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Interpretation Response #13-0202 ([Midland Rail Services, LLC] [Mr. Allen Maty])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Midland Rail Services, LLC

Individual Name: Mr. Allen Maty

Location State: MO Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

March 26, 2014

Mr. Allen Maty
Midland Rail Services, LLC
P. O. Box 297
Smithville, MO  64089

Reference No. 13-0202

Dear Mr. Maty:

This is in response to your recent e-mail requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to marking requirements for reclosing pressure relief devices installed on tank cars.  Specifically, you ask if § 180.515(c) permits these devices to be installed on tank cars without having to be retested if they are stored and protected from deterioration for up to 6 months from their date of manufacture.  We apologize for the delay in responding and any inconvenience this may have caused.  We have paraphrased your questions to facilitate this response.

You ask us to presume that a reclosing pressure relief device has a service life of either 5 or 10 years before § 180.509(c) requires that it must be retested, regardless of whether it is installed on a tank car or stored before being installed on a tank car.  

Q1.   If a reclosing pressure relief device passes the pressure test for its design, is stored in a manner that protects it from deterioration, and is installed on a tank car within 6 months from the day it passed the pressure test, can the test date marking on the tank car for the device be the date it is installed on the tank car?  

A1.   The answer is yes.  Section 180.515(c) requires that the test date marking on a tank car for a reclosing pressure relief device must be the date the device is installed on the tank car if the reclosing pressure relief device is qualified and protected from deterioration within 6 months prior its installation on a tank car.  Further, please note that the qualification requirements for reclosing pressure relief devices installed on tank cars must comply with applicable provisions in 49 CFR Part 179, “Specifications for Tank Cars” (see § 173.31(b)(2)).

Q2. Can a test date of 2014 be marked on a tank car for a reclosing pressure relief device that was tested in July 2013 and installed on the tank car in January 2014?    

A2. Yes.  See Answer A1.

Q3. If the same reclosing pressure relief device is installed on the tank car in February 2014, must the test date marked on the tank car be 2013 because the 6-month storage allowance period prescribed in § 180.515(c) has expired.

A3. The answer is no.  A reclosing pressure relief device that is not tested within 6 months from the date it is installed on a tank car or that is not protected from deterioration must be retested in conformance with §§ 173.31(b)(2) and 180.509(k).  After the device is successfully tested and installed on a tank car, the device’s retest date must be marked on the tank car in conformance with § 180.515(c).  

Q4. You also state that some are interpreting § 180.515(c) to mean that a reclosing pressure relief device has a shelf life of 6 months, and that after that 6-month period the reclosing pressure relief device would have to be retested before it can be installed on a tank car.  You ask if this position is correct.

A4. Yes.  See Answer A3.

I hope this satisfies your request.

Sincerely,

T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

180.515, 173.31

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.31 Use of tank cars
180.509 Requirements for inspection and test of specification tank cars