PHMSA to meet, plan for U.N. session on hazmat transport

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The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration will conduct a public meeting in preparation for the 38th session of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, to be held Nov. 29-Dec. 7 in Geneva, Switzerland. During this meeting, PHMSA also is soliciting comments relative to potential new work items that may be considered for inclusion in its international agenda.

The meeting will be held Wednesday, Nov. 17, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at U.S. Department of Transportation Headquarters, West Building, Conference Rooms 8, 9 and 10, 1200 New Jersey Ave. S.E., Washington, DC 20590. Any person wishing to participate in the public meeting should send an e-mail to michael.stevens@dot.gov and include their name and contact information – organization, address and phone number – no later than Wednesday, Nov. 10. Providing this information will facilitate the security screening process for entry into the building on the day of the meeting.

Conference call-in and “live meeting” capability will be provided for this meeting. Specific information on call-in and live meeting access will be posted when available at www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/regs/international.

The primary purpose of the meeting will be to prepare for the 38th session of the UNSCOE TDG, the last of four meetings scheduled for the current 2009-2010 biennium. The UNSCOE will consider proposals for the 17th Revised Edition of the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods Model Regulations that will come into force in the international regulations from Jan. 1, 2013.

Topics on the agenda for the UNSCOE TDG meeting include:
• Recommendations made by the Sub-Committee at previous sessions;
• Explosives and related matters;
• Listing, classification and packing;
• Electric storage systems;
• Electronic data interchange for documentation purposes;
• Cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency;
• Global harmonization of transport of dangerous goods regulations;
• Guiding principles for the Model Regulations;
• Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals; and
• Program of work for the biennium 2011–2012.

In addition, PHMSA is soliciting comments on how to further enhance harmonization for international transport of hazardous materials. PHMSA has finalized a broad international strategic plan and welcomes input on items that stakeholders believe should be included as specific initiatives within this plan. PHMSA’s Office of International Standards Strategic Plan can be accessed at www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/regs/international.