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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 #03-0028 ([Roadway Express] [Mrs. Lori Leonti])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Roadway Express

Individual Name: Mrs. Lori Leonti

Location State: OH Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

May 21, 2003


Mrs. Lori Leonti                Reference No. 03-0028
Coordinator of Safety Policy and
Responsible Care
Roadway Express
1077 Gorge Boulevard
P.O. Box 471
Akron, OH  44309-0471

Dear Mrs. Leonti:

This is in response to your January 28, 2003, letter regarding the requirement for immediate notification of certain hazardous materials incidents.  Specifically, you request clarification on the notification requirements contained in § 173.15 of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).

Your questions are paraphrased and answered as follows:

Q1.      Is an incident that does not involve a hazardous material reportable under the provisions of § 171.15 if the transport vehicle fuel tank leaks as a result of the collision?

Al.        No, the requirements of the HMR only apply to the transportation of hazardous materials in commerce.

Q2.      If a cylinder is found leaking on a carrier’s dock at a closed facility where only facility employees are present, resulting in the evacuation of the facility for greater than an hour, must the facility report under the provisions of § 171.15?

A2.      The requirements of § 171.15 apply to incidents that occur during the course of transportation, including loading, unloading, and storage incidental thereto.  Although there is no regulatory definition for the term “general public” the evacuation of facility employees would not trigger the incident reporting requirements of § 171.15(a)(1)(iv). However, the immediate incident reporting requirements do apply when one or more transportation arteries or facilities are closed or shut down for one or more hours                171.15(a)(1)(v)). It is the opinion of this office that the evacuation of a carrier terminal facility for two hours would meet the criterion in § 171.15(a)(1)(v).

Q3.      A motor carrier transporting hazardous materials is involved in a fatal accident, however, there is no release of hazardous materials or damage to the hazardous materials packagings.  Is this incident subject to reporting under the provisions of § 171.15?

A3.      No, immediate notice must be given if a person is killed “as a direct result of the hazardous material.”

Q4.      A release of a hazardous material during loading results in the injury of an employee, who is transported to the local emergency room and then directly released.  Is this incident reportable under the provisions of § 171.15?

A4.      Under the provisions of § 171.15(a)(1)(ii), a carrier must provide immediate notice of a hazardous material incident that results in the hospitalization of a person.  Although there is no regulatory definition provided for the term “hospitalization,” to meet the requirements of this provision a person must be admitted to a hospital as a patient.  Immediate notification is not required if a person is taken to the hospital and is treated in the emergency room but not admitted to the hospital.

I hope this information is helpful.  If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact this office.



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


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.15 Immediate notice of certain hazardous materials incidents