PRBA Seeks Relief from U.S. Transport Regulations for Companies Transporting Lithium Batteries as Part of Normal Business Operation

PRBA – The Rechargeable Battery Association has filed a petition for rulemaking with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) seeking regulatory relief for companies that transport lithium batteries in direct support of their principal businesses pursuant to the “Materials of Trade” (MoT) exceptions found in the U.S. hazardous materials regulations.

PRBA’s petition is one of several actions recently undertaken to support the Biden Administration’s February 14 Executive Order directing government agencies to develop a sustainable supply chain for high-capacity batteries in the United States.  This effort includes a complete ecosystem involving cell and battery manufacturing, downstream producers of goods incorporating batteries, and battery recycling (and re-generation of materials derived therefrom). This can be accomplished in many ways, including updating provisions in the hazardous materials regulations that inhibit the development and safe transport of lithium batteries in the U.S.

Securing regulatory relief without compromising safety is a key feature of PRBA’s petition. The petition seeks the addition of a new provision in the MoT exceptions for a specific net weight limit applicable to lithium ion and lithium metal batteries, improved packaging requirements, and new hazard communication requirements for batteries or packages exceeding 30 kg.  The amendments to the MoT exceptions advocated by PRBA would provide substantial benefits for many industries that transport these relatively small quantities (i.e., < 500 kg) of lithium batteries as part of their regular business operations.

Contact PRBA at [email protected] for a copy of the petition for rulemaking.