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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #10-0270 ([Mr. James La Porte])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name:

Individual Name: Mr. James La Porte

Location State: MI Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

February 16, 2011



Mr. James La Porte

1670 Axtell

Troy, MI 48084

Reference No. 10-0270

Dear Mr. La Porte,

This is in response to your e-mail inquiry requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the transportation of portable generators containing gasoline. Specifically, you ask whether gasoline may remain in portable generators being transported via ground if the fuel tank is securely closed and, if so, whether the amount of gasoline in the generator must meet the quantity limitations in § 173.6 pertaining to the material of trade (MOT) exceptions. You also ask whether any other HMR requirements must be met. You reference a previous letter issued to you from this Office on July 28, 2009 (#09-0145) responding to similar questions for portable generators containing [diesel] fuel.

The modal exceptions in § 173.220(b)(4) apply to flammable liquid fuels and the answer to your questions above are the same as provided in the July 28, 2009 response. As explained in that letter, a portable generator containing more than 17 ounces of liquid fuel is excepted from the HMR provided the requirements in § 173.220(b)(4) are met. This also applies to portable generators containing gasoline. Therefore, for transportation by motor vehicle or rail car, provided the fuel tanks are securely closed as specified in § 173.220(b)(4)(i), a portable generator containing gasoline is excepted from all other HMR requirements (see § 173.220(g)), which includes the 440-pound weight limit for MOTs shipments.

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact this office should you have additional questions.


T. Glenn Foster

Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch

Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.6, 173.220

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
173.6 Materials of trade exceptions