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Interpretation Response #12-0265 ([Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, P.C.] [Mr. Timothy Wiseman])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, P.C.

Individual Name: Mr. Timothy Wiseman

Location State: IN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

February 7, 2013



Mr. Timothy Wiseman
Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, P.C.
10 West Market Street, Suite 1500
Indianapolis, IN  46204

Ref. No. 12-0265

Dear Mr. Wiseman:

This responds to your December 3, 2012 letter requesting clarification of the record retention requirements for portable tanks under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).  You request clarification whether a similar exception from record retention requirements for an owner of a cargo tank under § 180.417(a)(3)(ii) exists for your (ICC/DOT 51) portable tanks.  Specifically, you ask whether, in the absence of the manufacturer's certificate for the specification and the manufacturer's data report required by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Code, the owner may copy the information marked on the portable tank plate(s) and have a registered inspector certify the portable tank conforms to the specification; and then retain this documentation in a record.

No exception from the record retention requirements for an owner of a portable tank exists similar to the exception afforded a cargo tank owner under § 180.417(a)(3)(ii).  The requirements for the qualification and maintenance of a portable tank, including an authorized ICC/DOT 51 portable tank, are found in Subpart G of Part 180 of the HMR.  Record retention requirements are specified in § 180.605(l).  No exception is written into these requirements allowing for reproduction of the stamp plate information and certification of conformance with the specification by a registered inspector in the absence of a manufacturer's data report and certification.  The exception found in § 180.417(a)(3)(ii) was originally adopted under a final rule (HM-183, 183A) (54 FR 24982, 25032; June 12, 1989) incorporating regulations for the manufacture of a cargo tank, and its maintenance, operation, repair, and requalification and was specific to cargo tanks only.

Maintaining a written record of the qualification of a portable tank in a manner alternative to what is prescribed in the HMR may possibly be obtained through issuance of a special permit by the Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.  The application process for a special permit and minimum criteria for justification of a level of safety at least equal to regulation or that is consistent with the public interest is outlined in 49 CFR Part 107, Subpart B.

I hope this information is helpful.  If you have further questions, please contact this office.




Delmer Billings
Senior Regulatory Advisor
Standards and Rulemaking Division


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
180.417 Reporting and record retention requirements