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DOT Rulemaking HM-206F: Requirements for Emergency Response Telephone Numbers on Shipping Papers, Effective Oct. 1, 2010

Overview

Starting on October 1, 2010 the Department of Transportation will begin enforcing a revised Hazardous Materials transportation rule, HM206F. This change now requires 24 hour emergency response information in shipping documents. This number must connect to either the shipper, consignee or a third party Emergency Response Information provider. The contact must have detailed knowledge of the item(s) being shipped. For R+L Carriers, the contact information will now be submitted as part of the Bill of Lading.

PHMSA Publishes Corrections Final Rule/HM-244C/Emergency Response Info Req't

In the September 1, 2010 Federal Register, PHMSA published HM-244C, a direct final rule entitled “Minor Editorial Corrections and Clarifications,” addressing, inter alia, adjustments to levels of civil penalties, informational materials as opposed to mandatory incorporations, identification of emergency response information providers on shipping papers, security response plans for certain explosives (including desensitized), and several amendments to Part 173.

Of particular note is the correction to §172.604(b)(1), introduced in HM-206F which dealt with emergency response information. PHMSA acknowledged an error in the text of the requirement. The revision provided in the corrections document reflects their original intent. Namely, the shipper’s name or contract number need not be located in association with the emergency response information number, if the shipper’s name is prominently displayed elsewhere on the shipping paper.

Background

In addition to written emergency response information, Sec. 172.604(a) of the HMR requires a person who offers (offeror) a hazardous material for transportation in commerce to list an emergency response telephone number on the shipping paper. The emergency response telephone number must connect a caller to the offeror or to a person capable of and accepting responsibility for providing detailed information about the hazardous materials shipment. The emergency response telephone number is used by emergency responders and transport workers to obtain detailed, product-specific information, including directions for remedial measures to be taken in the event of an incident during transportation.

The telephone number must be answered by a person who is knowledgeable about the material being shipped and possesses comprehensive emergency response and incident mitigation information for that material, or has immediate access to a person who possesses such knowledge. Under this standard, ``immediate access'' requires the emergency response information to be provided to the emergency responder or transportation worker promptly and with no undue delay. Additionally, the emergency response telephone number must be active, with no limitations, during the entire time a shipment is in transportation, including storage incidental to movement and intermodal shipments that are transferred from one carrier to another for continued transportation.

The telephone number must be answered by a person who is knowledgeable about the material being shipped and possesses comprehensive emergency response and incident mitigation information for that material, or has immediate access to a person who possesses such knowledge. Under this standard, ``immediate access'' requires the emergency response information to be provided to the emergency responder or transportation worker promptly and with no undue delay. Additionally, the emergency response telephone number must be active, with no limitations, during the entire time a shipment is in transportation, including storage incidental to movement and intermodal shipments that are transferred from one carrier to another for continued transportation.

The initial shipment of hazardous materials may be handled by several entities before reaching its final destination. Without the name of the offeror who arranged for an emergency response service, an ERI provider may not be able to communicate the product-specific information that was provided by the original offeror. This could result in a serious problem if transportation workers or emergency response personnel must use the telephone number to request assistance in handling an accident or emergency.

Regulatory Changes Effective October 1, 2010

2. In Sec. 172.201, revise paragraph (d) to read as follows:

Sec. 172.201 Preparation and retention of shipping papers.

(d) Emergency response telephone number. Except as provided in Sec. 172.604(c), a shipping paper must contain an emergency response telephone number and, if utilizing an emergency response information telephone number service provider, identify the person (by name or contract number) who has a contractual agreement with the service provider, as prescribed in subpart G of this part.

R&L Carriers' Bill of Lading Changes & All Required Customer Bill of Lading Changes

New required hazmat info

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