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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 #20-0026

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: STAR Consulting

Individual Name: Jeff R. Thomas

Location State: NV Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

May 21, 2020

Jeff R. Thomas
STAR Consulting
85 S. LaVerne Street
Fallon, NV 89406

Reference No. 20-0026

Dear Mr. Thomas:

This letter is in response to your March 23, 2020, email and subsequent email correspondence requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to storage incidental to movement. Specifically, you describe a scenario involving intermodal transportation and ask whether, in the specific scenario you describe, the storage of rail tank cars on private track meets the definition of "storage incidental to movement."

In your scenario, a hazardous material is transported by rail in tank cars from a manufacturing plant to a transloading facility. The tank cars are delivered to a private track at the transloading facility, and after a 2-3 day period, are unloaded from the tank cars into cargo tank motor vehicles for delivery to a customer. You ask whether the tank cars containing hazardous material are considered to be in "storage incidental to movement" (see §§ 171.1(c)(4) and 171.8) during the 2-3 day period they are stored on private track at the transloading facility, and therefore subject to the requirements of the HMR.

The answer is no. As described in your scenario, the storage on private track does not meet the definition of "storage incidental to movement." Once the tank cars are delivered to the private track of the designated consignee for the rail movement, transportation is considered to have ended, even if the hazardous material is described as a through-shipment to another destination. The storage of hazardous material in the tank car on private track is not subject to the HMR, but the HMR apply to the pre-trip functions performed for the next mode of transportation for the hazardous material.

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


Dirk Der Kinderen
Chief, Standards Development Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

171.1(c)(4), 171.8

Regulation Sections

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