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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 #06-0146 ([State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection] [Ms. Robert Gomez])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Individual Name: Ms. Robert Gomez

Location State: NJ Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Aug 21, 2006

 

Ms. Robert Gomez                 Reference No. 06-0146
Supervisor, Transport Oversight Unit
State of New Jersey
Department of Environmental Protection
300 Horizon Center
Trenton, NJ 08625-0407

Dear Mr. Gomez:

This is in response to your June 20, 2006 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HM.R; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you seek guidance on reporting of hazardous materials incidents, the general packaging requirements and the use of sift proof, closed bulk containers. You provided several scenarios and questions based on these scenarios. The scenarios and your questions are paraphrased and answered as follows:

A carrier transports hazardous waste via truck to a transloading facility. The hazardous waste is transferred to a lined rail car for transport to a disposal facility designated on the hazardous waste manifest.

Scenario A: A carrier transports contaminated soils described as “RQ Hazardous waste, solid, n.o.s., (cadmium, lead), 9, NA3077, PG III” via truck in a non DOT spec: sift- proof closed vehicle or a non DOT specification closed bulk bin to a transloading facility. Upon arrival at the transloading facility the driver discovers what appears to be a release of hazardous waste from the rear dump gate.

Q1: Does this release require an incident report under § 171.16? If an incident report is required, who is responsible for completing and submitting the incident report?

Al: The shipment appears to be in transportation when it arrives at the transloading facility and during the transfer from the truck to the lined rail car. Provided the material observed is hazardous waste leaking from the package this incident must be reported in accordance with § 171.16. As specified in § 171.16(a)(2), each person in physical possession of a hazardous material when an unintentional release of a hazardous material or the discharge of any quantity of hazardous waste occurs must submit a Hazardous Materials Incident Report on DOT Form F5800.1 within 30 days of the discovery of the incident.

Q2: Does the non-DOT specification closed transport vehicle or freight container meet the general packaging requirements of § 173.24 despite an apparent release of hazardous waste?

 

A2: You did not provide sufficient information about the condition of the closed transport vehicle or freight container for us to determine how the hazardous waste was released. However, it is the shipper’s responsibility to ensure that the packaging provides sift-proof containment for contaminated soil at the time of shipment and will continue to provide that containment until the package reaches its final destination.

Scenario B: The “RQ Hazardous waste, solid, n.o.s., (cadmium, lead), 9, NA3077,
PG III” is transloaded via gravity from an authorized non-DOT specification transport vehicle or freight container into a lined rail car. In your letter, you state that during the transloading process, hazardous waste splashed onto the inside walls of the transfer building and onto the paved surface directly under the transport vehicle or freight container. Further, air blowing through the building during the transloading operation may carry hazardous waste particulates and dust beyond the confines of the rail car and beyond the confines of the transfer building. In your letter, you note carrier personnel are present and participated in the transloading operation.

Q3: Does this release require an incident report under § 171.16? If an incident report is required, who is responsible for completing and submitting the incident report?

A3: Transloading operations occurring at a truck-to-rail transfer facility are in transportation and are functions subject to regulation under the HMR (see § 171.1(c)). A release of hazardous waste that occurs during a transloading operation requires an incident report under § 171.16. A hazardous materials incident that occurs while the carrier that transported the material is observing or participating in the transloading operation must be reported by the carrier, because the carrier is deemed to be in possession of the hazardous waste at that point.

Q4: Would hazardous waste particulate matter observed exiting the transfer building require a Hazardous Materials Incident Report on DOT Form F5800.1? If a Hazardous Materials Incident Report is required, who is responsible for completing and submitting the incident report?

A4: An incident report is required for an unintentional release of hazardous material or the discharge of any quantity of hazardous waste during transportation (see answer 1). A hazardous materials incident that occurs while the carrier that transported the material is observing or participating in the transloading operation must be reported by the carrier because the carrier is deemed to be in possession of the hazardous waste at that point (see answer 3).

Scenario C: According to your letter, once the lined rail car is filled, the liner is closed and secured by tying. You note the rail car is not covered with a tarp and weep holes remain open to allow rainwater to exit the rail car. You further note sharp rocks or other objects falling into the lined rail car may damage the liner in the rail car and affect its integrity. You have provided video evidence showing a patch of unknown brown material directly under the rail car.
Q5: Because it is impossible to determine if the liner inside the rail car has been punctured, should the rail car be covered with a tarp and the weep holes closed to ensure compliance with § 173.24?

A5: In accordance with § 173.22, it is the shipper’s responsibility to ensure that the package provides sift-proof containment at the time of shipment and will continue to provide that containment until the package reaches its final destination. A shipper may utilize any appropriate method to ensure compliance with § 173.24.

Q6: Based on a review of the available evidence, please provide advice of the compliance status of the lined rail car with applicable sections of the HMR.

A6: The evidence you provided does not permit us to render an opinion on the compliance status of the lined rail car. You have not provided evidence that a release of hazardous waste occurred, nor have you provided definitive evidence that the rail car fails to meet the requirements of § 173.24 or 173.240.

Q7: A patch of brown material is observed directly under an open weep hole of the loaded rail car. Does this observation constitute an incident requiring a hazardous materials incident report? If an incident report is required, who is responsible for completing and submitting the report?

A7: Provided the material observed under the rail car is hazardous waste leaking from the package, a Hazardous Materials Incident Report on DOT Form F5800.1 is required to be submitted within 30 clays (see answer 1). If the incident occurs while the carrier that delivered the hazardous material is observing or participating in the transloading operation the carrier is deemed to be in possession of the hazardous material at that point and accordingly, must report the incident (see answer 3).

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact us if you require additional assistance.

Sincerely,

 

Edward T. Mazzullo
Director
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

171.1, 171.16

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.1 Applicability of Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to persons and functions
171.16 Detailed hazardous materials incident reports