This section is intended as a convenient, accessible library of select governmental laws and regulations, as well as policies and protocols, that figure prominently in the ongoing history of industrial packagings. It is not an exhaustive list of every regulation or pronouncement, but rather a “short list” of major rulings intended to make research a little easier.

U.S. DOT Activities

Historical:  DOT Letters of Interpretation Regarding Crushed, Used Hazmat Drums

– From the vaults, U.S. DOT letters explaining transportation rules for crushed steel drums sent for scrap without having been cleaned and purged of hazardous materials residues.   These letters provide the foundation of RIPA’s position  that crushed or shredded drums must be shipped in another properly marked shipping container.   Thus, no sending “direct-to-scrap”.

Enhanced Enforcement Policy & Procedures (March 2, 2011)

– This rulemaking establishes procedures for issuance of emergency orders to address unsafe conditions or practices posing an imminent hazard; opening packages to identify undeclared or non compliant shipments, when the person in possession of the package refuses a request to open it; and the temporary detention and inspection of potentially non-compliant packages.

Fitness and Special Permits Rule (January 5, 2011)

– PHMSA is revising its procedures for applying for a special permit to require an applicant to provide sufficient information about its operations to enable the agency to evaluate the applicant’s fitness and the safety impact of operations that would be authorized in the special permit. In addition, PHMSA is providing an online application option

“HM 231” Miscellaneous Packaging Amendments (September 20, 2010)

– This rulemaking revises several packaging related definitions; adds provisions to allow more flexibility when preparing and transmitting closure instructions, including conditions under which closure instructions may be transmitted electronically; adds a requirement for shippers to retain packaging closure instructions; incorporates new language that allows for practicable means of stenciling the United Nations (UN) symbol on packagings; and clarifies a requirement to document the methodology used when determining whether a change in packaging configuration requires retesting as a new design type or may be considered a variation of a previously tested design.

Alternative Packaging Validation Testing (October 30, 2009)

– Alternative Validation Testing refers to the DOT (PHMSA) program whereby providers of hazmat packagings who certify their packagings to the performance levels marked on the packagings, can elect to conduct compliance testing themselves at their own facilities with PHMSA observing. Participation is not mandatory, but acceptance is binding. For those who elect not to participate, PHMSA will purchase the requisite number of samples for testing at Tobyhanna (the U.S. Army test lab in Tobyhanna, PA).

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