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Interpretation Response #09-0270 ([The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California] [Mr. John E. Clark])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Individual Name: Mr. John E. Clark

Location State: CA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

March 23, 2010

 

 

 

Mr. John E. Clark

Program Manager, Hazardous Materials

Environmental Health and Safety Program Support

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

PO Box 54153

Los Angeles, California 90054-0153

Ref. No. 09-0270

Dear Mr. Clark:

This is in response to your October 28, 2009 letter regarding the applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) to unloading operations involving cargo tanks and rail tank cars. Specifically, you ask whether employees who handle various functions related to cargo tank and rail tank unloading operations meet the definition of a "hazardous material employee" under § 171.8 and are thus subject to the training requirements of Part 172, Subpart H.

According to your letter, your facility receives and unloads hazardous materials in cargo tank and rail tank cars. Cargo tank unloading operations are handled by the cargo tank driver, under the supervision of a facility employee. The facility employee checks paperwork, inspects the cargo tank to ensure there are no leaks, directs the cargo tank driver to the appropriate storage tank, checks the unloading lines and valves, and monitors the actual unloading as it is performed by the cargo tank driver. Rail tank car unloading operations are handled by a facility employee after railroad personnel detach the car from the train and depart the facility.

Requirements in the HMR apply to transportation of a hazardous material in commerce and each person who transports a hazardous material in commerce. See § 171.1(c). For purposes of the HMR, "transportation" means the movement of property and loading, unloading, and storage incidental to that movement. "Unloading incidental to movement" means removing a packaged or containerized hazardous material from a transport vehicle or emptying a hazardous material from a bulk packaging after the hazardous material has been delivered to its destination when the unloading operation is performed by carrier personnel or in the presence of carrier personnel. A "hazmat employee" is a person employed on a full-time, part-time, or temporary basis who in the course of such employment directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety. (See § 171.8 for the definitions of "transportation," "unloading incidental to movement," and "hazmat employee.")

The unloading operations involving cargo tanks that are described in your letter meet the definition of "unloading incidental to movement," and, thus, are regulated as transportation functions under the HMR. The employees responsible for overseeing the cargo tank unloading operations are hazmat employees and must be trained in accordance with Subpart H of Part 172.

The unloading operations involving rail tank cars that are described in your letter do not meet the definition of "unloading incidental to movement," and, thus, are not regulated as transportation functions under the HMR. The employees responsible for performing rail tank car unloading operations are not hazmat employees and are not subject to the transportation requirements in Subpart H of Part 172. However, these employees may be subject to the training requirements of other Federal agencies (e.g., OSHA) as well as State and local governments.

I trust this satisfies your inquiry. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

Hattie L. Mitchell

Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

172. Subpart H, 171.8

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations