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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 #14-0079 ([New York State Department of Transportation] [Mr. Robert Montgomery])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: New York State Department of Transportation

Individual Name: Mr. Robert Montgomery

Location State: NY Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

May 15, 2014

Mr. Robert Montgomery
New York State Department of Transportation
50 Wolf Road POD 53
Albany, NY  12232

Ref No.: 14-0079

Dear Mr. Montgomery:

This is a response to your April 9, 2014 email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) with regard to oil spill response plans in Part 130.  Specifically, you request clarification on whether an aggregate amount of oil above 1,000 barrels (42,000 gallons) on a single train (train consist) would require a carrier to have a comprehensive oil spill response plan.

The applicability for oil spill response plans is based on the capacity of a single packaging and not an aggregate amount that may be contained in a train consist.  Section 130.2(a) states that the requirements of Part 130 apply to (1) Any liquid petroleum oil in a packaging having a capacity of 3,500 gallons or more; and (2) Any liquid petroleum or non-petroleum oil in a quantity greater than 42,000 gallons per packaging. Any person transporting liquid petroleum oil in a packaging having a capacity of 3,500 gallons or more but less than 42,000 gallons (1,000 barrels) is required to have a basic response plan conforming to § 130.31(a).  Any person transporting liquid petroleum or non-petroleum oil in a quantity greater than 42,000 gallons per packaging must have a comprehensive response plan conforming to the requirements of § 130.31(b).      

It should be noted that on January 23, 2014, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a Safety Recommendation (R-14-5) requesting PHMSA “revise the spill response planning thresholds contained in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 130 to require comprehensive response plans to effectively provide for the carriers’ ability to respond to worst-case discharges resulting from accidents involving unit trains or blocks of tank cars transporting oil and petroleum products.”  In response to their recommendation, PHMSA and FRA are currently considering revisions to 49 CFR Part 130 in a future rulemaking.

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

Sincerely,

Robert Benedict
Chief, Standards Development
Standards and Rulemaking Division

NTSB 130.31, 172.101

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.101 Purpose and use of hazardous materials table