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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 #00-0213 ([APS] [Mr. Donald Leith])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: APS

Individual Name: Mr. Donald Leith

Location State: AZ Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

DEC 4, 2000


Mr. Donald Leith                         Ref. No. 00-0213
Mail Station 7902
P.O. Box 52034
Phoenix, AZ 85072-2034

Dear Mr. Leith:

This is in response to your letter dated July 28,2000, regarding the overpacking of packages of Class 7 (radioactive) material. I apologize for the delay in responding, I hope it has not caused you any inconvenience.

In your letter you describe a scenario where an overpack contains two packages of Class 7 material that are appropriately labeled RADIOACTIVE YELLOW-II. Based on the requirements of 49 CFR 173.448(g)(1) and 172.403 the overpack is labeled RADIOACTIVE YELLOW-III. Based on that scenario you ask the following questions, which are paraphrased below for ease of response:

Q1) For the above described scenario, is the transport vehicle required to be placarded, and should the category oflabels and transport index described on the shipping papers be those of the inner packages or the overpack?

A1) In accordance with the requirements of § I72.504(a), any quantity ofradioactive material labeled RADIOACTIVE YELLOW-III must be transported in a freight container, unit load device, transport vehicle or rail car that is placarded RADIOACTIVE. Therefore, a transport vehicle carrying an overpack that is labeled RADIOACTIVE YELLOW-III, even though it contains packages of radioactive materials that are labeled RADIOACTIVE YELLOW -II or WHITE-I, is required to be placarded in accordance with § 172.504.

Section 172.203( d) requires that the shipping paper for each package of radioactive material must include the activity level, the category oflabel applied to each package, and the transport index assigned to each package. For the scenario described above, that information must be based on the individual packages contained in the overpack and not a summation of all the packages within the overpack. For example, in the scenario above, you must identify the presence of two RADIOACTIVE YELLOW-II labeled packages and not one RADIOACTIVE YELLOW-III labeled package.

Q2) If the overpack does dictate hazard.communication, does it affect how you determine if a package contains a reportable quantity?

A2) Under § 171.8, a hazardous substance is defined as a material, including its mixtures and solutions, that: (1) is listed in. Appendix A to § 172.10 1 of the HMR.; (2) is in a quantity, in one package, which equals or exceeds its reportable quantity (RQ); and (3) is in a concentration by weight which equals or exceeds the concentration corresponding to the RQ of the material, as shown in the table under § 171.8. Under the scenario described above, you must evaluate each inner package separately to determine if it contains a hazardous substance. You do not sum the activities of the radionuclides contained in each inner package of the overpack to determine whether there is a reportable quantity of a hazardous substance.

Q3) Does § 173.448(g) overrule §§ 173.25(a) and 173.400(a), which exempts overpacks from labeling requirements if the labels on the inner packagings are visible?

A3) Yes.

I hope this information is helpful.



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


173.448 (g)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.448 General transportation requirements