The 55-gal drum remains a standard container for hazardous waste. The several DOT-specified 55-gal drums are the most frequently used container for collection, storage, shipment, and disposal of liquid hazardous wastes (EPA 1990).
Selecting the proper drum or container requires consulting DOT regulations. The process begins with the 49 CFR Sec. 172.101 Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (MHTA), which is frequently referred to as the heart of MHTA. About 16,000 materials and substances are listed, followed by twelve columns with transport, packaging, and identification requirements.
Drums used in hazardous waste management must be in good condition, clean, free of rust, dents, and creases. In addition, the regulations require:
Containers holding hazardous wastes must always be closed, except when wastes are added or removed Wastes must be compatible with containers (i.e., corrosive wastes should not be stored in metal containers) Wastes in leaking or damaged containers must be recon-tainerized
Containers must be handled properly to prevent ruptures and leaks
Incompatible wastes must be prevented from mixing Inspections must be conducted to assess container condition
Containers holding ignitable or reactive wastes must be located at least 15 m (50 ft) from the facility's property line.
Permit requirements for containers are similar to the interim status requirements with the following exceptions:
Liquid hazardous waste containers must be placed in a containment system capable of containing leaks and spills. This system must have sufficient capacity to contain 10% of the volume of all containers, or the volume of the largest container, whichever is greater. When closing a container, all hazardous waste and hazardous waste residues must be removed, unless the container is to be disposed of as hazardous waste.
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