Interpretation Response #15-0056
Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.
Interpretation Response Details
June 17, 2015
Mr. W.A. Winters
Regulatory Resources, Inc.
379 Aragon Avenue
Los Alamos, NM 87544
Ref. No. 15-0056
Dear Mr. Winters:
This responds to your March 23, 2015 letter requesting clarification on the labeling requirements for Class 7 radioactive material in overpacks under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you request further clarification of two letters of interpretation (Ref. No. 05-0052 and Ref. No. 06-0188) issued by this Office with regard to §§ 173.448(g) and 172.203(b), respectively.
Letter Ref. No. 05-0052 addresses the applicability of labeling an overpack consisting of Class 7 (radioactive) material packages (drums) that are placed onto a pallet. Question and Answer 4 in the letter is specific to a non-rigid overpack. The question and answer provided states:
Q4. If a non-rigid overpack is used, would the option of applying a label and determining a new dose rate be non-applicable, as long as the markings and labels are visible?
A4. The answer is yes, as long as the markings and labels are visible.
Relative to the above question and answer, you ask if the requirement to label a non-rigid overpack (i.e., a pallet) containing labeled Class 7 (radioactive) material packages is actually a requirement or if it is optional?
It is a requirement. As you indicate, § 173.448(g) requires that if an overpack is used, the overpack must be labeled in accordance with § 172.403(h). Note that § 173.448(g) also specifically references that the overpack is to be marked in accordance with § 173.25, however, it does not reference § 173.25 for labeling. Section 172.403(h) does not provide an exception for labeling overpacks and outlines the requirements for labeling of an overpack including conditions for rigid and non-rigid overpacks. Therefore, the overpack must be labeled with a Class 7 label that contains information on the content, activity, and transport index information as instructed in § 173.403(h)(1)-(3). This is necessary because of the unique hazard of radioactive material and communicating the aggregate radioactivity of the individual packages in the overpack (i.e., on the pallet).
Letter Ref. No. 06-0188 addresses the appropriate shipping description for a Class 7 material limited quantity shipment (in accordance with § 173.421) which is required to have a shipping paper in accordance with § 173.422(e), if the material is a hazardous substance or hazardous waste. Specifically, you request clarification of the additional description requirements of § 172.203(b), as it relates to this type of shipment.
Your questions related to Letter Ref. No. 06-0188 are paraphrased and answered as follows:
Q1. Is the requirement in § 172.203(b) to add the words "Limited Quantity" or "Ltd Qty" after the required basic description for a Class 7 (radioactive) material a requirement or is it optional?
A1. Adding the words "Limited Quantity" or "Ltd Qty" is a requirement. Although § 172.203(b) requires the words after the basic description, when the proper shipping name (PSN) "Radioactive material, excepted package-limited quantity of material" is used, it is the opinion of this Office that the words "limited quantity of material" in the PSN satisfy the intent of this requirement and thus, the words "Limited Quantity" or "Ltd Qty" need not be repeated following the basic description.
Q2. Because the additional description requirement for limited quantities in § 172.203(b) does not include the phrase "for example" (or other like means of denoting such), is what is in quotes (i.e., "UN2744, Cyclobutyl chloroformate, 6.1, (8, 3), PG II" exactly how the additional information is to appear on the shipping paper?
I hope this answers your inquiry. If you need additional assistance, please contact this Office at (202) 366-8553.
Dirk Der Kinderen
Acting Chief, Standards Development Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division
173.448(g), 172.203(b), 173.25, 172.403(h), 173.403(h)(1)-(3), 173.421, 173.422(e)