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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 #10-0242 ([URS Corporation] [Ms. Erin N. Jarman])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: URS Corporation

Individual Name: Ms. Erin N. Jarman

Location State: NC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

February 14, 2011



Ms. Erin N. Jarman

Environmental Scientist

URS Corporation

1600 Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 400

Morrisville, NC 27560

Reference No. 10-0242

Dear Ms. Jarman:

This is in response to your letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the retention of closure instructions. Your inquiries pertain to the requirements prescribed in § 178.2(c)(1)(ii) for retaining closure instructions for hazardous materials (hazmat) packagings, which became effective on October 1, 2010, in two final rules issued under Docket No. PHMSA-06-25736 (HM-231) (2/2/10, 75 FR 5376; 9/30/10, 75 FR 60333). We paraphrased your questions and answered them in the order you provided.

Q1. If a recipient of a completed hazardous materials package reoffers it in commerce in the same manner that he or she received it, i.e., without ever opening or modifying the package, does the requirement prescribed in § 178.2(c)(1)(ii) to retain closure instructions for this package apply to this shipment?

A1. As specified in § 178.2(c)(i)(A), closure instruction notification is required to inform the user of a hazardous materials packaging of all the requirements the packaging does not meet at the time of transfer. A completed package that is properly closed meets all the requirements contained in its closure instruction notification at the time it is offered for transportation. The reuse provisions in § 173.28(a) require that all packagings and receptacles used more than once be in such condition that they conform in all respects to the HMR. Therefore, provided the package is not opened and continues to meet its performance standard, the HMR does not require the person who received the package and is re-offering it for transportation to retain its closure instructions.

Q2. The recipient of a product wishes to reuse the packaging that previously held the product to ship waste material for disposal or recovery. Section 173.12(c) states this reused packaging is not subject to the reconditioning and reuse requirements prescribed in § 173.28 and 49 CFR Part 178. Does this exception from 49 CFR Part 178 also extend to the requirement to retain the manufacturer"s closure instructions for a period of 365 days as prescribed in § 178.2(c)(1)(ii)?

A2. The exception in § 173.12(c) applies only to the reuse and reconditioning requirements for packagings prescribed in § 173.28 and 49 CFR Part 178 and not to the packaging closure instructions prescribed in § 178.2(c). These closure instructions apply to all 49 CFR Part 178 packagings, except as specifically provided in §§ 178.337-18 and 178.345-10, that must be closed before being offered for transportation. A previously authorized hazardous materials package that was closed and then re-opened has been altered. To meet its performance standard, the packaging must be properly closed in conformance with its closure instructions. See § 178.2(c). Whoever performs this closure action must obtain and retain these closure instructions for 12 months for a single or composite packaging and every 24 months for a combination packaging from the date the package is offered for transportation and must make this document available for inspection by a representative of the Department of Transportation.

I hope this satisfies your request.


T. Glenn Foster

Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch

Standards and Rulemaking Division

178.2, 173.12, 178.28

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.12 Exceptions for shipment of waste materials