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Interpretation Response #09-0138 ([Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.] [Mr. Douglas M. Poland])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.

Individual Name: Mr. Douglas M. Poland

Location State: WI Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

July 9, 2009

 

 

 

Mr. Douglas M. Poland

Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.

One East Main Street,

P.O. Box 2719

Madison, WI 53701-2719



Ref. No. 09-0138

Dear Mr. Poland:

This responds to your June 1, 2009 letter requesting clarification of the applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) to fuel systems. Specifically, you ask whether a ground heating/thawing trailer unit ("heating trailer unit") is subject to the HMR. Your letter describes a heater affixed to a trailer chassis and connected to a fuel tank with a maximum capacity of 125 to 250 gallons also affixed to the trailer. The fuel tank is housed separately from the heater and will supply a diesel fuel blend to the heater through a fixed connecting hose. You note in a subsequent telephone discussion with a member of my staff that the flash point of the diesel fuel blend will range from 108 °F to

120 °F.

It is the opinion of this Office that if the fuel system for the heating trailer unit meets the requirements for fuel systems under 49 CFR §§ 393.65 and 393.67 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration"s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and is not used as packaging for hazardous materials (e.g., a cargo tank), then the heating trailer unit is subject only to the FMCSRs. If the fuel system does not meet the FMCSRs requirements, then the offering and transportation of the heating trailer unit is subject to the HMR.

Your questions are paraphrased and answered below. Note that the answers are based on the presumption that the fuel system you describe does not conform to the FMCSRs.

Q1. Is the heating trailer unit eligible for exceptions in § 173.220?

A1. No, the heating trailer unit is considered a cargo tank as defined in § 171.8 and subject to the applicable cargo tank requirements.

Q2. Is the heating trailer unit subject to marking, labeling, and placarding requirements when transported by highway with fuel in the tank?

A2. Yes, the heating trailer unit is subject to applicable marking, labeling, and placarding requirements.

Q3. Is the heating trailer unit subject to marking, labeling, and placarding requirements when transported by highway without fuel in the tank?

A3. No, however, we note that an empty packaging containing the residue of a hazardous material is regulated in the same manner as when it previously contained a greater quantity of the hazardous material (see § 173.29). Thus, if the tank has not been cleaned and purged to remove all residue of the fuel, then it is subject to applicable marking, labeling, and placarding requirements.



Q4. How would the responses to the first three questions change if instead, the heater is supplied by two separate fuel tanks each with a capacity less than 119 gallons where the fuel tanks are connected by a hose when the heater is operated but not connected during the course of transportation?

A4. If the fuel tanks were not connected during transportation and acted as separate packagings, the two separate fuel tanks would be considered non-bulk packagings. The heating trailer unit would not be eligible for the exceptions in § 173.220 because the fuel tanks would not be component parts of the heater (i.e., the mechanical equipment). The offeror would be subject to all applicable HMR requirements for authorized non-bulk packaging for the diesel fuel blend, as well as applicable marking, labeling, and placarding requirements. However, based on the information provided regarding the flashpoint of the fuel, the fuel tanks are eligible for the exceptions for combustible liquids specified in

§ 173.150.

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

Sincerely,

Charles E. Betts

Chief, Standards Development

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

173.220, 173.150, 173.29

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.220 Internal combustion engines, vehicles, machinery containing internal combustion engines, battery-powered equipment or machinery, fuel cell-powered equipment or machinery