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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 #16-0146 ([DuBois Chemical, Inc.] [Mr. Jay Polk])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: DuBois Chemical, Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. Jay Polk

Location State: OH Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

December 09, 2016

Mr. Jay Polk
Regulatory Specialist
DuBois Chemicals, Inc.
3630 East Kemper Road
Sharonville, OH  45241

Reference No. 16-0146

Dear Mr. Polk:

This letter is in response to your September 6, 2016, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to providing hazardous materials placards to motor carriers under § 172.506(a).  We have paraphrased your questions and answered them in the order you provided:

Q1.   You ask the meaning of “provide” as it is enforced in § 172.506(a) of the HMR.  

A1.   The HMR do not define the word “provide.”  However, according to conventional resources, such as the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it means “to make something available” and “to give something wanted or needed to someone or something.”  

Q2.   You ask if § 172.506(a) requires those who offer hazardous materials to:  (1) physically hand placards to motor carrier drivers or present them along with shipping papers before or at the time the hazardous material is offered for transportation; or (2) have placards readily available and accessible in organized files for carriers to pick up as needed.  You further ask which manner meets “provide” as enforced.

A2.   Section 172.506(a) specifies that the placards are to be offered to a motor carrier prior to or at the same time a hazardous material is offered for transportation, but it does not specify how they are to be made available.  Therefore, the offeror may use any method that meets the requirements in § 172.506(a).  It is the opinion of this Office that the following examples comply with this requirement:  the offeror (1) physically hands
applicable placards to the motor carrier; (2) physically applies applicable placards to the container/vehicle; or (3) makes applicable placards available to the motor carrier in a manner such that the motor carrier can apply them to the appropriate container/vehicle as required under the HMR.  

I hope this information is helpful.  Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.


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


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.506 Providing and affixing placards: Highway