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Showing 24 posts in Hazardous Materials Transportation. View our practice description for Hazardous Materials Transportation.

EPA Revises Hazardous Waste Import-Export Rules

On October 28, 2016, the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a rule finalizing significant modifications to the requirements governing the export and import of hazardous waste.  The rule changes will go into effect on December 31, 2016, although, as discussed below, certain requirements will be phased in over time.  The changes will affect transboundary shipments currently subject to 40 C.F.R. Part 262 Subpart H (regulating hazardous waste shipments for recovery between the United States and countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) other than Mexico and Canada), as well as shipments currently subject to Subparts E and F (regulating all other hazardous waste imports and exports).  The modifications make certain substantive changes to the requirements of Subpart H, as well as expand the scope of that subpart to cover transboundary shipments currently subject to Subparts E and F.  The modifications are largely consistent with EPA’s October 2015 proposed rule. Read More ›

DOT/PHMSA Proposes to Harmonize U.S. Lithium Battery Transport Requirements With International Standards

Summary:  The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a proposed rule that would harmonize U.S. hazardous materials regulations with international hazardous materials transport standards.  Among other things, the proposal would change certain proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packing authorizations, air transport quantity limitations, and vessel stowage requirements and incorporate by reference various international technical standards.  Significantly, PHMSA proposes to adopt into binding U.S regulation the updated hazard communication requirements for the transport of lithium batteries (including equipment containing such batteries) contained in the 19th Revised Edition of the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods Model Regulations.  Once finalized, these requirements will be mandatory for all U.S. shippers and transporters of lithium batteries.  Although PHMSA has for the moment declined to incorporate into the U.S. Hazardous Materials Regulations the enhanced safety provisions for lithium batteries transported by aircraft contained in the 2015-2016 Edition of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (“ICAO”) Technical Instructions as of April 1, 2016, the preamble to the proposed rule indicates that the Agency is considering adopting these provisions in a separate rulemaking.  Comments on the proposed rule are due November 7, 2016. Read More ›

FedEx Settlement with California Department of Toxic Substances Control Contains Important Lessons/Reminders for Product and Waste Shippers

On June 14, 2016, FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (“FedEx”) entered into a settlement with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (“DTSC”) to resolve allegations that FedEx improperly handled, transported, stored, recycled and disposed of damaged packages of hazardous materials (“DTSC Settlement”).  Under the terms of the DTSC Settlement, FedEx will pay a total of $3.4 million in civil penalties and is enjoined from further violations of California’s Hazardous Waste Control Law (“HWCL”).  See Stipulation for Entry of Final Judgment and Order on Consent, People v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., Case No.34-2014-00165454 (Sacramento County Superior Court) (filed June 14, 2016).  The DTSC Settlement also resolves a related case FedEx brought in federal court in April 2014 (“Federal Action”).  Read More ›

DOT Issues Final Rule Providing Only Very Limited Relief for Reverse Logistics of Retail Products

Summary: This news alert discusses the final rule to streamline requirements under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) for “reverse logistics” of retail products that qualify as hazardous materials. The rule establishes reduced requirements for shipments by both non-private and private carriers, but it is so narrowly crafted that it will likely be of benefit in only a very limited range of circumstances. Read More ›

ICAO Bans Bulk Shipments of Lithium Batteries as Cargo on Passenger Aircraft

On February 22, 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organization (“ICAO”) Council announced an interim ban on bulk shipments of lithium ion batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft.  The ICAO Council adopted this new aviation safety measure after the ICAO’s top technical body, the Air Navigation Commission, recommended a ban on these shipments at its January 27, 2016 meeting.  The approved ban on bulk lithium battery shipments on passenger aircraft becomes effective almost immediately on April 1, 2016.  The ICAO is also implementing other significant changes to the lithium battery rules in its 2017-2018 Edition of the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (“ICAO-TI”).  Read More ›

Understanding New Lithium Battery Transport Requirements & Emerging Developments as Safety Concerns Mount

Growing concerns over the safety of air shipments of lithium batteries have prompted international authorities, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”), and Congress to take action.  On January 19, 2016, the International Air Transport Association (“IATA”) issued an Addendum to the 57th Edition of the Dangerous Goods Regulations (“DGR”), further restricting shipments of lithium batteries by air.  The International Civil Aviation Organization’s (“ICAO”) is also planning changes to the lithium battery rules for its 2017-2018 Edition of the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (“ICAO-TI”), and is even considering an outright ban on bulk lithium ion battery shipments as cargo on passenger aircraft. Read More ›

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Revises Regulations Governing Bulk Storage Tanks

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) issued revised regulations, effective October 11, 2015, governing the management and bulk storage of petroleum and hazardous substances. Corresponding revisions to used oil management regulations will be effective on November 10, 2015, and operator training requirements must be implemented by October 11, 2016 Read More ›

EPA Proposes Revisions to Hazardous Waste Import-Export Rules

On October 19, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed significant modifications to rules governing the export and import of hazardous waste.  The proposal would affect transboundary shipments currently subject to 40 C.F.R. Part 262 Subpart H (regulating hazardous waste shipments for recovery between the United States and countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) other than Mexico and Canada) as well as shipments subject to Subparts E and F (regulating all other hazardous waste imports and exports).  The proposal would make certain substantive changes to the requirements of Subpart H, as well as expand the scope of the subpart to cover transboundary shipments currently subject to Subparts E and F.  Stakeholder comments on the proposed modifications will be accepted until December 18, 2015.  EPA expects the rulemaking to be finalized in Fall 2016 and to be effective by December 31, 2016. Read More ›

FedEx Enters Settlement with California District Attorneys to Partially Resolve Allegations of Mismanagement of Damaged Products, But Related Actions Still Pending in State and Federal Courts

On July 28, 2015, FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (“FedEx”) entered into a settlement agreement (“Settlement”) with a group of California District Attorneys to partially resolve allegations that the company stored and transported packages of products that it found to be damaged or leaking, without complying with the applicable California requirements for hazardous and medical wastes.  Under the terms of the (partial) Settlement, FedEx will pay a total of $1,750,000, consisting of civil penalties, reimbursement for the costs of investigation and prosecution by the District Attorneys, and funding for supplemental environmental projects and a program of customer outreach for waste minimization and improved packaging.  The company is also enjoined from future violations of the hazardous waste and medical waste regulations, as well as fromfailure to maintain the confidentiality of customer and employee records. Read More ›

California Continues Hazardous Waste Enforcement Campaign Against Retailers With Two New Multi-Million Dollar Settlements

The first quarter of 2015 brought two significant settlements against retailers for alleged violations of California’s hazardous waste laws.  The settlements are the latest in a string of similar California enforcement actions that have seen total penalties of over $150 million levied against retailers in the last five years involving waste products.  Through settlement orders, California prosecutors continue to impose increasingly onerous obligations for employee training, hazardous waste determinations, mandatory third party auditing, and other oversight of hazardous waste compliance programs that go above and beyond the regulatory requirements.  This puts a premium on retailers to develop and maintain a robust hazardous waste compliance program that can withstand enforcement scrutiny.  Read More ›