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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 #21-0085

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Healthcare Waste Institute

Individual Name: Darrel K. Smith

Location State: VA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

September 24, 2021

Mr. Darrel K. Smith
President and CEO
Healthcare Waste Institute
1550 Crystal Drive, Suite 804
Arlington, VA  22202

Reference No. 21-0085

Dear Mr. Smith:

This letter is in response to your August 16, 2021, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to requirements for the transportation of regulated medical waste. Specifically, you seek confirmation that the requirements for the transportation of hazardous materials in commerce found in the HMR apply to generators and carriers of regulated medical waste in quantities less than 200 lbs.

The answer is yes. There are requirements in the HMR applicable to the transportation of regulated medical waste in commerce, regardless of the aggregate quantity offered or transported at a given time.

As noted in the 2012 Utah Division of Solid & Hazardous Waste infectious waste transportation guidance, "OSHA and USDOT have separate regulations that apply to infectious waste. These regulations should be consulted by persons handling infectious waste." This 2012 guidance, issued by a division of the Utah state government clarifying applicability of Utah state law, does not conflict with the requirements of the HMR. Therefore, PHMSA does not intend to direct the state to revise its guidance.

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


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.1 Applicability of Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to persons and functions