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Interpretation Response #11-0182 ([Mr. Henry Wake Huffman])

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. Henry Wake Huffman

Location State: KY Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

November 21, 2011



Mr. Henry Wake Huffman

396 State Highway 1959

Grayson, Kentucky 41143

Ref. No.: 11-0182

Dear Mr. Huffman:

This responds to your July 25, 2011 letter, your subsequent August 6, 2011 letter, and your August 17, 2011 follow-up e-mail regarding training and Commercial Driver"s License (CDL) to transport medical oxygen under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Your questions are paraphrased and answered as follows:

Q1. Is medical oxygen considered a hazardous material? If so, what is the classification and description of medical oxygen?

A1. Yes. Medical oxygen is designated as a hazardous material in the §172.101 Hazardous Materials Table and classified and described as "Oxygen, compressed, 2.2 (non-flammable gas), UN1072."

Q2. Do you need training to load and transport medical oxygen?

A2. Yes. In accordance with the HMR, a person who performs any function (e.g., loading and unloading) that directly affects the transportation of hazardous materials is a hazardous material (hazmat) employee and must receive training applicable to those functions. (See §§172.700 " 172.704). In addition, drivers transporting hazardous materials that require shipping papers also must receive driver training as required in §177.816.

Q3. Do you need a CDL with a hazmat endorsement to transport medical oxygen in a van with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of less than 26,000 pounds, or if the number of cylinders has an aggregate gross weight of more than 1,001 pounds?

A3. The Department"s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration"s (FMCSA) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) specify requirements for CDLs and hazmat endorsements. In accordance with 49 CFR 383.5 of the FMCSR, a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) that has a GVWR of 11,794 kilograms (26,001 pounds) or transports a hazardous material that requires placarding must obtain a CDL with a hazmat endorsement (See subpart G of part 383 of the FMCSR).

In accordance with §172.504(c) of the HMR, a transport vehicle or freight container which contains less than 454 kg (1,001 pounds) aggregate gross weight of hazardous materials in non-bulk packagings covered by table 2 is excepted from placarding. However, in this case, placards are required because you are shipping a number of cylinders having an aggregate gross weight of more than 1,001 pounds.

Q4. What kind of special training would be needed to transport medical oxygen, and where in Kentucky could this type of training be found?

A4. The training requirements for a hazmat employee, who also drives a commercial motor vehicle, are supplemental to the licensing requirements. Compliance with the current requirements for a CDL provides employees with general knowledge and skills and may satisfy the training requirements. However, additional specialized training may be required depending on the job function and handling requirements for specific hazardous materials. Responsibility for ensuring that the level of training is adequate and appropriate is the obligation of the hazmat employer.

The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Commercial Driver's License (CDL), or other mandated training requirements may be used to the extent that they satisfy the general awareness, function specific, and safety training and testing requirements. The hazmat employer is also responsible for the three year recurrent training requirement.

Q5. Does the HMR apply to the transportation of medical oxygen from one state to another, such as West Virginia to Kentucky?

A5. Yes. The HMR are found in Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 100-185. As provided in § 171.1, the HMR apply to any department, agency, or instrumentality that transports or causes to be transported or shipped hazardous materials in interstate, intrastate, and foreign commerce, by all modes of transportation (i.e., highway, rail, air, and vessel). The HMR addresses classification, packaging, preparation of shipping papers, labeling, placarding, emergency response information, and training. The HMR can also be accessed through our Web site:


Ben Supko

Acting Chief, Standards Development

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

172.101, 172.70 -172.704, 177.816, 172.504, 171.


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.1 Applicability of Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to persons and functions
172.101 Purpose and use of hazardous materials table
172.504 General placarding requirements
177.816 Driver training