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PHMSA grants American Coatings Association appeal, extends use of 'Consumer Commodity ORM-D' through 2020.

ACA has successfully convinced the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to extend the authorization of the ORM-D classification and the use of the packagings marked "Consumer Commodity, ORM-D" until December 31, 2020 for highway, rail, and vessel. ACA had appealed the January 2011 final rule issued in HM-215K announcing the phase-out of ORM-D by 2013. PHMSA indicated in this final rule, effective January 1, 2013, that the extension was granted due to concerns raised by ACA, its member company PPG, and the Dangerous Goods Advisory Council (DGAC).

In the amendments to the final rule, published on January 7 in the Federal Register, PHMSA also authorized the continued use of the square-on-point and ID number limited quantity marking until January 1. 2015, as ACA had urged. In addition, PHMSA exempted limited quantities from the reporting requirements under Part 171, and authorized limited quantity material to be transported as "Materials of Trade."

HM-215K is the rule that harmonizes U.S. Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) with the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods: Model Regulations, International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, and the International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air. The ORM-D system allows for the reclassification and transport of limited quantities of hazardous materials, including common consumer products such as paint and aerosols, without being subject to some regulatory requirements. Authorization for the use of the ORM-D mark on material transported by aircraft expired January 1, 2013.

PHMSA echoed the sentiment in ACA's appeal, stating that, while adopting a single global system for transporting limited quantity shipments will "greatly improve safety and efficiency," the agency recognizes a need to provide domestic carriers with "sufficient time" to adjust to the revised system.

ACA filed an appeal of the final rule under HM-215K in February 2011, asking for an extension of the transition period for the use of the ORM-D hazard class, and square-on-point with UN number LQ mark; an extension of the incident reporting exceptions for limited quantity packages; and clarification of the scope of the new LQ mark for air. In addition, ACA requested that PHMSA reconsider its decision to forgo a separate rulemaking to consider the Consumer Commodity framework.

ACA's success in persuading PHMSA to make some significant changes to the final rule issued in January 2011 cannot be overstated: thousands and thousands of finished products in the paint and coatings industry utilize the "Consumer Commodity ORM-D" hazard class; these finished products include aerosol paints, architectural coatings and many specialty coatings found on retail shelves, and most adhesives. As such, the paint and coatings industry is a very heavy user of the Consumer Commodity and Limited Quantity strategies, and these changes will likely make its transport operations more efficient, a point which PHMSA ceded in its granting of the appeal.

ACA had also urged PHMSA to allow all forms of the limited quantity marking that were compliant on January 19, 2011 to be used until December 31. 2015. This includes the square-on-point mark containing the UN ID number and the LQ mark, which is the proper shipping name only. This extension is necessary to allow for the exhaustion of supplies of pre-marked packages. In addition, uniformity and consistency in the sunset date for all of the current marks will remove confusion and facilitate compliance.

With regard to the LQ mark of the proper shipping name only, ACA noted that it is used in the coatings industry for some smaller packages, which are simply not big enough for the new LQ marking. ACA asked that PHMSA consider allowing this mark to remain a permanent option for LQ materials in packages that are too small for the new mark. These packages are eight-ounce containers with four more individual containers in each package. As the proper shipping name is a historical mark for LQ shipments, it is easily recognizable as such, and provides the additional information of the proper shipping name. ACA requested that this form of marking for a Limited Quantity packaging be maintained as a permanent mark for very small packages.

Contact ACA's Heidi McAuliffe ( for more information.
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Title Annotation:ACA Issues In-Depth
Publication:JCT CoatingsTech
Date:Mar 1, 2013
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