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Interpretation Response #12-0164

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date: 11-15-2012
Company Name: ARTA Group, Inc.    Individual Name: Dr. Alex von Keitz
Location state: TX    Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Dr. Alex von Keitz
ARTA Group, Inc.
4801 Woodway Dr. 300E
Houston, TX 77056

Ref. No.: 12-0164

Dear Dr. Alex von Keitz:

This responds to your July 30, 2012 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the cargo tank attendance requirements. Specifically, you ask whether a qualified person supervising the loading or unloading of a cargo tank by video surveillance satisfies the HMR provided a breakaway coupling is installed that can either be activated by a pull force (passive) or remotely by an actuator (active)?

Generally, the answer is no. As specified in§ 177.834(i)(3), except for unloading operations subject to §§177.837(d), 177.840(p), and 177.840(q), a qualified person "attends" the loading or unloading of a cargo tank if, throughout the process, he is alert and is within 7.62 m (25 feet) of the cargo tank. Additionally, the qualified person attending the unloading of a cargo tank must have an unobstructed view of the cargo tank and delivery hose to the maximum extent practicable during the unloading operation.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration does not consider the use of electronic monitoring equipment, even when combined with breakaway couplings, as meeting the specific requirements contained in § 177.834. Therefore, electronic attendance during cargo tank unloading is authorized only by special permit. You may contact our Approvals and Permits Division at (202) 366-4535 for more information.

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

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
§ 177.840 Class 2 (gases) materials