Status of Special Permits of the US DOT for the Transportation of HazMat
A Special Permit is a document which authorizes a person to perform a function that is not currently authorized under the authority of the Hazardous Material Regulations (HMR). They are allowed when a person can demonstrate that the function can be performed safely or is otherwise necessary, such as in the event of an emergency. Much more about Special Permits, Exemptions, Approvals, and Regulatory Exceptions may be learned by reading an earlier article of mine on the subject. The purpose of this article is to report the status of several Special Permits and what must be done if a person wishes to continue to use them.
This Special Permit authorizes the manufacture, marking, sale and use of a specially designed combination packaging system manufactured by HAZMATPAC, Inc. of Houston, TX. A HazMat shipper or carrier does not need a written approval from the PHMSA in order for them to take advantage of its conditions. A portion of the Special Permit was incorporated into 49 CFR 173.13(c)(1)(ii) (effective 10.1.10, HM233A) to allow for an alternative packaging configuration. This incorporation into the regulations means that the alternative packaging method is now included specifically in 49 CFR 173.13 for all regulated shippers and carriers whereas before its use was limited solely to the Special Permit. The Special Permit has an expiration date of 12.31.14 and must be renewed by HAZMATPAC or some other packaging manufacturer in order to continue its use.
This Special Permit authorizes the transportation by highway of certain cyanide mixtures capable of liberating hydrogen cyanide (HCN), with acids if both hazardous materials are packaged as lab packs or non-bulk packages. Without this Special Permit, acids and cyanide mixtures capable of liberating HCN are prohibited from being transported in the same vehicle pursuant to 49 CFR 177.848(c). The use of this Special Permit by a carrier or shipper requires written approval from the PHMSA. However, effective 10.1.10 in HM233A, the segregation requirements of 49 CFR parts 174 (Carriage by Rail), 175 (Carriage by Vessel), and 177 (Carriage by Public Highway) were amended to allow for the transportation of lab pack quantities of Division 4.2 PG I, Division 5.2, and Division 6.1 PG I (Hazard Zone A) with other waste materials if specific packaging requirements are met. This incorporates some of DOT-SP 13192 into the regulations, but not all. A HazMat shipper or carrier must determine if they can now use the regulatory exception or if they must obtain approval from PHMSA to use the Special Permit.
This Special Permit allows for the transportation of certain hazard class 3 (flammable) waste paints and paint related materials in metal or plastic pails and then packaged in cubic yard boxes, dump trailers and roll-off containers. This Special Permit is currently effective and none of its conditions have been incorporated into the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) as an exception. Therefore, a shipper or carrier of HazMat must have written approval from the PHMSA before it may avail itself of the conditions of this Special Permit.
This Special Permit authorizes the transportation by highway of lab pack quantities of cyanides with non-lab packed acids of ≤55 gallons per package. This Special Permit is currently effective and none of its conditions have been incorporated into the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) as an exception. Therefore, a shipper or carrier of HazMat must have written approval from the PHMSA before it may avail itself of the conditions of this Special Permit.
Sometimes the PHMSA incorporates an entire Special Permit into the regulations as an exception if they feel confident the safety of HazMat Employees, emergency responders, and the general public is ensured. Other times, as is the case with DOT-SP 11248 & DOT-SP 13192, only a portion of the Special Permit is incorporated into the regulations. This leaves the shipper or carrier to determine if they must obtain written approval to use the Special Permit or if they can rely on the regulatory exception in the HMR. Additional information about Special Permits can be found on the PHMSA website. There you can perform a search of available Special Permits and who has received permission to use them.
You can learn more about the PHMSA HazMat regulations and how they apply to you at the ‘FAQs’ or ‘Articles’ pages of my website. Or, you can register for one of my open enrollment training events where I fulfill the training requirements of the PHMSA at 49 CFR 172, Subpart H and the US EPA at 40 CFR 265.16.