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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 #12-0181 ([Railroad Regulatory Safety Services] [Mr. Raymond Kasey])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Railroad Regulatory Safety Services

Individual Name: Mr. Raymond Kasey

Location State: VA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

This responds to your August 1, 2012 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the proper classification of a marine pollutant, in addition to carrier verification requirements.

In your letter, you state that your client, a class one and three railroad carrier, recently accepted a shipping paper for a bulk package identified as "p-Dodecylphenol" with no other description listed on the shipping paper. As an attachment, you provide a material safety data sheet (MSDS) for a product called "Lubrizol 9222R" which lists its hazardous ingredient as "p-Dodecylphenol, CAS No. 74499-35-7, Percentage (by wt.) from 1 to 4.9 percent." You further indicate that Dodecylphenol is listed in Appendix B to § 172.101 with a "PP" identifying the material as a severe marine pollutant. Your questions are paraphrased and answered below.

Q1: You ask whether "Lubrizol 9222R," according to the attached MSDS, meets the definition of a (severe) marine pollutant? Additionally, you ask if a material is considered a listed marine pollutant if the technical name of the material does not specifically appear in the table of marine pollutants (§172.101, Appendix B) but a synonym does?

A1: In accordance with §173.22, it is the shipper's responsibility to properly classify and describe a hazardous material. This Office does not perform that function. Under the HMR, a material is considered a listed marine pollutant if either its technical name or a synonym appears in the table of marine pollutants. Furthermore, if the listed marine pollutant is in a mixture or solution, the shipper should consult the definition of a marine pollutant in §171.8. In order to be considered a marine pollutant, the listed substance must be in a concentration of ten percent by weight, or if a severe marine pollutant, be in a concentration of one percent by weight.

Therefore, if: (1) p-Dodecylphenol is a synonym to Dodecylphenol; and (2) the concentration of Dodecylphenol in the solution is at least one percent by weight, then the answer would be yes and "Lubrizol 9222R" would appear to be a marine pollutant. However, as stated above, it is the shipper's responsibility to properly classify and describe a hazardous material.

Q2: You ask what is the required shipping name when a product shipped under a trade name is offered for transportation and contains the chemical p-Dodecylphenol in a bulk package at or above the concentration specified in Appendix B of the Hazardous Materials Table (HMT)?

A2: Please note that marine pollutants listed in Appendix B are not necessarily listed by name in the §172.101 HMT. If a marine pollutant not listed by name or by synonym in the §172.101 HMT meets the definition of any hazard Class 1 through 8, you must determine the class and division of the material in accordance with §173.2a of the HMR. Furthermore, you must also select the most appropriate hazardous material description and proper shipping name.

If a marine pollutant not listed by name or by synonym in the §172.101 HMT does not meet the definition of any Class 1 through 8, you must offer it for transportation under the most appropriate of the following two Class 9 entries: "Environmentally hazardous substances, liquid, n.o.s.," UN3082, or "Environmentally hazardous substances, solid, n.o.s." UN3077. In this specific case, it would appear that the former (along with a technical name) is the appropriate proper shipping name.

Q3: You ask whether a carrier may rely on information provided by the manufacturer (or previous offeror) and in good faith rely on that information when transporting those hazardous materials?

A3: The answer is yes. Although the HMR place primary responsibility on the shipper, or "person who offers," to properly class and communicate the hazard of a hazardous material, a carrier may be held responsible for non-compliance with applicable requirements to the extent that the carrier knows, or should have known, that a material offered for transportation is hazardous. A carrier may rely on information provided by the shipper, unless the carrier knows, or a reasonable person, acting in the circumstances and exercising reasonable care, would have knowledge that the information provided is incorrect.

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

Sincerely,

T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

172.101, 173.22

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.101 Purpose and use of hazardous materials table
173.22 Shipper's responsibility