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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 #12-0186 ([URS Corporation] [Mr. Andy Romach])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: URS Corporation

Individual Name: Mr. Andy Romach

Location State: NC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Mr. Andy Romach
URS Corporation
1600 Perimeter Park Drive
Morrisville, NC 27560

Ref. No.: 12-0186

Dear Mr. Romach:

This responds to your August 16, 2012 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the transport of wet electric storage batteries by highway. Specifically, you are requesting clarification of the exception provided in § 173.159(e) and if partial use of this exception is permissible.

The answer is yes, provided compliance with all of the requirements specified in § 173.159(e)(1)-(4) is met. When transported by highway or rail, electric storage batteries containing electrolyte or corrosive battery fluid are not subject to any other requirements of the subchapter if: (1) no other hazardous materials may be transported in the same vehicle; (2) the batteries must be loaded or braced so as to prevent damage and short circuits in transit; (3) any other material loaded in the same vehicle must be blocked, braced, or otherwise secured to prevent contact with or damage to the batteries; and (4) the transport vehicle may not carry material shipped by any person other than the shipper of the batteries.

Regarding your question concerning partial use of this exception, properly marking or labeling a crate of batteries or placarding a transport vehicle when using this exception is not a violation of the HMR. However, we do not recommend partial use of this exception because it can create confusion in the enforcement or emergency response community that may result in issuance of a ticket or frustration of your shipment. 

I trust 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
173.159 Batteries, wet