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Interpretation Response #10-0261 ([Duke Energy Corporation] [Mr. Chuck Denny])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Duke Energy Corporation

Individual Name: Mr. Chuck Denny

Location State: NC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

February 28, 2011




Mr. Chuck Denny

Duke Energy Corporation

526 South Church Street, EC13K

Charlotte, NC 28202

Reference No.: 10-0261

Dear Mr. Denny:

This responds to your email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to a transport vehicle. Specifically, you ask for clarification on the definition of a transport vehicle and how this definition affects the use of the exceptions for materials of trade (MOTs) specified in § 173.6 and batteries specified in

§§ 173.159 and 173.159a.

In your email, you describe a scenario in which a utility truck is pulling a trailer. The utility truck is carrying material meeting the MOTs exception, specified in § 173.6, while the trailer contains electric storage batteries. Your questions are paraphrased and answered as follows:

Q1: Can a utility truck be considered a separate transport vehicle from a trailer that is connected to it?

A1: The answer is yes. Transport vehicle means a cargo-carrying vehicle, such as an automobile, van, tractor, truck, semitrailer, tank car or rail car used for the transportation of cargo by any mode. Each cargo-carrying body (trailer, rail car, etc.) is a separate transport vehicle. (See § 171.8.)

Q2: If the answer to Q1 is yes, may each transport vehicle utilize separate exceptions specified in the HMR? Specifically, can the utility truck use the MOTs exception specified in § 173.6 while the trailer uses the electric storage battery exception specified in § 173.159(e)?

A2: The answer is yes. If a transport vehicle contains any other hazardous materials, even those excepted from all or part of the HMR (e.g., materials of trade; see § 173.6), the exception specified in § 173.159(e) does not apply. However, since the utility truck and trailer are considered separate transport vehicles a person may utilize separate exceptions in each transport vehicle provided they meet all the requirements specified for each exception (i.e. §§ 173.6 and 173.159(e)).

Q3: If a transport vehicle contains both spillable and non-spillable lead acid batteries, can that transport vehicle utilize the exceptions specified in §§ 173.159(e) and 173.159a simultaneously?

A3: The answer is yes. Electric storage batteries containing electrolyte or corrosive battery fluid are excepted from the HMR when transported in accordance with the provisions specified in § 173.159(e). The exception in § 173.159(e) is applicable to "Electric storage batteries containing electrolyte or corrosive battery fluid" and does not differentiate between spillable and non-spillable lead acid batteries. The condition specified in § 173.159(e)(1) states that no other hazardous materials may be transported on the same vehicle. For the purposes of this exception, spillable and non-spillable batteries are both considered "Electric storage batteries containing electrolyte or corrosive battery fluid." Therefore, provided no other hazardous materials are loaded in the transport vehicle with the spillable and non-spillable electric storage batteries and all the requirements of §§ 173.159 and 173.159a are met, the electric storage batteries would be excepted from the HMR.

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


T. Glenn Foster

Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch

Standards and Rulemaking Division

§ 173.6, 173.159 and 173.159a.

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.159 Batteries, wet
173.6 Materials of trade exceptions