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Interpretation Response #00-0042 ([Public Works Department] [Mr. Dave Vail])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Public Works Department

Individual Name: Mr. Dave Vail

Location State: MN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

June 21, 2000

Mr. Dave Vail                Ref No. 00-0042
County of Olmsted
Public Works Department
2122 Campus Drive SE
Rochester, MN 55904-4744

Dear Mr. Vail:

This is in response to your letter dated January 31, 2000, regarding the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts  171-180) as they apply to household  hazardous waste.  The collection program is government operated and the facilities and equipment are government owned.

You stated that the Minnesota DOT has a regional household waste & collection program, which consists of four counties in Southeastern Minnesota The collection program consists of one permanent facility. and one semi-truck and trailer (mobile facility), which collects household waste in various parts of the region.  'The counties that are part of the regional collection partnership sometimes bill each other for various services, such as providing a truck to perform scheduled event collections around the area.  The partner in your collection area does not charge for transportation, but charges (i.e., counties reimburse each other) for the time the employee is on the road, to and from these collections, and the time the employee is helping administer the collection.  Specifically, you asked, what "in commerce" means, and whether being reimbursed for travel time constitutes being  in" commerce."

The HMR do not apply to the transportation of household hazardous waste collected  by  the
governmentally operated Southeastern Minnesota household hazardous waste collection program.  The HMR apply to those entities covered by the definition of a "person," in § 171.8, which includes a government offering hazardous material for transportation "in commerce" or transporting hazardous material "in furtherance of a commercial enterprise." Accordingly, a government employee who is transporting hazardous material for a non-commercial purpose in the course of his/her employment for a governmental entity, is not subject to the HMR.  Whether the counties that are part of the regional collection partnership sometimes reimburse each other for various services, they are jointly conducting a non-commercial enterprise that is not considered to be transportation in commerce.  Therefore, the HMR do not apply to this transportation.

I hope this satisfies your inquiry.  If we can be of farther assistance, please contact us.

Delmer F. Billings
Chief, Standards Development
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

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