Q: I need to ship a small amount of our product (let’s say <1 gallon of a flammable solvent blend) from our distribution facility in Des Moines, IA to our QC lab in Akron, OH. Our salespeople travel this route regularly by company car, can I have one of them transport this hazardous material? What US DOT regulations must I comply with?
A: Transportation of product of this quantity by motor vehicle over public roadways is acceptable under theMaterials of Trade Exception to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). You need only comply with the relatively simple requirements of 49 CFR 173.6.
Q: OK, what about the same material shipped by a common carrier or UPS or the US Postal Service?
A: You must follow all the requirements of the HMR for shipping papers, placards, labels, and markings. The Materials of Trade Exception only applies if you are transporting your HazMat in your motor vehicle. The Carrier or their industry group (the International Air Transport Association or IATA is a creation of the airline industry) may have additional requirements.
Q: What if I need to ship the sample in order to determine its hazards, how do I select a proper shipping name, identification number, hazard class, packing group, etc?
A: 49 CFR 172.101(c)(11) states that except for certain materials, you as a Shipper may assign a tentative shipping name, hazard class, and ID # to a hazardous material (including a hazardous waste) based on your knowledge of its characteristics, the hazard precedence found in 49 CFR 173.2(a), and the hazard classes as defined in the HMR. Some additional – relatively simple – compliance requirements are found at 172.101(c)(11)(iv), research these if you wish to use this exemption.
Q: What if the material I want to ship for analysis is a waste and has the potential to be a hazardous waste? What then?
A: As noted above, 49 CFR 172.101(c)(11) includes hazardous waste.
Q: Yeah, but what about the US EPA regulations for hazardous waste? Have you forgotten about them?
A: There are two US EPA exclusions from the full regulation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) for this type of material. The first, found at 40 CFR 261.4(d) is for small (US EPA says <1 gallon) waste characterization samples collected and shipped solely to determine the hazardous waste characteristics or composition. The exclusion applies to any stage of the process of sample collection, temporary storage, shipment, and analysis. As long as you meet the requirements of the exclusion, the sample is not subject to the RCRA regulations for labeling, inspections, personnel training, on-site accumulation time limits, generator status determination, etc. When shipping the sample you must either comply with the requirements of the US DOT or US Post Office (see above) or if there are none, the requirements of 40 CFR 261.4(d)(2)(ii).
The second exclusion, found at 40 CFR 261.4(e) is for treatability study samples as defined at 40 CFR 260.10. Somewhat similar to the waste characterization sample exclusion already discussed, this exclusion is more narrow in its allowances and more strict in it requirements. I suggest a close reading of this regulation if you wish to use this exclusion. Like the waste characterization sample exclusion, the US EPA requires compliance with applicable US DOT and/or US Postal Service regulations, or compliance with the requirements of 40 CFR 261.4(e)(2)(iii)(B)(1-5) when it comes time for off-site shipment of the sample. Anything else?
Q: Yeah, where can I find high-quality affordable training at a convenient date and location?
A: Daniels Training Services conducts one-day training sessions nationwide and year-round, see here for myschedule. In this one day – only $495 – you will receive RCRA Training as required by the US EPA for hazardous waste personnel and HazMat Training required by the US DOT. I also can come directly to your location to conduct hazardous waste training and DOT hazardous materials training for all of your employees for a flat fee of $1,749. As you can see, I don’t mind questions, so don’t hesitate to contact me.