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Interpretation Response #06-0002 ([MHF Logistical Solutions] [Mr. Kurt Colborn])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: MHF Logistical Solutions

Individual Name: Mr. Kurt Colborn

Location State: PA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Jun 30, 2006

Mr. Kurt Colborn                      Reference No. 06-0002
Director, Technical Services
MHF Logistical Solutions
800 Cranberry Woods Drive, Suite 450
Cranberry Township, PA 16066

Dear Mr. Colborn:

This responds to your December 21, 2005, letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to Class 7 (radioactive) materials. Your questions are paraphrased and answered below:

Q1. You ask whether an empty packaging is considered contaminated if survey readings exceed the levels in the definition of contamination in § 1’73.403, provided the packaging is not a conveyance.

Al. The answer is yes. Any material, package, or packaging that exceeds both the activity concentration for exempt material and the activity limit for exempt consignments in § 173.436, or meets the definition of contamination in § 173.403, must be classed as a Class 7 (radioactive) material.

Q2. You ask whether an empty conveyance (e.g., a gondola railcar), or bulk packaging large enough to be a conveyance (e.g., an intermodal or cargo container) ‘would be regulated under the HMR if the contamination levels are below the levels specified in § 173.443(c).

A2. See Al.

Q3. You ask whether an empty gondola railcar, used to transport packages of Class 7 (radioactive) materials would be regulated under the HMR if the contamination levels are below those levels specified in § 173.443(c).
A3. See Al.

Q4. You ask whether an empty gondola railcar used to transport Class 7 (radioactive) materials and having a liner serving as a contamination barrier would be regulated under the HMR if the contamination levels are below those specified by
§ 173.443(c).

A4. See Al.

Q5. You ask, for the purpose of choosing the appropriate contamination control limit, whether an intermodal or cargo container may be considered a conveyance, even if the containers are transported on a railcar for all or part of their transportation.
A5. The answer is yes. For transport by public highway or rail, the term "conveyance" as defined in § 173.403 includes any transport vehicle or large freight container.

Q6. You ask whether the contamination limits in § 173.443 apply to all conveyances, including those conveyances that are not used in “exclusive use” service.

A6. The answer is no. The contamination limits in § 173.443 apply to: (1) conveyances used as the packaging for Class 7 (radioactive) material; (2) transport vehicles in “exclusive use” service; and, (3) closed transport vehicles used solely for the transportation of Class 7 (radioactive) material by highway or rail.

Q7. You ask whether the shipper is responsible for complying with the contamination requirements for a "non-exclusive use" shipment. Additionally, you ask whether a post-shipment survey of conveyances used for "non-exclusive use" shipments is required.

A7. Compliance with the HMR is the responsibility of both the shipper and the carrier. The shipper is responsible for ensuring the package and conveyance meet the contamination limits prior to transportation. The carrier and shipper may both be responsible for ensuring compliance with the contamination limits specified in § 173.443 during transportation, based on the specific scenario. The HMR do not require post-shipment surveys of conveyances, used for “non-exclusive use” shipments.

Q8. You ask whether contamination limits on the surface of a package, empty packaging, or conveyance are restricted to those limits specified in § 173.403 and

A8. The definition of contamination in § 173.403 applies to radioactive contamination on the surface of any inherently non-radioactive material and includes the surface of a package, empty packaging, or conveyance. The contamination limits in § 173.443 are upper contamination limits for packages and transport vehicles.

Q9. You ask whether a single measurement of contamination, performed with an appropriate instrument, may be conducted in lieu of separate measurements for fixed and non-fixed contamination.

A9. The answer is no. You must comply with the limits for both fixed and mm-fixed radioactive contamination. Separate measurements are necessary to verify compliance with both contamination limits.

Q10. You ask whether the terms "general use" and "unrestricted release" regarding a conveyance that is below the contamination limits in § 173.443 means that the conveyance is no longer subject to the HMR.
Al0. The terms "general use" and "unrestricted release" are not defined by the HMR. A conveyance that meets the definition of "radioactive material" or "contamination" in § 173.403 is regulated by the HMR as a Class 7 (radioactive) material.

I hope this information is helpful.



John A. Gale
Chief, Standards Development
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

173.403, 173.443

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.403 Definitions
173.443 Contamination control