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U.S. Waterway Data Title
Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center
Hazardous Commodity Code Cross Reference File

BACKGROUND (Revised 24 Nov 2004)

Safe transportation of hazardous or chemical materials by bulk waterborne transportation system is in the best interest of industry, shippers, federal and state agencies and the American public. To ensure the rapid response to accidents or incidents involving chemical transport it is vitally important to correctly identify materials to enhance safe and immediate response. In an effort to associate Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center's (WCSC) commodity codes (based upon Standard International Trade Classification, Revision 3) with hazardous commodity codes used by other Federal agencies and internationally, WCSC attempted to match WCSC codes with North American Emergency Response Guide (NAERG) guide numbers and hazard classes. WCSC enlisted Dr. Joe E. Svirbely of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Great Lakes and Ohio River Division in Cincinnati, Ohio. Svirbely has produced two products that identify which WCSC commodity codes represent hazards, and the other types of hazards.

Users must exercise caution when using these cross-references because the matches between groups are not one-to-one. That is, one Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center's (WCSC) commodity may relate to several hazard codes in the North American Emergency Response Guide (NAERG), Chemical Hazard Response Information System (CHRIS) and the Chemical Abstract Service Registry Numbers (CAS). Please appreciate the fact that these products are works-in-progress and will continually be refined and expanded in the future. Its original purpose was to provide a tool for WCSC to use to facilitate answering special requests for waterborne hazardous commodity movement information as recorded in WCSC's database. Feedback from others has indicated, however, that these products may be valuable for a variety of uses and disciplines. Therefore, we are providing these commodity cross-reference files to everyone via our CD-ROM and our website:http://www.iwr.usace.army.mil/ndc/.

These two tables were revised in November 2004 to incorporate changes to the 2004 Emergency Response Guide (ERG) from the 2000 Emergency Response Guide. The contribution of Dr. George E. Cushmac, Research and Special Programs Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, is acknowledged. Cushmac provided the list of materials that were reassigned to a different Guide in ERG2004 from ERG2000. Cushmac also identified Mr. Michel Cloutier, Transport Canada, Ottawa, Ontario as the author of this change list. The contribution of Cloutier is gratefully acknowledged.

We welcome your comments and suggestions for improving the product. Please send your comments to:
Dr. Joe Svirbely
Great Lakes and Ohio River Division (LRD) Regional Integration Team (CECW-LRD) HQ, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
441 G. Street, NW
Washington, DC 20314-1000
Telephone: 202-761-4236
E-mail: Joe Svirbely

PRODUCTS

Products 1 and 2 provide tools to aid the conversion of selected Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center's (WCSC) Commodity Codes and associated data into a format with which clients, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the U.S Coast Guard (USCG), are familiar.

Product 1 relates selected Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center's Commodity Codes to the USDOT North American Emergency Response Guide's (NAERG) Hazard Identification Numbers. These NAERG Identification Numbers consist of the United Nations' (UN) Hazard Identification Codes used worldwide to track international hazardous material cargoes and a number of general codes to cover hazardous materials not specified by the UN Codes.

Product 2 inter-relates the WCSC Commodity Codes with the USCG Chemical Hazard Response Information System (CHRIS) Codes, the NAERG Hazard Identification Numbers, and Chemical Abstract Service Registry Numbers (CAS). CHRIS Numbers are used within the United States by the U.S Shipping Industry and the U.S Coast Guard to designate hazardous cargo moving by vessel. The CAS Registry is the worldwide definitive chemical identification system.

METHOD

Procedure I
The NAERG ID Numbers were assigned by first reverse mapping the ID Numbers from either NAERG96 or ERG93 with each WCSC Commodity Code. The Hazard Class Guide Number (from the 1996 North American Emergency Response Guidebook) that matched each ID Number was then forward mapped. NOTE: Although the ID Numbers were assigned using two guidebooks, all the Hazard Class Guide Numbers were assigned using NAERG96.

For Product 2, the CHRIS Codes and CHRIS Descriptions were reverse matched to both the WCSC Commodity Codes and the NAERG ID Numbers in Product 1.

EXAMPLE A: The NAERG ID Numbers 3065 (alcoholic beverages) and 1170 (ethanol, ethanol solution, ethyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol solution) reverse matched the WCSC Commodity Code 11200 (alcoholic beverages). The Hazard Class Guide Number 127 was forward matched from 1170 and 3065 using NAERG96. This procedure explains why there are sometimes 4 or more Hazard ID Numbers for a single WCSC Commodity Code.

EXAMPLE B: WCSC Commodity Code 27896 (Bituminous Shale and Tar Sands) yielded ID Numbers 1136, 1137 (coal tar oil, 1993ERG); 1270 (oil, petroleum, not otherwise specified, ERG93); 1999 (liquid road asphalt, ERG93; cut back asphalt, liquid tars, NAERG96); 3077 (other regulated substances, solid, NAERG96).

Procedure II
Several WCSC Commodity Codes contain multiple chemicals, especially the NEC categories that are general groups. NAERG ID number mapping of WCSC Commodities to general categories was included.

EXAMPLE C: WCSC Commodity Code 51374 (Formic Acid and its Salts and Esters) mapped to ID Number 3272 (Esters, not otherwise specified) even though it mapped to several specific ID Numbers.

Procedure III
Where a WCSC Commodity Code contained a chemical compound regulated on a national level, an additional NAERG ID Number was mapped. The regulation was also noted in Product 1. These notations were not included in Product 2 although the ID Numbers were.

EXAMPLE D: WCSC Commodity Code 51550 (Organo-Inorganic Compounds, NEC) mapped to a number of specific NAERG ID Numbers such as ID 1431 (Sodium Methylate). It also mapped to several general categories including ID 3053 (Magnesium alkyls). Then additional mapping was also performed to ID 3082 (Other regulated substances, liquid, not otherwise specified). A comment was included in Product 1 noting that methyl chloride and methyl bromide are regulated by the Clean Water Act.

SOURCES OF IMPRECISION

Systemic or Inherent Lack of Precision
The relevant Hazardous Commodity code systems are part of databases which were developed independently over time to serve the specific purposes of each originator. Within each code system, there are ambiguities, redundancies and gaps reflecting their originators' evolving missions and the databases' purposes. When these code systems are related, the internal discrepancies are readily apparent and can cause problems, unless the user understands that these products are only implements to help users and not restrain them. When several independent databases are related, the lack of precision within the relationships is a product of the imprecision inherent in each database. In these Products, the 5-digit WCSC Commodity Codes are not detailed enough to map uniquely and specifically to individual NAERG ID Numbers. NAERG ID Numbers are frequently dependent upon the concentration of chemicals in solution, but the WCSC Commodity Code Database does not capture concentration percentages. For example, ammonia in solution has multiple ID Numbers depending on the concentration of ammonia. In Product 2, the 3-letter CHRIS Codes do not always map uniquely to the NAERG ID Numbers. For example, hydrazine, CHRIS Code HDZ, maps to two ID Numbers, one for anhydrous hydrazine and one for hydrazine solution, 37 percent hydrazine.

Methodic Bias
It will be clear that in addition to the systemic lack of precision mentioned above which resulted from relating these databases, the method used emphasized sensitivity at the expense of specificity. In other words, a conscious decision was made to match WCSC codes to as many of the other classification system codes as applied, as opposed to trying to pick the one "best" match in each of the other systems. The conservative approach used, which errs on the side of public safety at the expense of absolute technical accuracy, has the effect of increasing the systemic imprecision discussed above.

External Errors
The user must accept the lack of specificity due to the systemic and methodic problems mentioned above if these products are to be used appropriately. Ignoring these systemic and methodic distortions can easily result in errors for which the inattentive user must take responsibility.

SUMMARY AND CAUTIONARY NOTE

These products are not stand alone documents. They will assist the constant discourses among the national and international shipping and cargo monitoring communities. They cannot be used correctly unless their limitations are appreciated.

REFERENCES

1993 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG93). U.S. Department of Transportation, (Washington DC, 1993)

1996 North American Emergency Response Guidebook (NAERG96).Transport Canada, U.S. Department of Transportation, and Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of Mexico. (Washington DC, 1996). See the following websites: http://phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/library/erg http://www.tc.gc.ca/canutec/en/menu.htm
See the following websites:
http://phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/library/erg http://www.tc.gc.ca/canutec/en/menu.htm

2004 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG04).Transport Canada, U.S. Department of Transportation, and Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of Mexico. (Washington DC, 2004). See the following websites: http://phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/library/erg http://www.tc.gc.ca/canutec/en/guide/guide.htm http://www.sct.gob.mx/ http://www.ciquime.org.ar/CIQUIME/index.htm

Merck Index. Eleventh Edition. Merck & Company. (Rahway NJ, 1989)

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. Fourth Printing. Publication # 90-117. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control. (Cincinnati OH, 1996).

Lange, N. A., and Forker, G. M.: Handbook of Chemistry. Eighth Edition. Handbook Publishers. (Sandusky OH, 1952)

Schneider, A.L., Chemical Hazard Response Information System (CHRIS), v. 1.0, CD-ROM (Washington DC, 1999). Commandant Instruction M16465.12B, CHRIS Hazardous Chemical Data Manual (Washington DC, 1992). Hard copy version of CHRIS (stock number 050-012-00406-4) available from: Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. Telephone number: (202) 512-1800. The CHRIS database is also available on the internet. See the following website: http://www.chrismanual.com

Chemical Abstract Service Registry System, CAS, 2540 Olentangy River Road, P.O. Box 3012, Columbus, OH 43210-0012. See the following website: http://www.CAS.org.
Website: www.CAS.org.

Standard International Trade Classification, Revision 3, United Nations Series M, No. 34/Rev.3, Sales Number E.86.XVIII.12, e-mail: publications@un.org.

Cushmac, G.E., (Professional Communication), List of materials that were reassigned or changed to a different Guide in the 2004 Emergency Response Guide from 2004 Emergency Response Guide. George E. Cushmac, Ph.D., Chemist, Health and Safety, Office of Hazardous Materials Technology, DHM-20, Research and Special Programs Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 7th Street, S.W., Room 8430, Washington, DC 20590-0001, e-mail: george.cushmac@rspa.dot.gov. See the following website: http://hazmat.dot.gov.

Cloutier, M., (Professional Communication), In the e-mail communication cited above, Dr. Cushmac named Michel Cloutier, Director, Transport Canada, Ottawa, Ontario as the author of this change list cited above. Michel Cloutier, Director, Transport Canada (CANUTEC), (613) 947-5052, 330 Sparks Street, Office 1415, Place de Ville, Tower C, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1A 0N5, e-mail: CLOUTM@tc.gc.ca. See the following website: http://www.canutec.gc.ca.

J E Svirbely Great Lakes and Ohio River Division (LRD) Regional Integration Team (CECW-LRD) HQ, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers March 2005 WCSC Products 1 & 2 Read File Contact for Additional Information: Joe E. Svirbely Ph.D. Great Lakes and Ohio River Division (LRD) Regional Integration Team (CECW-LRD) HQ, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers P.O. Box 1159 Washington, DC 20314-1000 Point of Contact: Joe E. Svirbely, Ph.D. Telephone: 202-761-4236, e-mail: Joe Svirbely


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