Q. Recently I bought a 20-pound ‘cylinder of liquid CO2 food-grade gas. I was charged a HAZMAT fee and when I return the cylinder for refill I am told I will be charged the same HAZMAT fee again. My question is twofold: Why am I charged for something that doesn’t endanger the seller in any way (the CO2) other than being under pressure (just like a can of whipped cream) and who is pocketing this HAZMAT fee?
A. That fee, charged for any hazardous material shipped, is most likely collected by federal agencies.
According to the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources, that money goes through the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous materials Safety Administration (PHMSDA) and is divided amongst state and local emergency response agencies in the form of grants to help plan for and respond to chemical accidents.
For more information, visit this site: http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/grants
CO2 cartridges are listed as hazardous materials by the Federal Department of Transportation and FAA. The reason is that the containers can fail without warning.
Date posted: June 12, 2013
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