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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 #17-0094

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Entegris Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. James McManus

Location State: CT Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

December 11, 2017
Mr. James V. McManus
Entegris Inc.
7 Commerce Drive
Danbury, CT  06810
Reference No. 17-0094
Dear Mr. McManus:
This letter is in response to your August 25, 2017, letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to cylinders.  Specifically, you present two scenarios involving the requalification of U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) 3AA 2400 specification cylinders.  
We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:
A DOT-3AA 2400 specification cylinder was last qualified on September 15, 2012, and subsequently marked in accordance with § 180.213(d).  You marked the cylinder with a requalification date of September 15, 2012, and subsequently recorded the date in the qualification record in accordance with § 180.215(b).  You further state that the requalification period for the cylinder is 5 years as specified in § 180.209(a).  The cylinder is now empty and meets the requirements of § 173.301(a)(2). 
Q1:      You ask for the date by when the cylinder must be filled with a gas defined as a hazardous material to remain in service before the requalification becomes due.
A1:      The cylinder in your scenario must be requalified within 5 years of the last requalification date.  Therefore, it must be filled before September 15, 2017, to remain in service.
A DOT-3AA 2400 specification cylinder was last qualified on September 15, 2012; subsequently filled with a Class 2 hazardous material on July 15, 2017; and then shipped from the fill plant on August 1, 2017, to a location where it is stored in a warehouse.  The cylinder remains in the warehouse until its next requalification comes due on October 15, 2017 (see § 180.209(a)), at which point the cylinder is verified in good condition and shipped to an end user.  The end user consumes half the contents of the cylinder and returns it to the warehouse on January 6, 2018.  The warehouse in turn ships the cylinder back to the fill plant. 
Q1:      You ask if the transport operations described in this scenario comply with the HMR.
A1:      The answer is yes.  Cylinders filled prior to their reauthorization date may remain in service until emptied and may be transported in commerce provided all applicable HMR requirements are met (see § 180.205(c)).  An emptied cylinder due for requalification may not be refilled and offered for transportation unless it has been requalified in accordance with the HMR.
Q2:      You ask if the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) defines the term "remain in service."
A2:      PHMSA does not define "remain in service."  However, under § 180.205(c) of the HMR, PHMSA does allow a cylinder to remain in service until it is emptied of a hazardous material.
I hope this information is helpful.  Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.
T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division
180.213(d), 180.215(b), 180.209(a), 173.301(a)(2), 180.205(c)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.301a Additional general requirements for shipment of specification cylinders
180.205 General requirements for requalification of specification cylinders
180.209 Requirements for requalification of specification cylinders
180.213 Requalification markings
180.215 Reporting and record retention requirements