of Transportation. Mr. Elliott is a forty-year veteran of the U.S. freight rail industry, serving over the last decade as group Vice President of Public Safety, Health, Environment and Security for CSX Transportation in Jacksonville, FL. His portfolio of responsibility includes hazardous materials transportation safety, homeland security, railroad policing, crisis management, environmental compliance and operations, occupational health management and continuity of business operations. He is a pioneer and leading advocate in developing and implementing computer-based tools to assist emergency management officials, first responders, and homeland security personnel in preparing for and responding to railroad hazardous materials or security incidents.
PHMSA has published the latest version of the Hazardous Materials Markings, Labeling, and Placarding Guide as DOT Chart 16. Some of the changes include addition of the Lithium Battery handling marking and replacement of the yellow Organic Peroxide 5.2 Placard with red and yellow Organic Peroxide 5.2. PHMSA notes that the chart is intended for general guidance only and should not be used to determine compliance with 49 CFR, Parts 100-185. Click here to view the chart.
In August, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced the withdrawal of the March 10, 2016, advance notice of proposed rule making regarding obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among individuals occupying safety sensitive positions in highway and rail transportation. FMCSA and FRA (Federal Railroad Administration) announced that current safety programs adequately address fatigue risk management and are a more appropriate way to address the problem of (OSA). You can click here to read the Federal Register notice.
Transport Canada has announced its plans to implement a Dangerous Goods Examination for all personnel who “handle” or offer for transport, hazardous materials/dangerous goods within Canada. Transport Canada has published a white paper on this subject that you can access here. In the white paper, TC discusses their effort to gather information from provincial and territorial government officials in order to strengthen and modernize dangerous goods training. The white paper outlines weaknesses in the current system and discusses proposed solutions. Transport Canada is proposing a 45 minute exam (TC 101) as a potential solution. If you have employees or customers in Canada, you may be impacted and want to provide comment to Transport Canada.
On January 1, 2018, the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance tax (HIT) will go into effect unless members of Congress act to repeal the tax. Many trade associations led by the efforts of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce oppose the implementation of this tax. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “this tax would impose $14.3 billion in new fees on millions of health insurance policies, raising premiums for individuals, families, senior citizens, and small businesses.” According to one study, families and businesses in the small group market would pay an additional $500 annually while senior citizens enrolled in Medicare Advantage would pay $245 more. Repealing the HIT, however, would save individuals and families up to $6,675 over the next 10 years.
People, Places & Things
FedEx Corp. announced rate increases for its three major divisions that will take effect Jan. 1, 2018. Most of the increases are 4.9% over the current rates. The price hikes are general tariff increases for occasional shippers and are not binding on high-volume contract shippers. FedEx stated that the 4.9% increases are for the corporation’s Express, Ground and Freight divisions, including the Home Delivery and SmartPost services within Ground.
Several states are drafting legislation that would allow police officers patrolling the highways to connect a device known as a “textalyzer” to a mobile phone to instantly learn if the driver was texting prior to a crash. Recently legislation was introduced in New York State that would make it mandatory to relinquish your phone to a police officer so they could check for texting activity. This is similar to same to the law that requires drivers to submit to a breathalyzer. Other states including New Jersey and Tennessee are studying the textalyzer with an eye toward legislation.