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Interpretation Response #18-0071

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: United States Department of Agriculture

Individual Name: Dr. Jack Shere

Location State: DC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

August 21, 2018

Dr. Jack Shere
Deputy Administrator
United States Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Veterinary Services
Jamie L. Whitten Building, Room 317E
1400 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, DC  20250

Reference No. 18-0071

Dear Dr. Shere:

This letter is in response to your April 20, 2018, letter and May 14, 2018, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to animal waste.  You explain that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is the lead Federal agency responsible for animal disease response in the United States.  You note that the remains of diseased animals occasionally cannot be managed onsite and must be transported under APHIS control and authority to an offsite disposal or treatment facility.  Therefore, you seek clarification that the requirements found in § 173.134(b)(13)(iv) would except APHIS operations when managing animal waste at animal husbandry sites.

Your understanding is correct.  According to § 173.134(b)(13)(iv), animal waste generated in animal husbandry or food production that meets the definition of a Division 6.2 hazardous material is not subject to the HMR as a Division 6.2 infectious material, unless it is regulated medical waste.  Furthermore, if these materials do not meet any other hazard classification, they are not subject to the HMR.  Please note that hazardous materials transported by a government entity in vehicles operated by government personnel for noncommercial purposes are not subject to the HMR (see § 171.1(d)(5)).  However, if a government entity (e.g., APHIS) contracts a third party to transport a hazardous material on their behalf, the government exception would no longer apply and government operations would be categorized as transportation for commercial purposes and subject to the HMR.

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


Dirk Der Kinderen
Chief, Standards Development Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.134(b)(13)(iv), 171.1(d)(5)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.1 Applicability of Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to persons and functions
173.134 Class 6, Division 6.2-Definitions and exceptions