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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 #99-0008 ([Spill and Waste Departmen] [Mr. Bob Held, CHMM])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Spill and Waste Departmen

Individual Name: Mr. Bob Held, CHMM

Location State: CA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

JAN 25, 1999


Mr. Bob Held, CHMM                           Ref. No. 99-0008
Spill and Waste Department
3E Company
4920 Carroll Canyon Road
San Diego, California 92121

Dear Mr. Held:

This responds to your letter of January 4. 1999, concerning incident reporting requirements under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).  Specifically, you ask about the definition of "loading" as it applies to highway transportation of hazardous materials.

"Transportation" as defined in § 5102 of the federal hazardous materials transportation law (49 U.S.C. 5101-5127) is any movement of property by any mode, and any loading, unloading, or storage incident to the movement.  "Loading" is not specifically defined in the law nor is it specifically defined in the HMR.  For highway transportation of hazardous materials, 'transportation" begins when a motor carrier accepts and assumes responsibility for a shipment.

The scenario presented in your letter involves a driver moving a manifested and labeled drum from a storage area to his vehicle.  The driver's actions are an indication that the motor carrier has accepted the drum for shipment.

Transportation of the shipment has therefore begun.  The movement from storage area to vehicle is considered to be loading incidental to transportation, and reporting of the spill under §§ 171.15 or 171.16 of the HMR is required.

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



Thomas G. Allan
Senior Transportation Regulations Specialist
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.16 Detailed hazardous materials incident reports