USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #00-0041 ([Household Hazardous Waste Management Program] [Mr. Robert Fiederlein])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Household Hazardous Waste Management Program

Individual Name: Mr. Robert Fiederlein

Location State: TX Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

October 18, 2000

Mr. Robert Fiederlein                Reference No. 00-0041
City of Houston
Household Hazardous Waste
Management Program
11500 South Post Oak
Houston, TX 77035

Dear Mr. Fiederlein:

This is in response to your letter and telephone conversations with me and a member of my staff concerning the applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) to household hazardous waste management programs established by municipalities.  These programs are established to collect household hazardous wastes, such as solvents, pesticides, etc., that are dropped off by citizens at a designated city-owned site.  Your scenarios and questions are paraphrased and answered as follows:

Question 1: Through a contractual agreement with the municipality, a contractor assumes generator status and all responsibilities for the hazardous materials.  As such, the contractor oversees collecting, packaging, and transporting the hazardous wastes to a disposal facility using its own vehicles and personnel.  Under § 171.2(a), would the city be considered an offeror of the hazardous materials?

Answer: No. The contractor has consented by contractual agreement to perform all offeror and carrier functions and, therefore, assumes all responsibilities for ensuring that the hazardous waste shipments meet the requirements in the HMR.

Question 2: The municipality transports the hazardous wastes to another city-owned site to be packaged and transported later to a disposal facility, using municipal trucks and its own employees.  Under § 171.2(b), would this be considered  "in commerce" and subject to the HMR.

Answer: No. A state or local government entity that transports hazardous materials in vehicles operated by government personnel for non-commercial purposes is not a "person" for purposes of § 171.2 and, therefore, is not subject to the HMR.  However, based on the definition of a "person "in §171.8, if the purpose is commercial or if the government entity offers the hazardous material for transportation to a commercial carrier, then the HMR apply.

I hope this satisfies your request.

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


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.1 Applicability of Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to persons and functions