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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 #01-0172 ([State of New Jersey] [Mr. William S. Krimson])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: State of New Jersey

Individual Name: Mr. William S. Krimson

Location State: NJ Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

September 20, 2001


Mr. William S. Krimson                       Ref. No. 01-0172
Supervisor, Transportation
     Oversight Unit
State of New Jersey
Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 407
Trenton, NJ 08625

Dear Mr. Krimson

This is in response to your June 29, 2001 letter regarding the applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).  Specifically, you are requesting that RSPA reconsider the February 23, 2001 letter of clarification issued by this office regarding the placarding requirements at transfer facilities.

As specified in § 171.1, the HMR govern the safe transportation of hazardous material in intrastate, interstate, and foreign commerce.  The HMR do not specify when placards must be applied to or removed from a motor vehicle.  However, under § 172.506(a), each person offering a motor carrier a hazardous material for transportation shall provide to the motor carrier the required placards for the material being offered prior to or at the same time the material is offered for transportation.  In addition, no motor carrier may transport a hazardous material in a motor vehicle, unless the placards required for the hazardous material are affixed thereto.  At any time prior to the vehicle entering onto a road accessible by the public, the offeror has the opportunity to offer the required placards and the carrier has the opportunity to apply them.  The HMR do not require that a trailer being loaded at a facility be placarded as soon as the threshold for placarding is reached.

You should also be aware that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the Department of Labor under 29 CFR 1910.1201 requires any employer who receives a package, freight container, rail freight car, motor vehicle or transport vehicle of hazardous material which is required to be marked, labeled or placarded in accordance with the HMR to retain those markings, labels and placards on the package, container or vehicle until the hazardous material is sufficiently removed to prevent any potential hazard. 

Therefore, under the OSHA requirements a trailer which is received at a facility containing a quantity of hazmat which requires placards must continue to display placards as long as there is a placardable quantity in it.

On June 14, 2001, RSPA published a notice of proposed rule-making (NPRM) on the applicability of the HMR to loading, unloading, and storage of hazardous materials (66 FR 32420; HM-223).  We are proposing to clarify the applicability of the HMR functions and activities, including hazardous materials loading and unloading operations and storage of hazardous materials during transportation.  The HM-223 rule-making has four overall goals.  First, we want to maintain nationally uniform standards applicable to functions performed in advance of transportation to prepare hazardous materials for transportation.  Second, we want to maintain nationally uniform standards applicable to transportation functions.  Third, we want to distinguish functions that are subject to the HMR from functions that are not subject to the HMR.  Finally, we want to clarify that facilities within which HMR-regulated functions are performed may also be subject to federal, state, or local regulations governing occupational safety and health or environmental protection.

To this end, I encourage you to submit written comments on the NPRM.  You can submit and review comments on-line at the DOT Dockets Management System web site at “” The comment period closes November 30, 2001; we will consider late­ filed comments to the extent possible as we develop a final rule.

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 Material Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.506 Providing and affixing placards: Highway