SIA Warns of Possible ‘Tragic Consequences’ From Proposed Rules

A proposal that would revise the regulations covering lithium battery transportation could have “tragic consequences,” the Security Industry Association (SIA) has warned a federal agency.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is considering rules that would impose much tighter restrictions on the shipment, packaging and labeling of lithium batteries. SIA noted in a March 12 letter to the administration that these batteries are used to power many wireless security and life safety devices, from smoke detectors to portable alarm system keypads to health-alert bracelets.

“SIA believes that the regulations proposed by the PHMSA do not take into account the potential tragic consequences that could result from the proposed extreme requirements that would delay the shipment and availability of these life-saving products and drive up their cost,” SIA states in the letter.

SIA also warned the rules being considered would hinder efforts to establish international standards on hazardous materials transportation and objected that the administration has rushed the regulation approval process. It urged the agency to move back a procedural step and change its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which would allow time for more public and industry comment on the measures.

“A proposal with such far-reaching implications for consumers, manufacturers, distributors and transportation providers deserves to be carefully analyzed with input solicited from all interested stakeholders,” SIA states.

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