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Interpretation Response #09-0123

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date: 06-23-2009
Company Name: HazMat Resoureces, Inc.    Individual Name: Mr. Daniel G. Shelton
Location state: NC    Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

June 23, 2009




Mr. Daniel G. Shelton
Vice President
HazMat Resources, Inc.
10104 Creedmoor Road
Raleigh, NC 27615

Ref. No.: 09-0123

Dear Mr. Shelton:

This is in response to your May 1, 2009 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the transportation of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in storage tanks for permanent installation on consumer premises. You have provided several attachments to illustrate how these storage tanks are typically loaded and secured on the motor vehicle. Your questions are paraphrased and answered as follows:

Q1: Section § 173.315(j) authorizes the transportation of LPG storage tanks for permanent installation on consumer premises under specific conditions. In accordance with § 173.315(j), the tanks must be braced or otherwise secured on the vehicle to prevent relative motion while in transit. This paragraph also references § 177.834(a), which requires any package containing any hazardous material that is not permanently attached to a motor vehicle to be secured against shifting, including relative motion between packages, within the vehicle on which it is being transported, under conditions normally incident to transportation.
What is meant by the phrases "on the vehicle" and "within the vehicle" in the context of § 173.315(j)?

A1: The phrase "on the vehicle" means that the tank is placed on the body of the vehicle, but does not address whether the tank extends beyond the envelope (outer edges) of the vehicle. The reference to "within the vehicle" is a general requirement for all hazardous materials loaded for highway transportation and means that each hazardous material package must be loaded inside the outer envelope of the vehicle body. The phrase "within the vehicle" was not intended to apply to storage tanks transported in accordance with § 173.315(j).

Q2: Would it be a violation of § 177.834(a) if an LPG storage container for permanent installation on consumer premises transported by a private motor carrier were loaded and transported as depicted in the photos provided with the tank extending roughly 32 inches beyond the rear of the vehicle, provided all other conditions of § 173.315(j) were satisfied?

A2: No. Section 177.834(a) is a general highway loading requirement for all hazardous materials. Storage tanks loaded for transportation in accordance with § 173.315(j) ,must be loaded on the transport vehicle in accordance with § 173.315(j) and may extend beyond the envelope or frame of the vehicle provided they are otherwise properly secured and protected from damage in accordance with §§ 173.315(j) and 177.848(a).

Q3: Is it necessary to place orange or red flags on the end of the tank if it extends beyond the back of the vehicle by less than 4 feet?

A3: The HMR do not contain requirements for extended or oversized loads (e.g., orange and red flags to indicate the rear most portion of cargo transported by highway).

Q4: Special permit 13341 requires an LPG storage tank to be loaded and secured on a motor vehicle such that the tank is completely within the envelope of the vehicle and does not extend beyond the vehicle frame. Does PHMSA intend to require all storage tanks for permanent installation at consumer premises by private motor vehicle to be transported in accordance with special permit 13341, or may they be transported under the HMR in accordance with § 173.315(j)?

A4: It is not necessary to transport an LPG storage tank in accordance with a special permit (e.g., SP 13341) unless it is not possible to comply with the conditions of § 173.315(j).

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


Charles E. Betts
Chief, Standards Development
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

173.315(j), 177.834(a)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
§ 173.315 Compressed gases in cargo tanks and portable tanks