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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 #04-0103 ([Teton Transportation, Inc.] [Mr. Walter D. 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: Teton Transportation, Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. Walter D. Smith

Location State: TN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Jun3, 2004


Mr. Walter D. Smith                 Reference No. 04-0103
Director of Safety and Compliance
Teton Transportation, Inc.
Post Office Box 909
Seymour, TN 37865

Dear Mr. Smith:

This is in response to your April 9, 2004 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to non-spillable wet batteries. According to your letter, your company transports batteries containing corrosive battery fluid from one shipping point without additional products loaded on your trucks. You state these shipments are excepted from subchapter C of the HMR as provided by § 173.159(e). You state that you placard your trucks for information purposes although not required by the HMR to do so.

You ask whether your shipments of wet batteries meet the criteria found under § 173.159(e). You ask whether your company is required to comply with subchapter C of the HMR when transporting these materials. You ask if your company can require a hazardous materials endorsement on commercial drivers licenses for your drivers even if these shipments are excepted from the HMR. You also ask whether placarding is allowed when not required.

Your understanding is correct. Batteries containing corrosive battery fluid that are transported by highway or rail are excepted from the HMR. provided they are transported in accordance with the conditions in § 173.159(e). Even though placarding is not required, under § 172.502(c), you may elect to placard the hazardous material if the placarding otherwise conforms to the requirements of Subpart F of Part 172. Similarly, you may require the drivers of the motor vehicles transporting the excepted shipment to have a commercial drivers license with a hazardous materials endorsement as a matter of company policy.

You ask if your company is required to comply with any of the requirements of the HMR, other than § 173.159 (e), if you transport only batteries that are excepted from the HMR requirements under § 173.159(e) and no other hazardous materials. The answer is no.

I hope this information is helpful.



John  A. Gale
Standards Development
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.159 Batteries, wet