Interpretation Response #00-0049
Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.
Interpretation Response Details
February 29, 2000
Mr Jeffrey A. Leese Ref. No. 00-0049
101 Columbia Road
Morristown, New Jersey 07962
Dear Mr. Leese,
This responds to your letter of February 2, 2000, concerning requirements for attending the unloading of cargo tank motor vehicles under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171 - 180). Specifically, you ask whether attendance requirements apply when a cargo tank has been placed on private property at the consignee's location and the motive power has been removed.
The answer is no. Under § 177.834(i)(2), a cargo tank unloading operation need not be attended when the cargo tank has been placed on the consignee's premises and the motive power has been removed from the cargo tank and removed from the premises.
As defined by federal hazardous materials transportation law (49 U.S.C. 5101-5127), "transportation" means the movement of property and loading, unloading, or storage incidental to the movement. Neither the statute nor the HMR define the terms "loading incidental to movement," "unloading incidental to movement," or "storage incidental to movement." You are correct that there is confusion concerning the meaning of "transportation in commerce" and whether particular activities are covered by that term and, therefore, subject to regulation under the HMR. Current exceptions for cargo tank unloading operations that are conducted on private property at a consignee's location when the motive power is removed are as stated in the February 13, 1998 and March II, 1999 letters you cite, i.e., "not subject to the attendance requirements." In Docket No. RSPA-98-4952, we are reconsidering the general rule that transportation in commerce is complete when a hazardous material is delivered to a consignee's location and the delivering carrier has physically tendered the material to the consignee by unloading or disconnecting a trailer or cargo tank for unloading by the consignee. Copies of the two advance notices of proposed rulemaking issued under HM-223 are enclosed for your information.
I hope this information is helpful. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact this office.
Edward T. Mazzullo
Director, Office of Hazardous Materials Standards