USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #15-0066 ([Chesapeake Fire Department] [Mr. Simone J. Gulisano])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Chesapeake Fire Department

Individual Name: Mr. Simone J. Gulisano

Location State: VA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

April 22, 2015

Mr. Simone J. Gulisano
Division Chief/Fire Marshal
Chesapeake Fire Department
Fire Prevention Division
304 Albemarle Drive
Chesapeake, VA 23322

Ref. No. 15-0066

Dear Mr. Gulisano:

This responds to your April 6, 2015 e-mail request and subsequent telephone conversation with a member of my staff for clarification on the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to requirements of local government agencies. You describe a scenario involving a City of Chesapeake, Virginia business that stores and maintains intermodal tanks containing hazardous materials at a facility on privately owned property in the City without a proper permit. The local business asserts it is not subject to the laws of the City or the Commonwealth of Virginia, since it is already regulated under federal requirements such as the transportation function described in § 171.1(c)(4), storage incidental to movement of a hazardous material. During the telephone conversation, you stated that the local business often stores the intermodal tanks for long periods of time. Specifically, you ask whether a local municipality may apply local zoning codes, fire codes and building codes at a facility where hazardous materials are stored, regardless of the duration of that storage.

The HMR apply to hazardous materials stored incidental to movement. There is no limit on the duration of storage incidental to movement provided the requirements in § 171.1(c)(4) are satisfied. As explained in § 171.1(f), a facility at which functions regulated under the HMR are performed may be subject to applicable laws and regulations of state and local governments. However, a requirement of a state, local, or tribal government that conflicts with requirements in the HMR is preempted, unless otherwise authorized by another Federal statute or the Department of Transportation issues a waiver of preemption. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration makes preemption determinations applicable to specific non-Federal requirements on a case-by-case basis. The procedures for DOT to make administrative determinations of preemption are set forth in subpart C of part 107.

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


Duane A. Pfund
International Standards Coordinator
Standards and Rulemaking Division

171.1(c)(4), 171.1(f)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.1 Applicability of Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to persons and functions