RSPA amends cargo tank construction rule
Oct 1, 2003 12:00 PM
THE RESEARCH and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) has amended and made minor editorial corrections to its final rule on the construction and maintenance of cargo tank motor vehicles. The action comes in response to appeals from persons affected by the RSPA original final rule published April 18.
According to information published September 3 in The Federal Register, those appealing the rule (49 CFR Parts 172, 178, 180) included the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC), Compressed Gas Association, the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), Container Technology Inc, Baltimore Cargo Tank Service Inc, and Fisher Controls.
Among the appeals granted was one by NTTC that asks for modifying the definition to indicate that a cargo tank may be used for the transportation of solids and semi-solids, in addition to liquids or gases.
The original final rule adopted definitions for “sacrificial device” and “shear section” that were developed for the DOT400 series cargo tanks and made the definitions generally applicable to all cargo tanks. NPGA objected to the new definitions, stating that because of “substantial” differences in design, construction, use, and pressure conditions, the definitions for the DOT400 series cargo tanks are not directly transferable to MC331 cargo tanks. RSPA agreed that the issue requires further analysis and that, until such analysis is complete, the definitions for “sacrificial device” and “shear section” originally adopted for the DOT400 series cargo tanks should not be applied to MC331 cargo tanks.
Another RSPA action reverses a decision to prohibit the use of stainless steel for internal components of a cargo tank, such as shutoff discs and springs. NPGA and Container Technology appealed this provision, suggesting that it is overly restrictive and that stainless steel should be permitted for internal components where it is not incompatible with the lading. RSPA agreed and is making the appropriate revision.
Other issues addressed include metal to be used in the construction of primary valves and fittings; rear-end protection requirements originally developed for DOT400 series cargo tanks as an option for MC331 cargo tanks; MC331 name plate information; and MC306, MC307, or MC312 recertification.
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