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Interpretation Response #04-0051 ([McCarthy, Sweeney & Harkaway, P.C] [Lawrence W. Bierlein])

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: McCarthy, Sweeney & Harkaway, P.C

Individual Name: Lawrence W. Bierlein

Location State: DC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Mar 30, 2004


Lawrence W. Bierlein                Reference No. 04-0051
McCarthy, Sweeney & Harkaway, P.C,
Suite 600
2175 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037

Dear Mr. Bierlein:

This responds to your letter of February 19, 2004, requesting clarification as to whether a drum marked with two thickness marks may be reused under the minimum thickness provisions of 49 CFR 173.28(b).

Under the provisions of § 178.503(a)(9)(i), a metal drum intended for reuse must be marked with the thickness of the metal, expressed in millimeters (mm) and rounded to the nearest 0. 1 mm.  When the nominal thickness of either head of the drum is thinner than the body, the nominal thickness of the top head, body, and bottom head must be marked (e.g., “0.9 1.2 0.9”).

Section 178.503(a)(9)(i) does not provide an example for marking a drum for which the top and bottom heads are thicker than the body.  It is our opinion that either a single thickness mark, representing the minimum thickness of the body (e.g., “0.9”) or a marking of head-body-head (e.g., “l.2 0.9 1.2”) should be used.

Under the provisions of §173.28(b)(4)(i), a steel drum with a maximum capacity not over 220 liters must have a minimum thickness of 0.92 mm for reuse.  An exception is provided for a drum with minimum thicknesses of 0.82 mm for the body and 1.11 mm for the heads.

You describe a situation in which a metal drum is marked by the original manufacturer with two thickness marks, e.g., “1.2 0.9”. In confirmation of your understanding, this mark is not sufficiently descriptive to determine if the drum may be reused under the provisions of §173.28(b)(4)(i). However, the drum may be reused if it meets them in minimum thickness requirements: A reconditioner can make this determination by actually measuring the thicknesses or by obtaining confirmation of minimum thicknesses from a knowledgeable party such as the drum manufacturer or its customer.

I trust this satisfies your inquiry.  If we can be of further assistance, please contact us.



Edward T. Mazzullo
Director, Office of Hazardous
 Materials Standards

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.28 Reuse, reconditioning and remanufacture of packagings