The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has published a set of Frequently Asked Questions on the agency's hazardous materials incident reporting regulations in 49 CFR §171.15 and §171.16.
This is the second set in a series of the agency's initiative to convert historical letters of interpretation applicable to the Hazardous Materials Regulations that have been issued to specific stakeholders into broadly applicable frequently asked questions. The first set of FAQ was published on December 9, 2022 and addressed the applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations to persons and shipments.
Sections 171.15 and 171.16 address immediate notice of certain hazardous materials incidents and detailed hazardous materials incident reports. Section 171.15 provides criteria requiring immediate notification of unintentional hazardous materials releases to the National Response Center. Each person making a report under §171.15 is also required to fill out DOT Form F 5800.1 within 30 days of discovery of the incident as required by §171.16.
The FAQs address common issues such as who is required to make the incident notifications, the timing of reports, and whether there is a minimum threshold amount for a hazmat spill before reporting is mandated.
A copy of the DOT Form F 5800.1 Incident Report and the Guide for Preparing HazMat Incidents Reports is available online here.