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Interpretation Response #14-0064


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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date: 01-05-2015
Company Name: NitroxFox LLC    Individual Name: Mr. John Fox
Location state: FL    Country: US

View the Interpretation Document


Response text:

Mr. John Fox
NitroxFox LLC
PO Box 32091
Sarasota, FL 34239

Ref. No.: 14-0064

Dear Mr. Fox:

This is in response to your emails dated March 29, 2014, requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) relating to the applicability of the HMR to the filling of SCUBA cylinders at a self-service filling station. You propose a self-service filling station to enable your customers to fill their own SCUBA cylinders any time of day, and ask if such an arrangement would be in compliance with the requirements of the HMR.

Section 171.1(b) and (c) provides that requirements of the HMR apply to each person who offers a hazardous material for transportation in commerce and the transportation of a hazardous material in commerce. The transportation of a hazardous material by a private individual for non-commercial personal use is not considered transportation in commerce. Therefore the requirements of the HMR are not applicable to fillers (offerors) or private individuals for the use, recharging, or transportation of SCUBA cylinders by private individuals for personal use.

However, if a person were to fill a cylinder at the self-serve facility that is intended to be used in conjunction with a business, both the facility and the business would be subject to the HMR. In this situation the self-serve facility would have to have a mechanism in place to ensure compliance with all applicable requirements of the HMR.

Further, in accordance with § 180.3(a), a cylinder marked to certify that it conforms to the requirements of the HMR must be maintained in accordance with applicable specification requirements whether or not it is in transportation in commerce at any particular time. Thus, a DOT specification SCUBA cylinder that is marked to indicate conformance with applicable DOT requirements must be retested and otherwise maintained in accordance with the HMR whether or not it is being used to transport hazardous materials in commerce.

The self-service filling station would have to provide a mechanism for ensuring a cylinder is in compliance with § 180.3(a). The filling of a cylinder by an untrained person may result in the cylinder being filled beyond its marked service pressure or being filled after the cylinder becomes due for requalification and would violate the HMR.

Even though the requirements of the HMR do not apply to the transportation of hazardous materials by private individuals for their personal use, it is reasonable to assume that some patrons would have a commercial purpose, thereby triggering the applicability of the HMR. When a cylinder is subject to the HMR, requirements for filling, testing, shipping papers, markings, labels, and other areas may apply. Additionally, even when the HMR does not apply Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and state and local requirements may apply.

For these reasons, PHMSA counsels against the proposed self-service filling station.

You also ask if these cylinders may be filled when they are on a vehicle. The HMR does not address whether a cylinder can be filled while it is on a vehicle or if it must be removed from the vehicle for filling.

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

Sincerely,

 

Shane C. Kelley
Acting International Standards Coordinator
Standards and Rulemaking Division

171.1(b) and (c), 180.3(a)


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
§ 180.3 General requirements