5-3-94 DJ 202-PL-615

Mr. William F. Carroll Executive Director Portable Sanitation Association International 7800 Metro Parkway, Suite 104 Bloomington, Minnesota 55425 Dear Mr. Carroll:

MAY 13 1994

I am responding to your letter on behalf of the Portable Sanitation Association International regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). I apologize for the delay in responding. The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities that have rights or responsibilities under the Act. Pursuant to that authority, this letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA. However, this technical assistance does not constitute a legal interpretation of the statute, and it is not binding on the Department. Your letter requests that manufacturers of portable restroom facilities be granted a 2-year exemption from the ADA requirements regarding such facilities. Your letter further requests that portable restroom service companies be allowed to continue to use existing facilities that do not comply with the ADA requirements until they are replaced with complying facilities through normal attrition. The ADA is a comprehensive civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by a wide range of covered entities. Accessibility requirements are established by title II, which prohibits discrimination in the programs, activities, and services of public entities, and title III, which covers private entities that own, operate, lease, or lease to places of public accommodation and commercial facilities. Title

III provides narrow exemptions for private clubs and religious entities. The Department of Justice is not authorized to grant exemptions from the requirements of the ADA.

cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Blizard, Hill, FOIA, Friedlander n:\Udd\hille\policylt\carroll.ltr 01-03078

-2The ADA does not directly regulate the manufacture or distribution of portable restroom facilities. Therefore, the manufacture and sale of inaccessible facilities are not prohibited by the ADA. However, the ADA does regulate the use of inaccessible portable toilet facilities by entities subject to title II or title III of the Act. When a covered entity provides common use restroom facilities (including portable facilities) in a new or altered facility, the ADA generally requires every public toilet facility to be accessible, unless a number of single user portable toilet facilities are clustered together. 28 C.F.R. part 36, Appendix A, Standard 4.1.2(6); 41 C.F.R. part 101-19.6, Appendix A, Standards 4.1.1(6), 4.1.2(10). At existing facilities that now use portable restroom facilities, a public entity must ensure that there are sufficient accessible restrooms to meet the entity's obligation to provide "program access;" a place of public accommodation must remove barriers to access to the extent that it is readily achievable to do so. I hope that this information is helpful to you and that it fully responds to your inquiry. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Public Access Section