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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 #21-0074

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance

Individual Name: Collin B. Mooney

Location State: MD Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

January 24, 2022

Collin B. Mooney
Executive Director
Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
6303 Ivy Lane
Suite 310
Greenbelt, MD  20770

Reference No. 21-0074

Dear Mr. Mooney:

This letter is in response to your July 14, 2021, letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to emergency response training requirements.

We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:

Q1. You ask how detailed the safety training requirement in § 172.704(a)(3)(i) must be.

A1. Section 172.704(a)(3)(i) requires that each hazmat employee—as defined in § 171.8—must receive safety training concerning emergency response information required by subpart G of part 172. The HMR does not prescribe the detail or specificity of this requirement, as it is a performance-based standard.

A hazmat employee training program meets the requirements of § 172.704(a)(3)(i) if it includes training on emergency response information and complies with the requirements of subpart G of part 172. Please note that an employer’s hazmat training program should meet all applicable requirements of § 172.704, not just § 172.704(a)(3)(i).

Q2. You ask whether a driver or other carrier hazmat employee is required to provide emergency response information to emergency responders when a related hazardous materials incident occurs involving the hazmat employee that is transporting or handling the hazardous material.

A2. The answer is yes, emergency response information must be readily available to authorities in the event of an incident or inspection. Section 172.602(c)(1) requires that each carrier shall maintain emergency response information in the same manner as prescribed for shipping papers. Section 177.817(e) details storage and accessibility requirements for shipping papers. Therefore, the emergency response information must also be stored and available to authorities in the event of an accident or inspection in accordance with § 177.817(e)

Q3. You ask how much detail a driver or other carrier hazmat employee must give to emergency responders regarding the hazardous materials involved in the incident.

A3. Section § 172.602(c)(1) requires that no person—that is subject to subpart G of part 172—may offer for transportation, accept for transportation, transfer, store, or otherwise handle during transportation a hazardous material unless emergency response information conforming to subpart G of part 172 is: (1) immediately available for use at all times the hazardous material is present; and (2) immediately available to any person who—as a representative of a Federal, State, or local government agency—responds to an incident involving a hazardous material, or is conducting an investigation that involves a hazardous material.

Section 172.602(c)(1) requires that each carrier shall maintain emergency response information in the same manner as prescribed for shipping papers. Section 177.817(e) details storage and accessibility requirements for shipping papers. Therefore, the emergency response information must also be stored and available to authorities in the event of an accident or inspection in accordance with § 177.817(e).

Q4. You ask whether the amount of hazmat safety training on emergency response information is dependent on the hazardous material being transported. You provide the example of a driver of a propane truck only needing training regarding propane while a driver of a transport vehicle that carries multiple hazard classes needing training on all hazardous materials they transport.

A4. See answer A1.

Q5. You ask whether compliance with the emergency response information, conforming to subpart G of part 172, should be verified by a roadside inspector during a roadside inspection, or should it only be checked during a compliance investigation or facility inspection.

A5. The HMR prescribes the requirements for the safe and secure transportation of hazardous materials in commerce, as the Secretary considers appropriate. Pursuant to § 172.602(c)(1), emergency response information required under subpart G of Part 172 must be immediately available to any person who, as a representative of a Federal, State, or local government agency responding to an incident involving a hazardous material or is conducting an investigation which involves a hazardous materials. A roadside inspector may check for compliance with this requirement.

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

Sincerely,

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

171.8, 172.602(c)(1), 172.704,172.704(a)(3)(i), 177.817(e)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations
172.602 Emergency response information
172.704 Training requirements
177.817 Shipping papers