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Interpretation Response #13-0120 ([Western International, Inc.] [Mr. David Ebbers P.E.])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Western International, Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. David Ebbers P.E.

Location State: CT Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

September 11, 2013

Mr. David Ebbers P.E.
Senior Engineer
Western International, Inc.
290 Quarry Rd.
Milford, CT 06460

Ref. No. 13-0120

Dear Mr. Ebbers:

This is in response to your letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR 171-180) applicable to trailer-mounted tanks containing diesel fuel used to power back-up generators, pumps, and other construction equipment installed on the same transport vehicle (e.g., flat-bed trailer).  You state the bulk tanks range in capacity from 132 gallons to 1240 gallons for IBCs and 2450 and 5000 gallons for UN portable tanks (T9).  You ask whether the fuel tanks you describe in your letter are subject to the HMR and, if not, what actions you can voluntarily take to communicate the hazards posed by transporting such units on a public highway.

First, please note that an IBC may not have a volumetric capacity greater than 3000 liters (793 gallons).  That said, it is the opinion of this Office that if the tanks described in your letter meet the requirements for fuel systems under 49 CFR 393.65 and 393.67 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), they are not subject to the HMR.  As defined in 49 CFR 171.8, a fuel tank means “a tank, other than a cargo tank, used to transport flammable or combustible liquid, or compressed gas for the purpose of supplying fuel for propulsion of the transport vehicle to which it is attached, or for the operation of other equipment on the transport vehicle.”

Regarding voluntary hazard communication, it is permissible to display the FLAMMABLE or COMBUSTIBLE placard prescribed in 49 CFR 172.542 and 172.544, respectively.  The HMR authorize placards to be displayed for a hazardous material, even when not required, provided the placarding conforms to the requirements in Subpart F of Part 172.  See 49 CFR 172.502(c).  
I trust this information is helpful.  Please contact us if you require further assistance.


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

172.542, 172.544, 172.502(c)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.502 Prohibited and permissive placarding
172.542 FLAMMABLE placard
172.544 COMBUSTIBLE placard