Interpretation Response #15-0072
Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.
Interpretation Response Details
August 27, 2015
Denise E. Ernest, CRCM
Compliance Plus Services, Inc.
PO Box 186
Hatboro, PA 19040
Ref. No.: 15-0072
Dear Ms. Ernest:
This is a response to your April 6, 2015 email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to offering and transporting non-bulk packages containing various amounts of nitric acid. In your email, you state that you understand it is the shipper's responsibility to properly classify a hazardous material and that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) does not perform this function, but that you would appreciate PHMSA's guidance with the following issues. Your questions are paraphrased and answered as follows:
Q1. What packaging section is one referred to when shipping "UN3264, Waste Corrosive liquid, acidic, inorganic, n.o.s. (multiple technical names), 8, PG II" if nitric acid is one of multiple constituents causing the final solution to meet the definition of a Class 8 (corrosive) material?
A1. Assuming the shipper has properly classified the solution as "UN3264, Waste Corrosive liquid, acidic, inorganic, n.o.s. (multiple technical names), 8, PG II" then the packaging section it should select from the § 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table (HMT) is § 173.202 (non-bulk packagings for liquid hazardous materials in Packing Group (PG) II.
Q2. The shipping description, "UN2031, Nitric acid other than red fuming with not more than 20 percent nitric acid, 8, PG II," specifies not more than 20% nitric acid in the solution. Is this intended to be a range of 1%-20%? Is there a minimum percentage to be included in this shipping description (ex. anything 1%)?
A2. In order to utilize the HMT entry of "UN2031, Nitric acid other than red fuming with not more than 20 percent nitric acid, 8, PG II," you must meet the following two conditions:
(1) Nitric acid must be the predominant hazardous material in the solution that creates the corrosive hazard. The PG II corrosive hazard must be solely due to the concentration of nitric acid present in the solution and not from any other acidic materials in the solution. If the solution is a mixture of nitric acid with other acidic materials and they only meet the PG II corrosive hazard criteria due to the combination of the individual components present, then the proper shipping name should be "UN3264, Corrosive liquid, acidic, inorganic, n.o.s. (technical names of acids)"; and
(2) The amount of nitric acid must not exceed 20 percent.
Q3. Would a material with the shipping description, "UN2031, Nitric acid other than red fuming with not more than 20 percent nitric acid, 8, PG II" (that does not contain sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid as impurities), containing at least 1% nitric acid, be subject to the authorized packaging requirements listed in § 173.158?
A3. Please see A2. If a shipper has properly classified a solution as "UN2031, Nitric acid other than red fuming with not more than 20 percent nitric acid, 8, PG II," then the § 172.101 HMT directs the reader to § 173.158 as the appropriate packaging section for nitric acid in non-bulk packagings. Additionally, the § 172.101 HMT directs the reader to § 173.242 as the appropriate packaging section for nitric acid in bulk packagings.
Q4. After having been placed in transportation, if a package containing a hazardous waste of nitric acid that is subject to § 173.158 is not contained in one of the authorized packages listed in § 173.158 and the material cannot be safely transferred into one of the appropriate authorized packages, would it be appropriate for the material to be placed into a salvage drum?
A4. The answer is yes. As provided by § 173.3(c), packages of hazardous materials that are damaged, defective, or leaking; packages found to be not conforming to the requirements of Subchapter C 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 under the conditions listed in (c)(1) through (7) of § 173.3.
Q5. If one can place the material referenced in Q4 into a salvage drum, must the salvage drum be made of stainless steel to comply with § 173.158(b)(l)?
A5. As provided by § 173.3(c)(1), the salvage drum must be a UN 1A2, 1B2, 1N2 or 1H2 tested and marked for PG III or higher performance standards for liquids or solids and a leakproofness test of 20 kPa (3 psig), and a capacity may not exceed 450 L (119 gallons). Depending on the characteristics and concentrations of the nitric acid, these materials must 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 information is helpful. If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to contact this office.
T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division
172.101, 173.202, 173.158, 173.242, 173.3(c), 173.158(b)(l), 173.3(c)(1)
|§ 173.3||Packaging and exceptions|