The Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA) was adopted in 1975. Its primary objective is to provide adequate protection against risks to life and property inherent in the transportation of hazardous materials in commerce. A hazardous material is defined as any “particular quantity or form” of material in commerce that “may pose an unreasonable risk to health and safety of property.” Tens of thousands of materials classified as Class 3, Packing Group (PG) II and III, and Class 9 Environmentally Hazardous Substances that are liquid are shipped daily without incident. Materials classified as Class 3, PG II and III include perfume, food flavorings, paint, adhesives, printing ink, cleaning supplies, and personal care products – materials that present a very low flammability hazard. Class 9 materials that are liquid include many of the same types of products (e.g., perfumes and personal care products, food flavorings, paint, adhesives, printing ink, and cleaning supplies). However, Class 9 materials also include a wide range of products that have never before been regulated under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR), such as sunscreen and other personal care products that contain zinc oxide, and first aid kits. These Class 9 materials are products that do not meet even the lowest level of flammability criteria but do meet the criteria for Environmentally Hazardous Substances under the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Consequently, the number of incidents involving Class 9 materials in transportation is likely to increase significantly in the near future because of the classification criteria required under GHS. In fact, a large number of products that are currently unregulated under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) will become a regulated Class 9 material under the GHS criteria. Because of the “consumer” nature of these products, they are shipped in small packages, i.e., package sizes. While the classification criteria for Class 9 Environmentally Hazardous Substances has not been adopted into the HMR, shippers who are sending products to Europe, Asia, and other countries who have adopted the GHS criteria are subject to the criteria and are using them when shipping such materials throughout the U.S. intermodal system. When incidents occur, the HMR requires carriers, and sometime shippers, to submit a report. Historically, Class 3, PG II and III, and Class 9 liquid materials were not required to be reported to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) when an incident occurred. In 2004, PHMSA published a final rule, HM-229, Revisions to Incident Reporting Requirements and the Hazardous Materials Incident Report Form, which changed the reporting requirements by eliminating certain exceptions for small quantities of Class 3 materials. Since that time, the number of incident reports filed by industry for small quantities of Class 3 materials has increased substantially. The increased volume of Class 9 (UN 3082) materials in transportation in commerce will add significantly to the reporting requirements on carriers and shippers.
Given the historical changes to the regulations along with the most recent classification scheme adopted at the international level, the industry has interest in better understanding the safety and environmental risks associated with various commodities comprising Class 3, PG II and III, and Class 9 liquid hazardous materials.
The objectives of this research are to (1) examine the various commodities comprising Class 3 (Packing Groups II and III), and determine the risks for transportation in commerce by motor carriers; and (2) examine the various commodities comprising Class 9 liquid hazardous materials under the criteria of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) and determine the risks for transportation in commerce. This research should be based on a maximum single package capacity of the hazardous material of 8 gallons.
(1). For transportation in commerce by motor carriers, identify the range of hazardous materials that comprise Class 3 (PG II and III) (e.g., perfume, food flavoring, paint, adhesives, printing ink, cleaning solutions, personal care products), excluding materials with subsidiary hazards, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste, and EPA hazardous substances. (2). Identify the transportation incident history since 2000 of each hazardous material identified in Task 1. The incident history should include, but not be limited to, such factors as total number of incidents by commodity; volumes released; costs of damage; types of packaging; container sizes; causes of release; injuries; fatalities; evacuations; and environmental and health impacts. The data must be presented in an easily searched and sorted data base with the source of information identified. (3). Interview 10 shippers and 10 carriers about incidents that have occurred with shipments of Class 3, PG II and III commodities to gain additional information about injuries, fatalities, evacuation, or other environmental consequences during transportation. Additional useful data would include size of packaging, container configuration, incident cause, release cause, release quantity, and remediation costs. (4). Using the results from Tasks 2 and 3, perform an in-depth analysis of the top 20 hazardous materials by incidence frequency, as well as by container size, to determine their safety and environmental consequences. (5). Identify best practices, standard operating procedures, and technological improvements that could reduce the likelihood of transportation incidents by motor carriers carrying Class 3 (PG II and III).(6). Identify the range of hazardous materials that comprise Class 9 (UN 3082 Environmentally Hazardous Substances, nos) under GHS.(7). Identify the transportation incident history since 2000 for Class 9 (UN 3082 Environmentally Hazardous Substances, nos) in the U.S. In addition, examine the relevant European and Canadian incident data for these materials for all modes of transportation. The incident history should include, but not be limited to, such factors as total number of incidents by commodity; volumes released; damage costs; packaging types; container sizes; causes of release; injuries; fatalities; evacuations; and environmental and health impacts. The data must be presented in an easily searched and sorted database with the source of information identified.(8). Interview 10 international shippers and 10 motor carriers to assess the potential impact of the GHS and to gather any incident data that are not currently required to be reported in the U.S.(9). Based on the information gathered in Tasks 6 through 8, assess the potential safety and environmental impacts of the transportation in commerce of small quantities of Class 9 materials in the U.S.(10). Prepare a final report that (1) examines the various commodities comprising Class 3 (Packing Groups II and III), and determines the risks for transportation in commerce by motor carriers; and (2) examines the various commodities comprising Class 9 liquid hazardous materials under the criteria of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) and determines the risks for transportation in commerce.