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Interpretation Response #06-0149 ([Compliant Technologies, Inc.] [Mr. David Ellis])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Compliant Technologies, Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. David Ellis

Location State: TN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Aug 16, 2006


Mr. David Ellis                 Reference No. 06-0149
Compliant Technologies, Inc.
8325 Beals Chapel Road
Lenoir City, TN 37772

Dear Mr. Ellis:

This is in response to your June 29, 2006 letter asking how soon a motor carrier is required to report a release of a hazardous material that meets the definition of both the Division 6.2 (infectious substance) and Class 7 (radioactive) hazard classes under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). We have paraphrased your questions and answered them below in the order you provided.

Q1. Must a carrier report an incident at the earliest practical moment to the National Response Center (or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for Division 6.2) or may the carrier delay the reporting for up to 12 hours while it conducts an investigation to determine the cause and/or to determine if contamination spread from the trailer to the roadway where the truck had traveled?

Al. Incidents listed under § 171.15 of the HMR must be reported at the earliest practical moment by telephone to the appropriate organization specified in the section. Any reporting delay beyond what is necessary to safely secure the incident scene, such as an investigation to determine the cause of the release and its possible spread along the highway the truck traveled, is not permitted.

Q2. We believe the earliest practical moment to report an incident in § 171.115(a) means just that and should not be interpreted that one has 12 hours to report the incident regardless of the situation. Is our understanding correct?

A2. Yes.

Q3. The provisions in § 171.15 of the HMR indicate contamination, or suspected contamination, of such materials on the outside of a package (e.g., exceeding the levels permitted in § 173.443 for Class 7 (radioactive)) while in transportation would warrant a report to the NRC and that it should be reported at the earliest practical moment. Is that accurate or does the material actually have to spill on a public road for reporting to be required?

A3. Section 171.15 requires that anytime afire, breakage, spillage, or suspected radioactive contamination occurs involving a radioactive material during the course of transportation in commerce, the person or entity in physical control of the hazardous material when it is released is responsible for reporting the incident to this agency in the manner described in answer Al.

I hope this information is helpful.



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


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.15 Immediate notice of certain hazardous materials incidents