Tuesday, October 20, 2020

PHMSA Issues Notice on International Standards Enforcement

On Oct. 1, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline Hazardous Materials Administration (PHSMA) issued a notice of enforcement policy regarding international standards. The notice recognizes that many offerors and carriers of hazmat in international transport will soon be adhering to requirements in the internationally-adopted International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 2021-2022 Technical Instructions and Amendment 40-20 of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code). However, DOT’s current Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) authorize offerors and carriers to use the 2019-2020 Edition of the ICAO Technical Instructions and Amendment 39-18 of the IMDG Code.

The PHMSA Enforcement notice aims to mitigate this inconsistency. PHMSA coordinated its enforcement discretion with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the United States Coast Guard. Accordingly, the notices states:

PHMSA gives notice that while we: (1) continue to evaluate whether to propose the inclusion of the 2021-2022 Edition of the ICAO Technical Instructions and Amendment 40-20 of the IMDG Code in a future notice of proposed rulemaking; and (2) potentially adopt these updated standards in a future final rule, we will not take enforcement action against any offeror or carrier who is using these standards when all or part of the transportation is by air with respect to the ICAO Technical Instructions, or all or part of the transportation is by vessel with respect to the IMDG Code.

Additionally, PHMSA and its modal partners will not take enforcement action against any offeror or carrier who offers or accepts for domestic or international transportation by any mode packages marked or labeled in accordance with the ICAO Technical Instructions or the Amendment 40-20 of the IMDG Code.

PHMSA’s notice provides temporary enforcement discretion while the agency continues to consider adopting updated editions of the ICAO Technical Instructions and IMDG Code into the HMR.  This notice is limited to the use of the standards incorporated by reference in 49 CFR § 171.7(t) and (v). Offerors and carriers must comply with all other obligations under the HMR and other applicable laws.

The temporary enforcement discretion will remain in effect until withdrawn or otherwise modified.

Contact ACA’s Rhett Cash for more information.

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from American Coatings Association https://www.paint.org/phmsa-enforcement/
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OSHA Issues FAQs on Reporting Work-Related Cases of the Coronavirus

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently published additional frequently asked questions and answers (FAQs) regarding the need to report employees’ in-patient hospitalizations and fatalities resulting from work-related cases of the coronavirus.

OSHA’s new FAQs provide information to help employers apply the agency’s existing injury and illness recording and reporting requirements to the coronavirus. In particular, the FAQs provide guidance on how to calculate reporting deadlines for in-patient hospitalizations and fatalities, and clarify the meaning of the term “incident” as it relates to work-related coronavirus in-patient hospitalizations and fatalities.

According to OSHA, based on guidance contained in the updated FAQ, the is withdrawing its citation against Winder Nursing Inc. in Winder, Ga.

OSHA has said that the additional FAQs are part of its efforts to provide employers and employees with more information about how it will enforce its standards and regulations during the pandemic. OSHA had previously published revised enforcement guidance detailing how it will enforce the recordkeeping requirements of 29 CFR 1904 for employee coronavirus illnesses for all employers.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

Visit OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage for further information and resources about the coronavirus.

Contact ACA’s Riaz Zaman for more information.

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from American Coatings Association https://www.paint.org/osha-faqs/
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Monday, October 19, 2020

BASF to Increase Production Capacity for Synthetic Ester Base Stocks in China

BASF has announced plans to almost double the production capacity for its synthetic ester base stocks at its site in Jinshan, China. According to the company, the investment comes in response to the rising demand for high-performance lubricants in Asia Pacific and further strengthens BASF’s position as a reliable supplier that strongly supports customers’ growth in the region.

“The new production capacity for synthetic ester base stocks will bring additional security of supply for our customers particularly in the Asia Pacific region. Building on our backward integration into key raw materials we will be leveraging the full strength of BASF as a leading and reliable component provider to the lubricant industry,” explains Matthias Lang, vice president, Business Management Fuel and Lubricant Solutions Asia Pacific and Performance Chemicals Greater China.

The capacity expansion is expected to reach full completion by the second half of 2022.

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from American Coatings Association https://www.paint.org/basf-to-increase-production-capacity-for-synthetic-ester-base-stocks-in-china/
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WACKER Expands Capacity for Polymer Products at Nanjing

Wacker Chemie AG has announced plans to expand its Chinese polymer activities by investing around $100 million in building two new production plants at its Nanjing site. The expansion reportedly includes adding a reactor for vinyl-acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE) dispersions and a spray dryer for VAE dispersible polymer powders. The reactor and spray dryer are scheduled to come on stream in the second half of 2022, Wacker reported. The two plants, when completed, will be the largest of their kind in the world, according to the company.

WACKER’s Nanjing expansion will more than double its production capacity, enabling it to meet growing customer demand for its high-quality binders, particularly from China’s buoyant construction industry, the company said. “China is the largest building market in the world, accounting for 20 percent of all construction investment. Our capacity expansion in Nanjing strengthens our position as the global leader for vinyl acetate-ethylene dispersions and polymer powders,” said Rudolf Staudigl, CEO of Wacker Chemie AG.

“Our binders not only enhance the properties of building materials, but also make construction activities more resource-efficient,” adds Paul Lindblad, president of WACKER Greater China. “Ongoing urbanization and the need to renovate existing residential buildings continue to drive the development of environmentally-friendly dry-mix building materials in China. Nanjing’s expanded capacities will enable us to securely meet future market growth in the region.”

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IMCD US Opens New Headquarters in Greater Cleveland Area

IMCD N.V. has opened its new U.S. headquarters in Westlake, Ohio. IMCD stated that the new location will accommodate its expanding business, invest in its people and future growth, and complement the company’s global digitalization initiatives to better serve its markets across the United States.

“I am proud to announce the opening of the new IMCD US headquarters. “It was created to enable employees in their quest to drive excellence as we serve both our principals and customer partners. This is not just a new office space, but a modern work environment carefully designed to inspire collaboration, galvanize partnerships and encourage entrepreneurship,” said Thomas Van Valkenburgh, president, IMCD US.

The company reported that safety was at the forefront of a responsible and modified return to the now 31,639 sq. ft. headquarters of IMCD US. Thorough preparations and employee training were reportedly key to a safe return to an office environment.

IMCD US added that the new IMCD headquarters was selected for its location convenience, onsite and nearby amenities, and ease of access for employees. Specifically, the building features an open floor plan, state-of-the-art training and conference rooms, and integrated technology throughout the space. The company stated that is committed to continue to attract and develop top talent with its new headquarters, while contributing to the local economy through job creation.

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from American Coatings Association https://www.paint.org/imcd-us-opens-new-headquarters-in-greater-cleveland-area/
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Barentz to Acquire Maroon Group

Barentz International has entered into a definitive, written agreement to acquire Maroon Group. Maroon operates at a broad national level in the US market as well as across Canada. The acquisition, which is expected to close this quarter, will expand Barentz’ activities and is aligned with its strategy to become a global leader in the life science and broader specialty chemical industries, Barentz stated.

Maroon stated that it shares Barentz’ focus on leveraging industry and technical knowledge to support its suppliers’ and customers’ business development and that Maroon will fit seamlessly into Barentz’ global product portfolio. Terry Hill, CEO of Maroon Group, and his entire management team will continue to manage the operations.

Maroon Group stated that it was a logical decision to join with Barentz. “The deciding factor was that Barentz is already a global business and this creates tremendous opportunities to strengthen our business in North America and internationally. Barentz is well-known across the industry, we share the same philosophy and entrepreneurial DNA, and is the best possible new home for the stakeholders across our business,” said Hill.

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from American Coatings Association https://www.paint.org/barentz-to-acquire-maroon-group/
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AkzoNobel to Acquire Titan in Spain

AkzoNobel has announced its agreement to acquire the decorative paints business of Spain’s Industrias Titan S.A.U. Completion is subject to regulatory approvals and expected before the end of Q1, 2021.

“The acquisition will enable us to better serve our customers and provides added momentum, while also offering further proof of us being the reference in paints and coatings in Europe. The fact that a significant part of Titan’s portfolio has been awarded the European Ecological label also offers exciting possibilities for combining our technologies and expertise, which will result in us developing better and more sustainable products,” said AkzoNobel CEO, Thierry Vanlancker.

Alberto and Joaquin Folch-RusiƱol, Industrias Titan S.A.U administrators added that the company is confident that AkoNobel will care for Titan’s legacy in the same way the Titan family has done for over 100 years. “Titan has a proud heritage and a long track record of innovation and continuous improvement – qualities that we strongly relate to. It’s therefore a perfect fit for us and will provide a solid platform to further grow our position throughout the region,” said Vanlancker.

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from American Coatings Association https://www.paint.org/akzonobel-to-acquire-titan-in-spain/
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