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Interpretation Response #14-0101 ([University of New Mexico] [Mr. Andrew Buchan])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: University of New Mexico

Individual Name: Mr. Andrew Buchan

Location State: NM Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

August 6, 2014

Mr. Andrew E. Buchan

Radiation Safety Specialist

The University of New Mexico
Health Sciences Center, MSC 08 4560
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM  87131-0001

Reference No. 14-0101

Dear Mr. Buchan:

This is in response to your May 21, 2014 letter requesting clarification of how the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) apply to the transport of Class 7 (radioactive) materials by a university that is a state agency.  Specifically, you state your university employees transport packages containing radioactive materials and radioactive waste throughout the university’s campus and to its outlying facilities.  You ask if your understanding is correct that these packages are not subject to the HMR when transported by university employees because they are not transported in commerce, and that they are subject to the HMR when offered to, or transported by, a commercial third party, such as a waste broker or carrier. 

Your understanding is correct.  49 CFR 171.1(d)(5) states that a state agency, such as a state university, that transports hazardous materials for its own use, using its own personnel and vehicles, and is not engaged in transportation in commerce is not subject to the HMR.  However, if the university transports hazardous materials using a commercial carrier, such as a contractor or a contract or common carrier, it is subject to the requirements of the HMR.

I hope this satisfies your request.


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


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.1 Applicability of Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to persons and functions