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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 #05-0186 ([Minnesota Department of Transportation] [Mr. Michael Ritchi])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Minnesota Department of Transportation

Individual Name: Mr. Michael Ritchi

Location State: MN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Aug 25, 2005


Mr. Michael Ritchie                      Reference No. 05-0186

Hazardous Materials Specialist

Minnesota Department of Transportation

Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations, Mail Stop 420

1110 Centre Pointe Curve

Mendota Heights, MN 5520-4152

Dear Mr. Ritchie:

This is in response to your July 28, 2005 letter regarding carrier requirements and applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Your questions are paraphrased and answered as follows:

Q1.      Under the HMR, may a carrier halt a transport vehicle at its facility for the purpose of commercial gain or operational purposes (e.g., waiting for additional cargo to fill a trailer or to accommodate a delayed delivery request by a consignee)?

Al.        In accordance with § 177.800(d) all shipments must be transported without unnecessary delay. Delays that are part of normal commercial operations, regulatory compliance, and general safety are not considered "unnecessary" delays. Consolidating shipments, brief delays to accommodate consignee delivery schedules, and compliance with the HMR or other regulations (e.g., the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR; 49 CFR Parts 3 50-399)) are not unnecessary delays.

Q2.      If a driver must rest to comply with FMCSR requirements for hours of service, is this an "unnecessary" delay?

A2.      No. See Al.

Q3.      If a carrier stores hazardous materials prior to delivery to the consignee is this considered "storage incidental to movement" (e.g., the consignee is unable to accept the shipment and request that the carrier hold the shipment at their facility)?

A3.      Yes. Storage incidental to movement is defined in § 171.8 as storage by any person between the times that a carrier takes physical possession of the hazardous material for the purpose of transporting it until it is physically delivered to the destination on the shipping document.

Q4.      If a driver stops a transport vehicle containing hazardous materials at a rest area to await instructions from the consignee or a dispatcher is this "storage incidental to movement?"

A4. Yes. SeeA3.

Question 5 in your letter pertains to the FMCSR; we have not addressed this question in our response as it pertains to regulations outside the prevue of this office. It appears that you have already sent a copy of your request to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration"s field office in Olympia Fields, Illinois.

In your letter, you also express an interest in a preemption determination. You may apply for a preemption determination in accordance with 49 CFR Part 107, Subpart C. Your application may be submitted:

By mail:

Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety

(Attn: Hazardous Materials Preemption Docket)

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

U.S. Department of Transportation

400 Seventh Street, SW

Washington, DC 20590-0001

By Fax:

Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety (Attn: Hazardous Materials Preemption Docket), at 202-366-5713

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



Hattie L. Mitchell

Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

cc: Mr. Joe DeLorenzo, USDOT/FMCSA, 19900 Governors Drive, Suite 210, Olympia Fields, IL 60461

171.1(d), 172.800

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.1 Applicability of Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to persons and functions
172.800 Purpose and applicability