Monday, October 12, 2009

Safety Advisory On Transportation of Lithium Batteries

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published a safety advisory on October 7, 2009, alerting shippers and carriers to the importance of transporting lithium batteries safely.

They issued the advisory guidance to:

  • Inform persons of recent aviation incidents involving fires aboard both passenger and cargo aircraft and the potential hazards that shipments of lithium batteries may present while in transportation,
  • Provide information concerning the current requirements for the transportation of lithium batteries, and
  • Inform persons of the actions they have taken to date and plan to take in the future to address the hazards of these batteries.

The Hazardous Materials Regulations, or HMR, (49 CFR parts 171-180) include requirements for packaging, hazard communication, and handling lithium batteries. The HMR also impose additional restrictions on the transport of lithium batteries in the air mode, including a limited prohibition on the transport of lithium metal batteries as cargo on board passenger aircraft. Additionally, damaged, defective, or recalled lithium batteries (including those being returned to the manufacturer as part of a safety recall) should not be transported aboard aircraft.

Caltha LLP provides specialized expertise to clients nationwide in the evaluation environmental and hazardous material rules, developing material handling procedures, and preparing cost-effective management programs.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Final EPA Greenhouse Gas GHG Rules - Emission Reporting

EPA has issued its final rule that mandates annual reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from several sectors of US industry. Effective Jan. 1, 2010, many US industrial facilities will have to start tracking their greenhouse gas emissions. The gas emissions that will have to be tracked include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and others.

The EPA estimates that about 13,000 industrial facilities nationwide will be regulated under this new rule. Specific industries that will be required to track and report GHG emissions include electric power generation, cement manufacturing, glass makers, iron/steel/ferroalloy producers, lime producers, oil refiners, petrochemical processors, pulp and paper, most suppliers of industrial gases and others.

In addition, large stationary fuel combustion sources like industrial boilers, furnaces and ovens will be affected regardless of the industry in which they are used. This requirement falls only on facilities with aggregate stationary fuel combustion sources that have a total rated capacity of 30 million BTU/hr or greater and that have the potential to emit over 25,000 MTs of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) per year. However, the rule applies regardless of fuel type (coal, natural gas, propane, heating oil, residual fuel, bio-fuels, etc.).

Affected facilities will have to submit their first reports to the EPA for the calendar year 2010 by March 31, 2011 and annually thereafter. These facilities will have to come up with estimates of their GHG emissions and most will have to speciate their emissions (i.e., they cannot just group all GHGs together). EPA is expected to develop some estimating tools but these are not yet available except for certain industries. EPA is offering a series of webinars on the Rule and how to comply with it.

Caltha LLP provides specialized expertise to clients nationwide in the evaluation air, wastewater and hazardous waste rules, developing compliance procedures, and preparing cost-effective compliance programs.

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OSHA - Proposed Globally Harmonized System GHS for MSDS

OSHA has proposed to modify its existing Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to conform with the United Nations’ (UN) Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). The Agency anticipates this improved information will enhance the effectiveness of the HCS in ensuring that employees are apprised of the chemical hazards to which they may be exposed, and in reducing the incidence of chemical-related occupational illnesses and injuries.

The proposed modifications to the standard include:

  • revised criteria for classification of chemical hazards;
  • revised labeling provisions that include requirements for use of standardized signal words, pictograms, hazard statements, and precautionary statements;
  • a specified format for safety data sheets; and related revisions to definitions of terms used in the standard, requirements for employee training on labels and safety data sheets.

OSHA is also proposing to modify provisions of a number of other standards, including standards for flammable and combustible liquids, process safety management, and most substance-specific health standards, to ensure consistency with the modified HCS requirements.

Written comments by December 29, 2009.

Caltha LLP provides specialized expertise to clients nationwide in the evaluation hazardous material hazards, developing handling procedures, and preparing cost-effective waste management programs.

For further information contact Caltha LLP at
Caltha LLP Website