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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 #00-0036 ([Idaho State Police] [Trooper William I. Reese])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Idaho State Police

Individual Name: Trooper William I. Reese

Location State: ID Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

March 16, 2001

 

Trooper William I. Reese                     Ref No. 00-0036
Idaho State Police
Hazardous Materials Specialist
5205 South 5th Avenue
Pocatello, ID 83204

Dear Trooper Reese:

This is in reference to your letter dated January 21, 2000, in which you raised several questions concerning the use of a non-DOT specification cargo tank motor vehicle for the transportation of anhydrous ammonia or liquefied petroleum gas under the provisions in 49 CFR 173.315(a), Note 17, or (k), respectively.  I apologize for the delay in responding.  Your questions are paraphrased and answered in the order posed in your letter.

Ql.       Under the provisions for the transportation of anhydrous ammonia prescribed in § 173.315(a), Note 17, may a nonspecification cargo tank motor vehicle be used in a state that had no specific state laws that allowed or addressed its use prior to January 1, 1981?

Al.        The answer is yes.  The continued use of a nonspecification cargo tank motor vehicle transporting anhydrous ammonia is permitted under the following conditions: (1) the state had not adopted the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 17 1 ­180) prior to January 1, 1981; (2) the state's laws that were in effect prior to January 1, 1981, permitted or never prohibited the use of a nonspecification cargo tank motor vehicle for the transportation of anhydrous ammonia, and (3) the conditions prescribed in § 173.315(a), Note 17, are met.

Conversely, the continued use of a cargo tank motor vehicle is not permitted if prior to January 1,1981, the state had adopted, or had incorporated by reference, the HMR requirements into its own regulations.  In this situation, the continued use of the cargo tank is permitted under the conditions prescribed in § 173.315(a), Note 17, only if the state's laws specifically permitted the use of a nonspecification cargo tank for transportation of a hazardous material in intrastate commerce.

Q2.         May the nonspecification cargo tank motor vehicle referred to in Q1 be used in interstate commerce or must the cargo tank be used in intrastate only; that is, within a single state only?

A2.        The nonspecification cargo tank may be used in intrastate commerce only, as stated in paragraph 7 to § 173.315, Note 17.

Q3.       Under the provisions for the transportation of liquefied petroleum gas prescribed in § 173.315(k), can a nonspecification cargo tank motor vehicle be used in a state that had no specific state laws that  allowed or addressed its use prior to January 1, 1981?

A3.      Yes, see explanation in Al above.

Q4,      May the nonspecification cargo tank motor vehicle referred to in Q3 be used in interstate commerce or must the cargo tank be used in intrastate only; that is, within a single state only?

A4.      See A2 above.

Q5.    May a carrier who has operations in more than one state that allows the use of a nonspecification cargo tank motor vehicle under the provisions in § 173.315(a), Note 17, or § 173.315(k), move periodically the cargo tank from state to state as long as it is used specifically for intrastate commerce after it is moved?

A5.    No. Prior to January 1, 1981, certain states permitted the use of these nonspecification cargo tanks under the terms of a state permit only.  Some states had stricter operating controls than others.  The final rules were adopted on the basis that these cargo tanks when properly maintained could continue to operate exclusively within that same state until taken out of service.

Q6.    Why were these intrastate commerce provisions adopted into the HMR?

A6.      With the passage of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act of 1974, states were encouraged to adopt the HMR to promote uniformity in safety regulations throughout the nation.  As states began adopting the HMR it was brought to our attention that a number of cargo tanks not subject to the HMR had been constructed in conformance with certain consensus standards and used in intrastate commerce for many years.  The situation intensified with the adoption of a rule in 1980 that extended authority over the intrastate shipment of hazardous substances by motor carrier and made the provisions of the HMR apply to the carriage of these substances.  Anhydrous ammonia was one of the materials designated as a hazardous substance with a reportable quantity of 100 pounds.  We adopted the provisions in § 173.315 (a), Note 17, and (k) to permit the continued use of these nonspecification cargo tanks for the transportation of anhydrous ammonia. (Docket HM-1 66K, 47 FR 7244; February 18, 1982) and liquefied petroleum gas (Docket HM­1661, 47 FR 7242; February 18, 1982).  The provisions pen-nit the continued use of these cargo tanks in intrastate commerce until they are taken out of service and replaced with new cargo tanks that meet DOT requirements.  These regulatory actions were taken to provide economic relief to the agricultural community and to small business operators,

I hope this information is helpful.  Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

 

Hattie L. Mitchell
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention.
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

 

173.315

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.315 Compressed gases in cargo tanks and portable tanks