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Welcome to RIPA’s newsletter  “RIPA in the News”.  This electronic format enables the association to provide you with timely information about the industry and the association’s activities. 

Paul Rankin, President      C.L. Pettit, Technical Director
Rick Schweitzer, Counsel      Bonnie Cunningham, Meetings & Events


Table of Contents

  • Message from the Chair
  • RIPA Technical Conference
  • RIPA and EPA Meet
  • Update on EPA's VOC Inquiry
  • RIPA Welcomes New Members
  • Schuer to Receive Intnl Hershson Award
  • U.S. DOT Issues Special  Permit
  • ICCR Conference in September
  • Chemical Packaging Committee

Save the Dates

RIPA 2023 Spring Technical Conference
April 23-25, 2023   Louisville, Kentucky

17th ICCR International Conference
September 26-30, 2023   Ghent, Belgium

RIPA Fall Annual Conference & Supplier Expo
Dates and Location TBA


Chair’s Message 

  -  Tim O'Bryan

    - Your RIPA membership is a valuable asset

       Have you ever wondered why your company is a member of the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association?  In my column this month, I am going to list just four of the many important reasons that will help you appreciate why your RIPA membership is so beneficial.    
1.           10/8/10 steel drums.  A little more than two years ago, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (“PHMSA”) made a unilateral decision to rewrite the rulebook on remanufacturing 10/8/10 steel drums.  If it was not for RIPA’s intervention, it is possible – even likely – that the Agency would have prohibited reconditioners from selling these drums!  As you know, after a lot of negotiation, RIPA was able to come to an agreement with PHMSA that allows these drums to be sold under a Special Permit. 
2.           VOC emissions.  Last spring, RIPA learned that representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency in Region 5 (upper Midwest) had asked several members for test data and other information related to emissions of volatile organic compounds (“VOC”).   RIPA sprang into action and was able to convince EPA to allow RIPA to do a national study and conduct testing to create “emission factors” and compliance protocols that are nationally consistent and which recognize the varying sizes and types of businesses in our membership.  Without RIPA, every member of the association would likely be asked to conduct emission tests and gather reams of data – all on their own!
3.          EPA “Drum Reconditioner Damage Case Report.”  In September 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a report that suggested our industry does not comply with key environmental regulations, including the empty container rule.  As soon as staff learned about this report, which was purposefully written by the Agency with no input from the association, RIPA once again sprang into action.  They opened a dialogue with top EPA staffers; invited them to address the association at its fall meeting and responded to the report in a detailed letter.  Just a few weeks ago, RIPA met with EPA to begin educating them about the association, the industry and our many contributions to environmental improvement and carbon reduction.
4.           Spring Technical Conference.  RIPA will host the Spring Technical Conference from April 23 – 25, 2023 at the wonderful Hotel Distill in Louisville, KY.  These conferences not only offer exceptional educational opportunities for you and your staff, but the social events also enable you to visit with suppliers and reconditioner colleagues from around the country.  Now that we are holding live meetings again, it’s just like the old days – great networking, interesting business topics and a bit of fun – all in one place.
Having seen firsthand all RIPA does for us from “inside the ropes,” I am more convinced than ever that membership in our association is a great investment in my business. 
See you in Louisville!
RIPA Technical Conference April 23 - 25, 2023

It’s time to start planning for your trip to Louisville, KY for RIPA’s 2023 Technical Conference!
Well be staying in the luxurious Hotel Distil, Autograph Collection which is located in the heart of downtown Louisville, only steps away from the famed Whiskey Row.  Hotel Distil sets the standard for luxury in Louisville hospitality.  
Louisville itself is one of the up and coming cities in the nation.  The downtown area is pedestrian friendly with iconic attractions and 130 restaurants nearby.   Please see HERE information on local activities and HERE information on dining options.    
The conference will feature special presentations on industry, economic and environmental issues, including important work the association is doing on VOC emissions and the empty container issue. The Steel Drum, Plastic Drum and IBC Product Groups will discuss regulatory compliance issues.   Also, a Suppliers Showcase Panel is being planned.  

The conference program will feature an esteemed speaker on labor and workforce issues, as well as OSHA and worker safety matters.  Mr. Nick Geale is a Vice President of the American Trucking Associations and will be there to share his wealth of knowledge and insight gained over the years working on these issues.   
The conference opens with the Suppliers’ Welcome Reception on Sunday evening and includes the Chair’s Reception on Monday evening at the nearby historic Brown Hotel.  Our Golf Outing starts at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday at wonderful Chariot Run Golf Course.  More information to follow.
See you in Louisville!   Go  HERE  and REGISTER TODAY!   (Thank you to everyone registered already)
RIPA & EPA Meet to Discuss Report on Reconditioning 
Representatives of the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association met recently with staff from the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to discuss industry concerns about a report on the industry released last fall.  EPA’s “Drum Reconditioner Damage Cases Report,” painted an adverse picture of the industry’s historic environmental compliance record.
RIPA Chair Tim O’Bryan took part in the meeting, along with RIPA General Counsel Rick Schweitzer, Paul Rankin and outside counsel Duke McCall from the law firm Morgan Lewis.
According to O’Bryan, the meeting was cordial and a great opportunity for RIPA to engage with the Agency about the reconditioning process, our ongoing efforts to educate customers about the empty container rules and the amount of carbon saved each year through industrial packaging reuse.


EPA Region V VOC Data Collection and Testing Update
Two years ago, representatives from EPA Region 5’s enforcement team began visiting reconditioning facilities in the upper Midwest to determine if emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from washed steel drums were being properly regulated.  EPA Region 5 is comprised of the following states:  Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Volatile organic compounds are high vapor pressure and low water soluble materials.  They are emitted from certain liquids such as industrial solvents and can also be components of a wide range of products, including petroleum fuels, paint thinners and dry cleaning agents.
Following their initial visits, the Agency decided site-specific data was needed to determine if regulatory actions would be triggered for reconditioners.  The amount of data sought by the Agency was so extensive that several members were compelled to hire consultants to help gather the information. 


RIPA Welcomes New Members

New Reconditioner Members

Container Authority, LLC
Formerly Lexington Container Co.
120 Morgan Soaper Drive 
Harrodsburg, KY  40330 
Mr. Basilio Giangeruso

New Supplier Members
Chemcoat, Inc.
2790 Canfields Lane
P.O.Box 88
Montoursille, PA  17754
Myral Bonnell, President
Paul Gailey, National Mgr Sales

New Supplier Members (cont')

290 E. Fullerton Ave.
Carol Stream, IL  60188
Mr. Jason Cosgrove, Director Sales & Mktng
Mr. Sean Smith, Account Mgr

The WCM Group, Inc.
110 South Bender Ave
Humble, TX  77338
Mr. William McNutt, President

TricorBraun Industrial Services, LLC
5260 W. Old Bingham Hwy
West Jordan, UT  84082
Mr. Mark Schwietz, VP Reconditioning
ICCR Selects Eddy Schuer to Receive 2023 International Hershson Award
The International Confederation of Container Reconditioners (“ICCR”) has selected Mr. Eddy Schuer, Greif – Europe, to receive the 2023 Morris Hershson International Award of Excellence.  Mr. Schuer has worked for more than three decades as a top technical and regulatory advisor for several major industrial container reconditioning and manufacturing companies operating in Europe.  The Award will be presented in September 2023 at the next international conference in Ghent, Belgium. 
SERRED Chairman Pim Janus said, I am delighted that the ICCR Board of Directors has seen fit to give this prestigious award to my colleague and friend, Eddy Schuer.”  Janus said that Mr. Schuer is considered one of the most knowledgeable regulatory experts in the European packaging community and has always been willing to share his expertise with his industry colleagues.

READ MORE                                                                                                                                   


DOT Issues Special Permit for Use of Reconditioned 10/8/10 Steel Drums
In January, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a revised version of Special Permit 21231 to Patrick Kelly Drums authorizing the use of drums bearing 10/8/10 nominal thickness marks for the transportation of hazardous materials.  Other RIPA members that sell 10/8/10 drums for hazmat can now apply for “party-to” status which, when granted, will enable them to sell these drums for hazardous materials.  
The SP marked the end of a two-year negotiation with PHMSA that was at times difficult, but ultimately resulted in a very positive outcome for the steel drum reconditioning industry.  RIPA Chairman Tim O’Bryan said, “I am very proud of the work our association did throughout this process to educate PHSMA about the safety of these containers in transportation and the need to ensure their availability to hundreds of customers throughout the U.S.  I also want to thank PHMSA’s leadership for engaging with RIPA in a direct and forthright manner.  I view this as a win/win for regulators and reconditioners.”
Among other operational conditions, the special permit requires companies to ensure all reconditioned 10/8/10 drums are inspected to ensure they are free from defects (e.g. pitting, metal fatigue, etc.) that would render them unfit for transportation.  Tight head drums must bear performance marks not greater than Y/1.4/200 and open head drums must bear performance marks not greater than Y/1.2/100 for liquids or Y/300/S for solids.  In addition, a copy of the SP must be maintained at the facility where these drums and being reconditioned.
Every company that reconditions 10/8/10 steel drums must apply to DOT to become a “party-to” the Special Permit.  RIPA has prepared a draft application letter which can be downloaded (here), completed and sent to DOT.  Members with questions about the application or other related matters should contact the association.
Save the Dates: 2023 ICCR International Conference
The next ICCR International Conference on Industrial Packaging will take place 26 – 30 September 2023 in beautiful Ghent, Belgium.  After being forced to postpone the Conference twice due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, this event promises to be one of the most successful international conferences we’ve seen in many years.
Ghent is a port city in northwest Belgium, at the confluence of the Leie and Scheldt rivers. During the Middle Ages it was a prominent city-state, and today it’s known as a university town and cultural hub. The City is one of the most beautiful in Europe and easily walkable.  You don’t want to miss this conference!   See more information in the First Circular   HERE.
Chemical Packaging Committee (CPC) Meets in Florida

The Chemical Packaging Committee (CPC) met for its biennial winter meeting In Treasure Island, Florida February 9-10, 2023.  While attendance was still on the light side, the group nevertheless completed or started work on a number policy and regulatory issues. The group also heard (remotely) from an expert on lithium batteries and another expert on “PFAS” chemicals. Three DOT PHMSA officials attended in person to give reports on the Notional Enforcement Program, the “SISP” program and the office’s milestones and objectives. RIPA’s Technical Director and CPC Vice Chair, C.L. Pettit, offered a presentation on Closure Instructions as required by 49 CFR 178.2. CPC next meets in early September – location TBD.
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Contact RIPA at 301-577-3786  or

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