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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 #99-0145 ([PWN Environmental] [Mr. Bradford A. Gagnon])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: PWN Environmental

Individual Name: Mr. Bradford A. Gagnon

Location State: CA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

June 28,1999


Mr. Bradford A. Gagnon             Ref. No. 99-0145
Transportation Manager
PWN Environmental
2462-C South Santa Fe
Vista, California 92084

Dear Mr. Gagnon:

This responds to your two letters, dated June 3, 1999, concerning requirements in the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) for shipping hazardous wastes and radioactive materials.  Your specific questions are paraphrased an answered below.

Q1.  May a material, such as Benzaldehyde, listed with a "+" in column 1 of the Hazardous Materials Table (HMT) be lab packed as permitted by § 173.12(b) and described with a      generic name instead of the specific chemical name?

A1.  No. A generic description may not used in place of the specific chemical name because the "+" shown in Column 1 of the HMT fixes the proper shipping name. A fixed shipping name may not be replaced with a generic name. The material may be lab packed with other materials, as permitted by § 173.12(b), but the name of the material must appear separately on the shipping paper an package markings.

Q2. California regulates certain materials as hazardous wastes that are not regulated by DOT nor by the Environmental Protection Agency.  The materials are described on a California Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest as "Non-RCRA hazardous waste." May "non-RCRA hazardous waste" be listed first on a shipping paper when regulated materials are included on the same shipping paper, but not specifically identified as required by § 172.201(a)(1) of the HMR?

A2.  No. Such a waste material is not subject to the requirements of the HMR.  When a hazardous material and a material not subject to the requirements of the HMR are described on the same shipping paper, § 172.201(a)(1) requires the hazardous material to be listed first if it is not otherwise specifically identified as a hazardous material, such as by entry in a contrasting color or marking with an "x" before the proper shipping name in a column captioned "HM."

Q3.  The placarding table in § 172.504 shows that a POISON INHALATION HAZARD placard must be used for shipments of Division 6.1 inhalation hazard materials in either Zone A or B. What are the placarding requirements for inhalation hazard materials in Zone C or D?

A3.  All materials that are poisonous by inhalation require placarding. Gases that are poisonous by inhalation (Division 2.3 materials) have four levels of hazard (Zone A, Zone B, Zone C, or Zone D). Liquids that are poisonous by inhalation (Division 6.1 materials) have two levels of hazard (Zone A or Zone B). As indicated in Table 1 of § 172.504 Division 2.3 materials must be placarded POISON GAS; Division 6.1 materials with an inhalation hazard must be placarded POISON INHALATION HAZARD.

Q4.  What is the proper placarding for one pound of Bromine? Am I correct in placarding Class 8 with a subsidiary 6.1, even though the shipment has only one pound of Table 2 material?

A4. Yes. Bromine is poisonous by inhalation in Hazard Zone A. Section 172.505 (a) of the HMR requires the shipment to be placarded with a POISON INHALATION-HAZARD placard in addition to any other placard required by § 172.504. The placarding exception in 172.504(c) for fewer than 454 kilograms (1,001 pounds) of Table 2 materials does not apply to materials subject to § 172.505. Thus, a one-pound shipment of bromine must be placarded with both CORROSIVE and POISON INHALATION HAZARD placards.

Q5.  In Appendix A to the HMT, in what context is the word "unlisted" used for the entries D1001 through D043?

A5.  Appendix A to the HMT incorporates materials that are designated as hazardous substances under section 101(14) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) or materials that have been determined to be hazardous substances by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). "Listed" hazardous substances are those that are specifically designated as hazardous substances in CERCLA. "Unlisted" hazardous substances are hazardous wastes that exhibit characteristics of ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity and have been designated hazardous substances by the EPA Administrator. These definitions are in EPA’s regulations at 40 CFR § 302.4.

Q6.  Since § 172.203(j) is now "Reserved," does this mean that the requirement to include the entry "Dangerous When Wet" on the shipping paper is no longer required?

A6. Yes. In a final rule published May,6, 1997 (62 FR 24689), that became effective October 1, 1997, we removed the requirement in paragraph (j) that the words "Dangerous When Wet" be annotated on shipping papers. The "Dangerous When Wet" hazard is adequately communicated through an indication of the Division 4.3 hazard class as part of the basic description on shipping papers.

Q7a. Under the following scenario, how do I determine which entry in Appendix A to use for deciding when a hazardous waste is also a hazardous substance? The most appropriate shipping name for a material is Waste Toxic Liquid, inorganic, n.o.s. It contains 1,1,1-Trichloroethane and Trichloroethylene. The appropriate EPA waste codes are F001 and F002. The actual concentrations of each constituent are known to be a certain percentage. When using the F001 and F002 entries, it is my understanding that if the actual concentration of a particular constituent is less than the reportable quantity of that constituent then it is not a hazardous substance. If the actual concentration is not known, then the reportable quantity for the entry F001 or F1002 would be the threshold for determining if the material is a hazardous substance. Is this correct?

A7a. Yes.

Q7b. Use the same scenario as in 7(a) above except that the concentrations of each constituent are known to be within a specified range.  In this case, would the concentrations be considered "unknown" or would I calculate the highest range limit for each constituent and use that to determine if there is a reportable quantity?

A7b. If the exact concentration of each constituent is not known or is known only approximately or within a specified range, the reportable quantity for the entry F001 or F002 is the threshold for determining if the material is a hazardous substance.

Q8. Does a transport vehicle used to transport Class 7 materials as an exclusive use shipment under § 173.433(c) need to be surveyed after each use if the level of non-fixed radioactive contamination on the external surface of each package is below the limits set forth in Table 11?

A8.  No. The contamination limits of Table 11 in § 173.443 apply to all non-exclusive use shipments of radioactive material packages.  For packages shipped as exclusive-use shipments by rail or highway, the non-fixed radioactive surface contamination at the beginning of transport may not exceed those in Table 11.  The non-fixed radioactive surface contamination during transport for exclusive use shipments may not exceed 10 times the limits in Table 11.  If non-fixed surface contamination levels on packages in an exclusive-use vehicle rise above Table ll limits during transportation, the transport vehicle must be surveyed with appropriate radiation detection instruments after each use.  The vehicle may not be returned to service until the radiation dose rate at each accessible surface is 0.005mSv per hour and there is no significant non-fixed radioactive surface contamination.

An exception to the vehicle survey requirement applies to closed highway or rail transport vehicles that are dedicated solely to the transportation of radioactive packages and are appropriately marked as dedicated vehicles "For Radioactive Materials Use Only".  In such cases, the non-fixed surface contamination on the packages may be as high as 10 times the limits in Table 11 at the beginning of transportation.  Paragraphs (b) and (c) of § 173.443 do not apply to a closed highway or rail transport vehicle if a survey of the interior surfaces of the empty vehicle shows that the radiation dose rate at any point does not exceed 0.1mSv per hour at the surface or 0.02mSv per hour at one meter from the surface (see § 173.443(d)).

I hope this information is helpful.  If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact this office.



Thomas G. Allan
Acting Director, Office of Hazardous
Materials Standards

172.202, 172.504

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.202 Description of hazardous material on shipping papers
172.504 General placarding requirements