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Interpretation Response #20-0009

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Veolia North America

Individual Name: Ms. Jennifer Fletcher

Location State: NJ Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

September 2, 2020

Ms. Jennifer Fletcher
Senior Manager, Transportation Compliance
Veolia North America
1 Eden Lane
Flanders, NJ  07836

Reference No. 20-0009

Dear Ms. Fletcher:

This is in response to your February 4, 2020, letter requesting further clarification of Letter of Interpretation (LOI) Reference No. 18-0027 dated February 27, 2019, and an additional request for clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the marking requirements for radioactive materials.

We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:

Q1. You ask for additional clarification as to whether the markings on the outside of each package of limited quantities of Class 7 (radioactive) materials must be in letters and numbers at least 12 mm in height when §§ 173.421 and 173.422(a) except, with certain conditions, these materials from having to comply with the HMR.

A1. The answer is no. For additional clarification, limited quantities of radioactive materials that meet the requirements in §§ 173.421 and 173.422(a) are excepted from complying with the 12 mm height minimum requirement for the UN identification number marked on the outside of packages containing these materials.

Q2. You ask whether § 173.421 excepts the outside of shrink-wrapped, radioactive materials packages from being marked with the word "OVERPACK" and repeating the word "Radioactive," if applicable, and the proper shipping name and identification number on the outside of the package, even if these markings are obscured by the shrink wrap.

A2. Section 173.421 provides relief from the requirements for specification packaging, marking (except for the UN identification number marking requirement described in § 173.422(a)), labeling, and if not a hazardous substance or hazardous waste, shipping papers. This exception is extended to the need to replicate the "Radioactive" marking on the outside of an overpack. However, PHMSA would like to clarify that in accordance with § 173.25(a)(4), an "OVERPACK" mark would not necessarily be required as the packages would not be required to be a Type A or specification package.

Q3. You ask whether affixing the label—that you provided with your letter—to a limited quantity radioactive materials packaging would satisfy the marking requirement in § 173.421(d) and the UN identification number marking requirement in § 173.422(a)(1).

A3. The label you provided meets the requirements of § 173.422(a)(1). However, § 173.421(d) requires the outside of the inner packaging or, if there is no inner packaging, the outside of the packaging itself to bear the marking "Radioactive." Therefore, if the package has inner packagings, the label you provided would need to be attached to each inner package to meet this requirement. If this requirement is met, then the label you provided would also meet the provisions of § 173.421(d).

Q4. If the answer to Q3 is no, you ask whether you are required to provide separate "Radioactive" and UN identification number markings elsewhere on the package.

A4. No further UN identification number marking is needed; however, as stated above, if the shipment utilized an inner packaging, the "Radioactive" marking must be placed on each inner package.

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


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

173.25(a)(4), 173.421, 173.421(d), 173.422(a), 173.422(a)(1)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.25 Authorized packagings and overpacks
173.421 Excepted packages for limited quantities of Class 7 (radioactive) materials
173.422 Additional requirements for excepted packages containing Class 7 (radioactive) materials