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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 #18-0126

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: State of Utah

Individual Name: Mr. Scott T. Anderson

Location State: UT Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

April 18, 2019

Mr. Scott T. Anderson
Director
Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control
State of Utah
Department of Environmental Quality
195 N 1950 W
Salt Lake City, UT  84116

Reference No. 18-0126

Dear Mr. Anderson:

This letter is in response to your October 5, 2018, letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the shipment of radioactive materials.  You ask if a rigid box inside the camper/darkroom would be considered an overpack when transporting a package containing a radioactive material, and provide the following facts:

  • Industrial radiography companies use a transport vehicle that consists of a camper/darkroom that is temporarily mounted to the bed of a pickup truck.
     
  • The camper/darkroom contains packages of radioactive materials, which are transported in an approved Type B(U) package and placed inside a rigid box. The box is secured to the camper/darkroom by chains, locks, bolts, or other means, whether permanent or temporary. The box is not secured to the vehicle itself.
     
  • The rigid box inside the camper/darkroom prevents the movement of, protects, and secures the package. Additionally, it lowers the labeling category of a Type B(U) package that is labeled with a radioactive "YELLOW-III" label so that placarding of the transport vehicle is not required.
     
  • Previously, PHMSA issued a letter of interpretation (Reference No. 00-0248) stating that hazard warning labels and package markings are used to communicate the hazards of the hazardous material contained within the package to carrier personnel and emergency responders.

We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:

Q1: You describe a scenario in which a company uses the rigid box in the camper/darkroom to prevent movement of, protect, and secure the package. You ask if the rigid box is considered an overpack or just a box containing a package.

A1: It is the opinion of this Office that the rigid box would not be considered an overpack if it is permanently affixed to or is an integral part of the camper/darkroom, regardless of its intended functions. An overpack, as defined in § 171.8, means an enclosure used by a single consignor to provide protection or convenience in handling of a package or to consolidate two or more packages. Alternatively, if the rigid box can be removed from the camper/darkroom along with the Type B package, it may then be considered an overpack. Further the camper/darkroom itself, when mounted to the bed of the pickup truck, whether permanently or temporarily, becomes part of the transport vehicle and would not be considered an overpack.

Q2: You describe a scenario in which a company uses the rigid box in the camper/darkroom to prevent movement of the package; protect and secure the package; and lower the labeling category of a Type B(U) package that is labeled with a Radioactive "Yellow-III" label so that placarding of the transport vehicle is not required. You ask if the rigid box is considered an overpack or just a box containing a package.

A2: See A1.

Q3: You ask if the transport vehicle must be placarded if the rigid box is not considered an "overpack" and contains a package that is required to be labeled as a Radioactive YELLOW-III.

A3: See A1. When the rigid box is not considered an "overpack" and contains a package that is required to be labeled as a Radioactive YELLOW-III, the transport vehicle must be placarded. If the box or its radioactive contents are removed from the transport vehicle any required placards must be removed during transportation.

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

Sincerely,

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

171.8

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations