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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 #18-0011

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Currie Associates

Individual Name: Barbara Konrad

Location State: NY Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

June 29, 2018

Barbara Konrad
Technical Consultant
Currie Associates
10 Hunter Brook Lane
Queensbury, NY 12804

Reference No. 18-0011

Dear Ms. Konrad:

This letter is in response to your January 19, 2018, letter and subsequent phone conversations requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to small quantities of hazardous materials. You state that your client ships machine parts that may still have hazardous materials residue. You describe your client's decontamination and packaging procedures for the different machine parts, noting that while certain parts may only have surface residue, others could contain up to 1 gram or 1 milliliter of hazardous materials. Specifically, you ask if machine parts shipped with potential hazardous materials residue on their surface and/or inside would fall under the requirements of the HMR.

Whether these shipments fall under the purview of the HMR will depend on several factors, including the type of material and the nature of the relationship between the material and the parts being shipped. If the decontamination process eliminates all the hazardous materials on the surface of the machine parts, or cleans the parts to a point where the material would no longer meet the definition of a hazardous material, then those parts would no longer fall under the requirements of the HMR. Machine parts containing hazardous material on the inside may be shipped under the De Minimis exception if the shipment meets the requirements in § 173.4b. Further, it may be possible to ship these materials as dangerous goods in equipment, machinery, or apparatus provided the hazardous materials are integral to the equipment. Please note that residue in components of equipment or machinery may be considered integral if the residue is necessary to the function of the equipment, its removal would cause damage to the equipment, or it performs some other function necessary to the equipment such that it cannot be removed from the equipment while it is in transportation.

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.


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

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.4 Small quantities for highway and rail