A group of more than 20 corporations and trade associations is asking new U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chou to approve the release and publication of a final rule that would harmonize U.S. hazardous materials regulations with international standards and regulations. The HM-215N Final Rule, promulgated by the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, was posted to the Office of the Federal Register’s website prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration, but was put on a hold by a regulatory freeze instituted by the Trump administration on Jan. 20.
“This rule is intended to harmonize the U.S. hazardous materials regulations (HMR) with international dangerous goods regulations and is strongly supported by all the signatories to this letter,” the letter states. “Its promulgation will not create any new risks in transport. In fact, it will ensure the U.S. hazardous materials regulations maintain alignment with international standards, thus assuring safety and avoiding disruptions to supply chains.”
The letter and a news release were circulated Tuesday by PRBA — The Rechargeable Battery Association, which is one of the letter’s signers. Other signatories include Airlines for America (A4A), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Atlas Air, the Cargo Airline Association, Apple, Dell, the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.
Avoiding the disruption of supply chains is “critically important” to all the signatories, the letter states. “Our endorsement of the regulation also is consistent [with] our long-standing endorsement of harmonizing the U.S. HMR with international standards. Harmonization avoids confusion among shippers, carriers and others in the logistics chain; maximizes safety; and reduces costs for U.S. businesses.”