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Interpretation Response #07-0144 ([General Environmental Management, Inc.] [Mr. Alexander Amort])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: General Environmental Management, Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. Alexander Amort

Location State: CA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

March 4, 2008

Mr. Alexander Amort

Director, Environental Health and Safety

General Environmental Management, Inc.

3191 Temple Avenue, Suite 250

Pomona, CA 91768

Ref. No.: 07-0144

Dear Mr. Amort:

This responds to your July 13, 2007 letter requesting clarification of the proper shipping description for lab packs under §173.12(b) of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you request reconsideration of information provided in a letter issued by this office in 2002 and ask how to describe certain hazardous materials that are identified with a "+" sign in column one of the §172.101 Hazardous Materials Table (HMT).

Section 173.12(b) permits a shipper to use non-specification packaging and, for compatible materials in the same hazard class, a generic shipping name rather than specific chemical names for the materials packed in a lab pack. Section 172.101(b)(1) states, in part, "the plus (+) sign fixes the proper shipping name, hazard class, and packing group for that entry without regard to whether the material meets the definition of that class, packing group or any other hazard class designation." In two previous letters issued by this office (Ref. Nos. 99-0145 and 02-0014), we indicated materials identified with a "+" sign in column one of the HMT are not eligible for the exception allowing for use of a generic proper shipping name, on the basis that the "+" sign "fixes" the proper shipping name.

Based on your inquiry and the issues you raise, we have reevaluated the aforementioned interpretations. Section 172.101(b)(1) is intended to ensure that certain materials that are known to present hazards in transportation but that do not meet specific hazard class definitions are appropriately described and classed. However, §173.12 provides exceptions to this provision if the lab packs of waste materials meet the requirements of and the packages are prepared in accordance with §173.12. Therefore, it is our determination that waste materials containing Aniline and/or Phenol are eligible for the §173.12(b) exceptions and may be packaged in lab packs with other compatible waste hazardous materials in the same hazard class in the same outside packaging and described using a generic proper shipping name. Multiple shipping names are not required. The generic proper shipping name must be marked on the outside packaging of the lab pack. Requirements for lab packs are provided in §173.12(b).

I hope this information is helpful. If we can be of further assistance, please contact us.


Edward T. Mazzullo


Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

173.12 172.101

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.101 Purpose and use of hazardous materials table
173.12 Exceptions for shipment of waste materials