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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 #13-0108R ([Eastex Crude Company] [Ms. Kathy Harris])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Eastex Crude Company

Individual Name: Ms. Kathy Harris

Location State: TX Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

April 22, 2014

Ms. Kathy Harris
Safety Director
Eastex Crude Company
10907 Ste Hwy 11 W
Leesburg, TX 75451

Ref. No.: 13-0108R

Dear Ms. Harris:

This is a revised response to your letter requesting clarification of certain requirements under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Part 171-180) applicable to the highway transportation of “High Gravity Condensate,” in a cargo tank, classified as either “UN1267, Petroleum crude oil, Class 3, Packing Group I/II” or “UN1268, Petroleum Products, n.o.s (condensate), Class 3, Packing Group I/II.”  

In your letter you indicate that this is a Flammable liquid in Packing Group I or II.  We would like to ensure that you are familiar with § 173.22 of the HMR and corresponding requirement for the shipper to properly classify a hazardous material.  In addition, we would like to raise your awareness to a January 2, 2014 safety alert issued by PHMSA.  The alert warns of crude oil variability and emphasizes proper and sufficient testing to ensure accurate characterization and classification.  The alert expressed PHMSA’s concern that unprocessed crude oil may affect the integrity of the packaging or present additional hazards, related to corrosivity, sulfur content, and dissolved gas content.  Further, on February 25, 2014, DOT issued an Emergency Order requiring those who offer “UN1267, Petroleum crude oil” for transportation by rail to ensure that the product is properly tested and classified in accordance with Federal safety regulations, which was superseded by a revised Amended Emergency Order on March 6, 2014, clarifying the requirement.  The March 6 Amended Emergency Order requires that all rail shipments of crude oil that is properly classed as a flammable liquid in Packing Group (PG) III be treated as a PG I or II material, until further notice.  The Amended Emergency Order also authorized PG III materials to be described as PG III for the purposes of hazard communication.  Copies of the safety alert and emergency order enclosed for your convenience.     

Your questions are paraphrased and answered below:

Q1.  What are the requirements to transport “High Gravity Condensate” in a cargo tank in TX, LA, OK, and NM?

A1. The HMR apply to any person that transports or causes to be transported or shipped hazardous materials in interstate, intrastate, and foreign commerce, by all modes of transportation (i.e., highway, rail, air, and vessel).  The HMR include requirements for classification, packaging, marking, labeling, shipping paper documentation, emergency response information, placarding, and training.

Q2.  What placard is required for “High Gravity Consendate”?

A2.  A cargo tank containing a class 3, packing group I or II material, must display a FLAMMABLE placard as described in § 172.542.  In addition, bulk packagings (e.g., cargo tanks) must display identification numbers on the placard in accordance with                                    § 172.332(c) or on orange panels in accordance with § 172.332(b).

Q3.  What are the driver training requirements to transport “High Gravity Condensate”?  

A3.  The HMR require that the driver must receive hazardous materials training (see                   §§ 177.800(c) and 177.816). This training must include general awareness, function-specific, safety, and security awareness training as specified in § 172.704(a) of the HMR, as well as driver training in the applicable requirements of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR; 49 CFR parts 390 through 397) and the procedures necessary for the safe operation of that motor vehicle. Training conducted to satisfy compliance with the current Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requirements for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) with a tank vehicle or hazardous materials endorsement may be used to satisfy the training requirements set forth in § 172.704 to the extent that such training addresses the training components specified in § 172.704(a).  Where this training does not satisfy the HMR, the employer or self-employed person performing these tasks must provide additional training that satisfies these requirements (see § 177.816(c) and (d)).  In addition, CDLs and hazardous materials endorsements are regulated by FMCSA in accordance with 49 CFR Part 383.  Questions regarding FMCSA regulations should be directed to the appropriate FMCSA field office.  A list of FMCSA field offices and contact information is available at “ /displayfieldroster.aspx,” or you may contact FMCSA at their headquarters offices in Washington, D.C., at (202) 366-6121.

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


Charles Betts
Standards and Rulemaking Division


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.22 Shipper's responsibility
177.800 Purpose and scope of this part and responsibility for compliance and training
177.816 Driver training