The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced a Final Rule that amends the Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to harmonize U.S. laws with numerous international standards. The Final Rule improves safety, streamlines the transport of hazardous materials, including medical supplies, batteries, and components used in manufacturing, and encourages shippers to package goods more efficiently.

PHMSA estimates the rule will save consumers approximately $250 million over the next 10 years in costs related to the shipment of goods.

In addition to enhancing safety, the Final Rule will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and supply chain disruptions by allowing the transport of more goods in fewer trips. The rule also helps lessen the economic disadvantages faced by American companies that, when competing in foreign markets, are forced to comply with different or conflicting requirements or forgo exporting to internationally altogether.

Other highlights of the rule include:

Updated standards for the manufacture, use, and certification of pressure vessels, used to transport essential gases for medical, manufacturing, and other uses.

Updated requirements for the transportation of damaged or defective lithium batteries.

Improved process for recycling or disposing of small gas or fuel cell cartridges.

Updated packaging construction provisions to help reduce delays and interruptions of hazardous materials during transportation.

Provisions that encourage the use of animal-friendly alternative hazard testing to reduce the prevalence of animal testing.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) also announced that it is awarding $32.4 million in grants to states, territories, and tribes to support first responders and strengthen local efforts to respond to hazardous materials incidents.

“First responders are at the forefront of community and environmental safety,” said PHMSA Deputy Administrator Tristan Brown. “These grants will provide local emergency responders with the necessary training and resources they need to respond to hazardous materials transportation incidents.”

PHMSA is awarding 81 grants for six different hazardous materials safety grant programs across the country. This year’s awards signify a 14 percent increase in the number of grantees receiving awards and a 12.5 percent increase in total grant funding.

As we enter 2023, please know INFOTRAC will continue to monitor the Federal Register daily and supply updates as they are published.  – Andie Denk

Do you have any questions on how these changes effect your business?  Give us a call at 1-800-535-5053.  We are here to help!