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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #08-0003 ([Transportation Skills Programs, Inc. & Hazardous Materials Publishing Co., Inc.] [Mr. Robert J. Keegan])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Transportation Skills Programs, Inc. & Hazardous Materials Publishing Co., Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. Robert J. Keegan

Location State: PA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

May 6, 2008




Mr. Robert J. Keegan

President

Transportation Skills Programs, Inc.

Hazardous Materials Publishing Co., Inc.

243 West Main Street

Kutztown, PA 19530

Ref. No.: 08-0003

Dear Mr. Keegan:

This responds to your letter requesting clarification of the salvage drum requirements under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).

You note some confusion in your understanding of the preamble discussion in the final rule issued under Docket HM-215G [69 FR 76053;12/20/04] and the correction final rule issued under Docket HM-215G [70 FR 34385; 6/14/05] regarding salvage drum provisions. Specifically, you ask if your understanding is correct that: 1) packages of hazardous materials found to be leaking, damaged or defective and hazardous material that have spilled or leaked prior to pickup by the carrier may be placed in salvage drums by the shipper for transportation; and 2) non-conforming packages containing hazardous material after having been placed in transportation do not have to be repackaged into an authorized packaging and may be placed in salvage drums for shipment.

In the December 20, 2004 final rule, we revised the requirements for use of salvage drums to include the term "non-conforming." The term "non-conforming" was added to the UN Model Regulations in 2000. Our intent was to allow the use of salvage drums for non-conforming packages, but to limit such use to instances where the packages were discovered to be non-conforming after having been placed in transportation; however, inadvertently the regulatory text applied the limitation to damaged, defective, and leaking packages, as well as to non-conforming packages.

In the June 14, 2005 correction final rule, we revised the salvage drum provision in §173.3(c) to clarify that damaged, defective, or leaking packages may be transported in salvage drums under the specified conditions irrespective of whether such packages are discovered before or after having been placed in transportation. Therefore, packages of hazardous materials that are damaged, defective or leaking; packages found to be not conforming to the requirements of the HMR after having been placed in transportation; and hazardous materials that have spilled or leaked may be placed in a metal or plastic removable head salvage drum that is compatible with the lading and shipped for repackaging or disposal.

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

Sincerely,

John A. Gale

Chief, Standards Development

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

173.3

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.3 Packaging and exceptions