USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #03-0253 ([URS Corporation] [Mr. Andrew N. Romach])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: URS Corporation

Individual Name: Mr. Andrew N. Romach

Location State: NC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Apr 12, 2004

 

Mr. Andrew N. Romach               Reference No. 03-0253
URS Corporation
1600 Perimeter Park Drive
Morrisville, NC 27560

Dear Mr. Romach:

This is in response to your letter requesting clarification on the requirements applicable to fuel cell vehicles being transported by aircraft under the Hazardous Material Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR, Parts 171-180).  In a telephone conversation, you stated that the fuel cell components, known as Polymer Electrolyte Membranes (PEM), do not contain hazardous materials.  Specifically, you ask whether “Vehicle, flammable gas powered,” UN3166 is the most appropriate proper shipping name for three scenarios as presented in your letter, and whether three additional scenarios would be excepted from the requirements of the HMR.

The scenarios for which you ask whether “Vehicle, flammable gas powered,” UN3166 is the most appropriate proper shipping name are as follows:

1. A fuel cell vehicle with the hydrogen storage cylinder and the fuel cell intact.  The vehicle contains a wet acid battery or a nonspillable battery.  The fuel tank and fuel systems are emptied and securely closed as required by § 173.220 (d) (2).

2. A fuel cell vehicle with the hydrogen storage cylinder removed.  The fuel cell is intact, but contains no residual hydrogen.  The vehicle contains a wet acid battery.

3. A fuel cell vehicle with the hydrogen storage cylinder and the fuel cell removed.  The vehicle contains a wet acid battery.

Your understanding of the HMR is correct.  The proper shipping name “Vehicle, flammable gas powered,” UN3166 is the most appropriate proper shipping for the three scenarios described above.  The fuel cell vehicles may be transported by cargo aircraft only and the applicable provisions and requirements in §§ 173.159 and 173.220 for batteries and vehicles, respectively, must be met.

You also ask whether the following scenarios are excepted from the HMR:

1. A fuel cell vehicle with the hydrogen cylinder removed.  The vehicle contains a nonspillable battery meeting the requirements of § 173.159(d).

2. A fuel cell vehicle with the hydrogen cylinder and the fuel cell removed.  The vehicle contains a nonspillable battery meeting the requirements of 173.159(d).

3. A fuel cell vehicle with the hydrogen cylinder, fuel cell and battery removed.

The answer is yes.  The three scenarios, as described above, are not subject to the requirements of the HMR.

I hope this information is helpful.  Please contact this office with any additional questions.

Sincerely,

 

Hattie L. Mitchell
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

173.159, 173.220

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.159 Batteries, wet
173.220 Internal combustion engines, vehicles, machinery containing internal combustion engines, battery-powered equipment or machinery, fuel cell-powered equipment or machinery