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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 #01-0277 ([Mr. Steven Smith])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name:

Individual Name: Mr. Steven Smith

Location State: PA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

February 1, 2002


Mr. Steven Smith                               Reference No. 01-0277
843 Lindenwood Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15234-2536

Dear Mr. Smith:

This responds to your October 15, 2001 letter, and November 30 and December 5, 2001 telephone conversations with this office's staff concerning a leaking package of  “1, 1, 1 ­Trichloroethane solution, 6. 1, UN 283 1, PG III” you found on your truck when you worked for Consolidated Freightways (CF) in 1996.  You stated CF's management, directed a dock worker to load the package after discovering it was damaged.  You asked us if it was CF's responsibility to put the leaking package in another authorized container before loading it on your truck.

Although the shipper is primarily responsible for ensuring that a hazardous materials is properly packaged, as stated in § 173.22, if a leaking package is discovered before it is loaded on a motor vehicle, § 177.801 prohibits the carrier from accepting it for transportation.  If the leaking package is discovered after it is loaded, § 177.854(b) requires the package to be managed for disposal by the safest practical means as provided in § 177.854(c), (d), and (e).

You also stated CF filed a false incident report that incorrectly described the package's condition when loaded.  Submitting false, fictitious, or fraudulent written statements to the federal government may be a violation of 18 USCS § 1001. In addition, you stated that CF did not provide you with a material safety data sheet (MSDS) when offering you the load, although in earlier correspondence you stated you carried an emergency response guidebook (ERG) in the cab of your truck.  As we stated in our October 5, 2001 letter, provided the information is consistent with the emergency response information requirements in 49 CFR Part 172, Subpart G, use of a separate document, such as an ERG, in a manner that cross references the description of the hazardous material on the shipping paper with the emergency response information contained in the document may be used in place of an MSDS.

I hope this satisfies your request.



John A. Gale
Transportation Regulations Specialist
Office of  Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.22 Shipper's responsibility