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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 #12-0268 ([Koppers Inc.] [Ms. Erin S. Murray])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Koppers Inc.

Individual Name: Ms. Erin S. Murray

Location State: PA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

February 5, 2013



Ms. Erin S. Murray
Koppers Inc.
436 Seventh Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1800

Ref No.: 12-0268

Dear Ms. Murray:

This is a response to your November 30, 2012 email requesting clarification of the applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 100-185) with regard to the classification of petroleum products for transport.  You state that you ship products that are a result of distillations of petroleum residuum.  These products contain constituents that are listed under Appendix A to § 172.101, the hazardous substances table; however they do not meet the definition of any of the nine hazard classes.  Specifically, you seek clarification on the definition of hazardous substance and whether your petroleum products are subject to the requirements of the HMR.

In accordance with the definition in § 171.8, a hazardous substance does not include petroleum, including crude oil or any fraction thereof which is not otherwise specifically listed or designated as such in Appendix A to § 172.101 of this subchapter.  Therefore, unless the complete petroleum product is specifically listed in Appendix A to § 172.101, constituents of the petroleum products that are reportable quantities are not considered when determining if a material is a hazardous substance.

In regard to classification of this material, § 173.22 states that it is the shipper's responsibility to properly classify a hazardous material. This office does not perform that function.  However, upon review of the Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) you supplied, it is the opinion of this office that your product does not meet the definition of a hazardous substance specified in § 171.8, and is not subject to the HMR. 

I hope this information is helpful.  If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to contact this office.



Robert Benedict
Chief, Standards Development
Standards and Rulemaking Division

172.101, 173.22, 171.8

Regulation Sections

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