RSPA delays hazmat loading/unloading final rule
May 28, 2004 11:07 AM
The Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) has delayed the implementation of a final rule that addresses hazardous materials loading, transportation, unloading, and storage, according to information published in the Federal Register May 28. RSPA initially said the rule would go into effect November 1, 2004, but has now delayed it until January 1, 2005. As part of the rule, RSPA specifies the definition of transportation.
The rule (49 CFR Parts 171, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, and 178) was issued in an effort to define the various functions and how the hazardous materials regulations apply to them.
RSPA delayed the rule as a result of appeals from Ag Processing Inc, Akzo Nobel, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Association of American Railroads, Dangerous Goods Advisory Council, Dow Chemical Company, DuPont, Eastman Chemical Company, Institute of Makers of Explosives, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Spa and Pool Chemical Manufacturers' Association, Sulphur Institute, Utility Solid Waste Activities Group, and Vermont Railway Inc.
According to the rule, a pre-transportation function applies to shipper personnel loading packaged or containerized hazardous material onto a transport vehicle, aircraft, or vessel, as well as filling a bulk package with hazardous material in the absence of a carrier. Transportation is defined to mean the movement of property and loading, unloading, or storage incidental to the movement.
Transportation in commerce begins when a carrier takes physical possession of a hazardous material for the purpose of transporting it and continues until delivery of the package to its consignee or destination as evidenced by the shipping documentation under which the hazardous material is moving, such as shipping papers, bills of lading, freight orders, or similar documentation.
Movement means the physical transfer of a hazardous material from one geographic location to another by rail car, aircraft, motor vehicle, or vessel.
Loading incidental to movement is defined as loading by carrier personnel, or in the presence of carrier personnel, of packaged or containerized hazardous material onto a transport vehicle, aircraft, or vessel for the purpose of transporting it.
Unloading incidental to movement means the removal of a packaged or containerized hazardous material from a transport vehicle, aircraft, or vessel, or the emptying of a hazardous material from a bulk packaging after a hazardous material has been delivered to a consignee and prior to the delivering carrier's departure from the consignee facility or premises. Unloading by a consignee after the delivering carrier has departed the facility is not unloading incidental to movement and not regulated under the HMR.
Storage incidental to movement means storage by any person of a transport vehicle, freight container, or package containing a hazardous material between the time that a carrier takes physical possession of the hazardous material for the purpose of transporting it until the package containing the hazardous material is physically delivered to the destination indicated on a shipping document. Storage at a shipper facility prior to a carrier exercising control over or taking possession of the hazardous material or storage at a consignee facility after a carrier has delivered the hazardous material is not storage incidental to movement and is not regulated under the HMR.
RSPA has determined that non-regulated functions include rail and motor vehicle movements solely within a contiguous facility where public access is restricted; transportation in a transport vehicle or conveyance operated by a federal, state, or local government employee solely for government purposes; transportation by an individual for non-commercial purposes in a private motor vehicle; and any matter subject to US postal laws and regulations.
RSPA also points out in the ruling that the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) shares jurisdiction for certain aspects of the loading and unloading operations. The rule states that "it is important to note that facilities at which pre-transportation or transportation functions are performed must comply with OSHA and state or local regulations applicable to physical structures--for example, noise and air quality control standards, emergency preparedness, fire codes, and local zoning requirements.
Facilities may also have to comply with applicable state and local regulations for hazardous materials handling and storage operations.
Facilities at which pre-transportation or transportation functions are performed may also be subject to Environmental Protection Agency and other OSHA regulations. For example, facilities may be subject to EPA's risk management; community right-to-know; hazardous waste tracking and disposal; and spill prevention, control and countermeasure requirements, and OSHA's process safety management and emergency preparedness requirements. In addition, facilities at which pre-transportation functions are performed may also be subject to regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives concerning the handling of explosives.
For more information, click here for the Federal Register.
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