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Interpretation Response #07-0052 ([Compliant Technologies, Inc.] [Mr. David Ellis])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Compliant Technologies, Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. David Ellis

Location State: TN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Mar 20, 2007


Mr. David Ellis                 Reference No. 07-0052
Compliant Technologies, Inc.
8325 Beals Chapel Road
Lenoir City, TN 37772

Dear Mr. Ellis:

This is in response to your February 28, 2007 letter requesting further clarification of our letter to you dated August 16, 2006 concerning the requirements for immediate notice of certain hazardous materials incidents under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you ask whether your understanding of the term “earliest practical moment” used in our previous response is correct.

In your recent letter, you state your belief that a person must report an incident as soon as physically possible after the incident scene is secured and the initial local emergency response process has been initiated (i.e.; calling 911). You state you understand “earliest practical moment” to means minutes, not hours, provided that no extenuating circumstances exist. You provide examples of extenuating circumstances such as, if an incident occurs on a remote highway, or a driver is incapacitated. You ask if your interpretation of the phrase “earliest practical moment” used in our August 16, 2006 response is correct.

The answer is yes. As required under § 171.15 of the HMR, an incident listed under paragraph (b) must be reported by telephone by each person in physical possession of the hazardous material to the National Response Center (NRC), or to the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in place of the NRC, for a notice involving an infections substance (etiologic agent). Notice must occur as soon as practical, but no later than 12 hours after the occurrence of the incident. Any reporting delay beyond what is necessary to safely secure the scene of the incident is not permitted.

I hope this information is helpful.



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


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.15 Immediate notice of certain hazardous materials incidents