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Interpretation Response #02-0191 ([University of Hawai'i at Manoa] [Tim O'Callaghan])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: University of Hawai'i at Manoa

Individual Name: Tim O'Callaghan

Location State: HI Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

May 27, 2003

Mr. Tim O'Callaghan                 Reference No. 02-0191
Hazardous Materials Management Officer
Environmental Health and Safety Office
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
2040 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822

Dear Mr. O'Callaghan:

This is in response to your letter requesting clarification on the requirements in § 173.12 for transporting hazardous wastes in a lab pack under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).  We apologize for the delay in responding and any inconvenience this may have caused.  Your questions are paraphrased and answered below.

Question 1. What is the definition of the term “lab pack” mentioned in § 173.12(b)?

Answer 1. We do not define the term “lab pack” in the HMR.  We adopted the requirements in § 173.12 to align the HMR with regulations on lab packs issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.  In general terms, a lab pack is a large outer drum containing small inner packagings that are filled with various compatible laboratory hazardous wastes.

Question 2. Would several small containers of hazardous material or hazardous waste, or both, of the same hazard class (e.g., oxidizers such as sodium nitrate, potassium nitrate, and calcium nitrate) packed in a larger DOT-approved container be a lab pack?

Answer 2. The answer is yes, provided the packaging meets the requirements in § 173.12.

Question 3. Would several small containers of one hazardous material or hazardous waste (e.g., potassium nitrate) placed together in one larger DOT-approved container be a lab pack?

Answer 3. The answer is the same as in Answer 2.

Question 4. Section 173.12(b) limits transportation of lab packs to highway only.  The University of Hawaii at Manoa is a party to Exemption DOT-E 10933, which permits lab packs to be transported by rail and vessel with additional restrictions.  Paragraph 8a of the exemption states: "A person who is not a holder of this exemption who receives a package covered by this exemption may re-offer it for transportation provided no modifications or changes are made to the package an it is re-offered for transportation in conformance with this exemption and the HMR."
(a) If the University hires a contractor to package hazardous waste materials under University direction and supervision and the University representative signs the waste manifest as the generator, is it necessary for the contractor to be a party to the exemption?  The contractor personnel have all the required training to perform the work.

Answer (4a). The answer is no.

(b) Under the same circumstances described in question 4(a), if the University hires a contractor to package the hazardous waste and then transport it to point A, is the contractor required to be a party to the exemption?

Answer 4(b). The answer is no.  Paragraph 10 of DOT-E 10933 requires the carrier to place a copy of this exemption aboard each motor vehicle or cargo vessel used to transport packages conforming to this exemption.

Question 5. How do the requirements in § 173.12 (b) relate to the requirements in §§ 173.4, 173.150, 173.151, 173.152, 173.153, 173.154, and 173.155? Specifically, can a hazardous waste lab pack be transported by vessel without an exemption if the applicable requirements in § 173.4 or §§ 173.150 through 173.155 are met?

Answer 5. The answer is no; hazardous wastes that are offered for transportation under § 173.12 (b) (1) are restricted to transportation for disposal or recovery by highway only. For transportation by vessel, an exemption must be obtained under the provisions of 49 CFR Part 107, Subpart B.

I hope this satisfies your request.


Hattie L. Mitchell, Chief
Regulatory Review and Reinvention.
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.12 Exceptions for shipment of waste materials