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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 #04-0230 ([Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration] [Danny Shelton])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Individual Name: Danny Shelton

Location State: DC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:


Date: Nov 9, 2004

Reply to Attn. of: 04-0230

Subject: Request for Interpretation

From: John A. Gale
Chief, Regulations Development
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

To: Danny Shelton
Cargo Tank Program Manager
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

This responds to your October 1, 2004 email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the requirements for test and inspector of MC 338 cargo tanks. Specifically, you ask whether a pressure test should be performed as part of the annual visual inspection requirement for insulated MC 338 cargo tanks. You also request the specific reference in the HMR that indicates MC 338 cargo tanks need only be pressure-tested every five years.

Section 180.407 of the HMR contains the requalification requirements for DOT specification cargo tanks. Paragraph (c) of this section includes a table that establishes test and inspection intervals for different types of cargo tanks. Paragraphs (d) through (i) of this section describe how each prescribed test must be performed. Section 180.407 must be read in its entirety in order to ascertain which tests and inspections are required for a specific cargo tank.

Paragraph (d) of § 180.407 sets forth requirements for the performance of an external visual inspection. Paragraph (d)(I) generally requires an internal visual inspection in accordance with paragraph (e) of § 180.407 in place of the external visual inspection where insulation precludes performance of the external visual inspection. Paragraph (d)(I) further requires that for cargo tanks where a visual internal inspection is not possible, because the cargo tank is lined, coated, OJ designed so as to prevent access for an internal visual inspection, the tank must be pressure tested in accordance with § 180.407(g)(I)(iv). The table in § 180A07(c) is consistent with paragraph (d)(I); in accordance with the table, insulated cargo tanks must be pressure tested every year. Note, however, that MC 338 cargo tanks are excepted from this requirement. Instead, as indicated in the table under the entry for pressure test requirements for "all other cargo tanks," MC 338 cargo tanks are required to have a pressure test every five years.

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


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
180.407 Requirements for test and inspection of specification cargo tanks