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Interpretation Response #02-0272 ([Johnson Trucking] [Kenneth A. Miller, Esq.])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Johnson Trucking

Individual Name: Kenneth A. Miller, Esq.

Location State: CA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:


NOV 22, 2002

Kenneth A. Miller, Esq.

Attorney & Counselor at Law

P.O. Box 1283

Williams, California 95987

Re: California Highway Patrol Citation of 49 C.F.R. § 173.24(b)

Dear Mr. Miller:

Your October 11, 2002 letter addressed to Mr. Ed Mazzullo, Director, Office of Hazardous Materials Standards (OHMS), Research and Special Program Administration (RSPA) has been forwarded to me for response.

In your letter, you described a contractual relationship between your client, Harry L. Johnson Trucking (Johnson Trucking), and Richard Hancock (Mr. Hancock). Subsequently, your client provided OHMS with a copy of the contract between Johnson Trucking and Mr. Hancock, as well as a copy of a citation issued by the California Highway Patrol arising out Mr. Hancock's transportation of aqueous ammonia solution in trailers furnished by your client. You asked whether, in the fact situation you described, your client would be considered to be a "hazmat employer" and whether Mr. Hancock would be considered to be a "hazmat employee." The definitions of "hazmat employer" and "hazmat employee" are contained in 49 CFR § 171.8. Based on the information you provided, it appears that your client is a hazmat employer, at least with regard to its own employees. It also appears that Mr. Hancock is a hazmat employer as an "owner-operator of a motor vehicle which transports hazardous materials in commerce."

The issues of whether your client is an employer of Mr. Hancock or whether Mr. Hancock is an independent contractor would be determined by State law. Those issues would require resolution before determining whether your Client is a "hazmat employer" of Mr. Hancock. RSPA is not able to make that determination, nor can we interpret the terms of the contract between your client and Hancock. RSPA does not act as fact-finder with regard to the California enforcement proceeding, nor does RSPA review an administrative or judicial enforcement proceeding.

I hope this information has been helpful. If you have further questions on the regulatory requirements, you may contact Mr. Del Billings in the Office of Hazardous Materials Standards at (202) 366-8553.


Edward H. Bonekemper, III

Assistant Chief Counsel for Hazardous Materials Safety

cc: Paul Horgan

California Highway Patrol

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations