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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 #03-0115 ([McCarthy, Sweeney & Harkaway, P.C.] [Mr. Lawrence W. Bierlein, 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: McCarthy, Sweeney & Harkaway, P.C.

Individual Name: Mr. Lawrence W. Bierlein, Esq.

Location State: DC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

May 21, 2003


Mr. Lawrence W. Bierlein, Esq.               Reference No. 03-0115
McCarthy, Sweeney & Harkaway, P.C.
Suite 600
2175 K Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037

Dear Mr. Bierlein:

This responds to your letter dated May 2, 2003, a clarification of the requirements in § 177.848(e) of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR parts 171-180) as they apply to separation of non-compatible materials.  Your specific scenario involves the separation of properly packaged and prepared hazardous materials in a refrigerated trailer that has floor ribs running from front to back of the trailer.  The scenario is as follows:

Packages containing hazardous materials bearing an OXIDIZER label are loaded on a pallet in the front of the trailer, liquid hazardous materials bearing a CORROSIVE label are loaded on a pallet and placed near the midline of the trailer, and hazardous materials bearing a FLAMMABLE LIQUID label are loaded on a pallet and loaded near the rear of the trailer.  The intervening spaces contain pallets loaded with compatible hazardous materials or non-regulated materials.  Segregation is achieved by the placement of the hazardous materials in specific locations on the trailer and using other compatible freight to provide separation.  However, at issue is whether the ribbed flooring of the trailer prevents these materials from being loaded on the same vehicle, even though otherwise separated.

It is the opinion of this Office that the method of separation described in the above scenario meets the requirements specified in § 177.848(e). The fact that the floor of the trailer is ribbed has no bearing on this requirement.

I hope this information satisfies your inquiry.  Please contact us if you require additional assistance.



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


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
177.848 Segregation of hazardous materials