ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) has released its final rule on refrigerant container shipment with changes sought by the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) to avoid significant disruption in the transport of millions of cylinders.

In a rule issued May 8 titled “Hazardous Materials: Requirements for Maintenance, Re-qualification, Repair and Use of DOT Specification Cylinders,” the DOT amended the requirements for hazardous materials regulations applicable to the maintenance, requalification, repair, and use of DOT-specification cylinders issued on Aug. 8, 2002.

According to ARI, DOT would have required all cylinders containing type 2 materials, such as R-22 and R-12, to be shipped vertically rather than horizontally. In addition, the regulation would have required that any cylinder containing type 2 materials to maintain constant contact between the pressure relief device and the vapor space when shipping.

In response to appeals, DOT has amended these provisions as follows: “Cylinders containing Class 2 gases must be securely restrained in an upright or horizontal position, loaded in racks, or packed in boxes or crates to prevent the cylinders from being shifted, overturned, or ejected from the motor vehicle under normal transportation conditions.”

In addition, the rule separately deals with flammable gas by stating “A pressure relief device, when installed, must be in communication with the vapor space of a cylinder containing a Division 2.1 (flammable gas) material, only.”

Publication date: 05/26/2003