USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #12-0117 ([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:

September 11, 2012



Ms. Erin N. Jarman
Environmental Scientist
URS Corporation
1600 Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 400
Morrisville, NC 27560

Reference No. 12-0117

Dear Ms. Jarman:

This is in response to your May 16, 2012 letter and earlier telephone conversation with a member of my staff requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) for determining the proper shipping name of Division 2.2 (non-flammable) gas reference standards (calibration gases). In the scenario you presented, vendors assign their gas standards generic proper shipping names, such as "Compressed gas, n.o.s. (Nitrogen, Carbon monoxide " 30 ppm)," mark these names on the cylinders that contain the gases, and ship the cylinders to your company, which your company then reoffers in transportation. Specifically, you ask if your company may use the generic proper shipping names pre-marked on the cylinder when reoffering the material, or if it must replace them with proper shipping names that comply with the provisions in newly revised § 172.101(c)(10)(i) of the HMR. You state it is your understanding that this section requires your company to use a proper shipping name that identifies the predominant material identified in a mixture rather than a generic description.

You describe the gas standards as being comprised of 99 percent nitrogen or compressed air and trace amounts of other gases that contribute to the overall Division 2.2 classification, but not to any additional hazard class. You also state the packaging used for these standards complies with the HMR, and for aircraft shipments, the applicable requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization"s (ICAO"s) Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (Technical Instructions).

Your understanding is correct; the proper shipping name used for the gas standards and their cylinder markings must comply with newly revised § 172.101(c)(10)(i). Effective January 19, 2011, with a delayed compliance date of January 1, 2012, this section requires that a mixture or solution comprised of a single predominant hazardous material identified by technical name in the Hazardous Materials Table (§ 172.101 Table) and one or more hazardous and/or non-hazardous material must be described with the proper shipping name of the predominant hazardous material and the qualifying word "mixture" or "solution," as appropriate (see Docket No. PHMSA-2009-0126 (HM-215K; 76 FR 3308)). The following are the exceptions to this requirement:

(A) Except as provided in §172.101(i)(4) the packaging specified in Column 8 is inappropriate to the physical state of the material;
(B) The shipping description indicates that the proper shipping name applies only to the pure or technically pure hazardous material;
(C) The hazard class, packing group, or subsidiary hazard of the mixture or solution is different from that specified for the entry;
(D) There is a significant change in the measures to be taken in emergencies;
(E) The material is identified by special provision in Column 7 of the §172.101 Table as a material poisonous by inhalation; however, it no longer meets the definition of poisonous by inhalation or it falls within a different hazard zone than that specified in the special provision; or
(F) The material can be appropriately described by a shipping name that describes its intended application, such as "Coating solution," "Extracts, flavoring" or "Compound, cleaning liquid."

If the gas standards you describe meet any one of these exceptions, the generic proper shipping name the vendor supplied may continue to be used, provided it accurately describes the hazardous material in the cylinder.

You also state vendors do not want the markings of the pre-marked gas standard cylinders they supply to be removed, obliterated, or changed by anyone re-offering their products in transportation. In addition, you state your company prefers to continue to use the generic proper name and to not cover up where it is marked on the cylinder. You ask if these generic markings must be covered or otherwise obscured and replaced with more specific names, such as "Nitrogen, compressed mixture." The answer is yes.

I hope this satisfies your request.



T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.101 Purpose and use of hazardous materials table