Copy of Copy of Shop now (2).png

As a haz-mat seminar instructor, I get a lot of questions on hazardous material shipping papers and hazardous waste manifests. One is “what is the “RQ” on the shipping paper mean and when does it have to be used?” The reportable quantity or hazardous substance requirements must always be considered when shipping hazardous material, wastes and marine pollutants.

To understand the hazardous substance notation and mark, you must start in the definitions in Section 171.8 of the 49 CFR Department of Transportation hazardous material regulations. The definition of a hazardous substance comes in 2 parts. First, to be a hazardous substance, a chemical must be listed by its chemical name or waste code, in appendix A to the 171.102  Hazardous Materials Table. Number two, it must be contained in one container, in an amount that equals or exceeds the amounts listed for that chemical in Appendix A.

Sometimes applying the designation is simple, for example, a shipment of the chemical  “Acetone”, the pure chemical, Acetone is listed in the 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table and also listed in Appendix “A”, the List of “Hazardous Substances” and “Reportable Quantities” to the Table . Appendix “A” lists “Acetone” with an “RQ” value of 5000 pounds. So in the case of a tank car full of Acetone over 5000 pounds, the shipping description must include the “RQ” designation on the shipping paper before or after the basic description of the material. Under DOT it is a shipping paper and container marking requirement only.

                                               “RQ”, UN1090, ACETONE, 3, II

Why, because of CERCLA, The Comprehensive Environmental Response Liability Act, or Superfund, which appeared after the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act or RCRA. Which probably means almost little or nothing to you. But on these two foundations, RCRA and CERCLA, my families’ legacy is built.


Back in the mid-70s, while I was still physically, but not practically or legally graduating from high school, my father was running a small company, he had recently purchased. It had been a division of McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, they had started to train and certify doctors, lawyers, accountants and truck drivers on regulatory compliance.

 The name of the driver training modules was “The Transportation Skills Program”. If I remember correctly these training modules, focused on driver related issues such as claim prevention and driver logs. Bob, my father, had been hired by McGraw-Hill to train their salesman. But, what really peaked his interest was the single transportation module on the DOT hazardous materials transportation regulation’s training requirements. Dad felt it could be the most successful because he had noticed on his sales calls with his salesman during their training, that the customers seem to have a lot of difficulty understanding and meeting the new Department of Transportation hazardous material training regulations.

So, later when McGraw-Hill shut down this division, he purchased the rights to the “Transportation Skills Program “ and started running his “Hazardous Material Seminars” and focusing much of his efforts into his newly formed Hazardous Materials Publishing Company which produced the seminar’s compliance guide and training materials.  He did fairly well, but not great, then the major transportation association that had sponsored his seminars, for the first couple of years, ended their relationship with him and continued running seminars in competition. So, to be honest, at that point, he was struggling. 

That is when Tim, my older brother, a pioneer and a living legend in his own right in the North American Hazardous Waste Industry, relayed the number of times dad’s seminar attendees had asked him about the new EPA hazardous waste regulations better known as RCRA.  RCRA, under the Environmental Protection Agency, had immediately turned many of our shippers and carriers into generators and transporters and us into one of the first hazardous waste shipping and management experts. Little known fact, my father trained the original EPA hazardous waste inspectors on the DOT hazardous waste manifest requirements.

So, what does this all have to do with hazardous substances? Nothing. The term “hazardous substance” was coined under CERCLA, The Comprehensive Environmental Resource Conservation Liability Act. See RCRA, only covered companies “generating” hazardous waste. CERCLA, would cover chemicals that had been, or would be “spilled or released” in the past and in the future respectively, regardless of them being hazardous waste, or not, at the time of their release.

You have to think of the word “ release” if you want to understand the word “hazardous substance”,  it means a regulated release or spill of a chemical, that is already regulated under other regulations. In other words, CERCLA didn’t regulate new chemicals, it brought chemicals that where under other environmental statutes, under new release requirements. 


The “hazardous substances” listed under  CERCLA, would include; Hazardous Air Pollutants under the Clean Air Act (CAA), Toxic Pollutants under the Clean Water Act (CWA), Imminently Hazardous Chemical Substances under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and all listed and characteristic Hazardous Wastes under RCRA, and are required to be reported by EPA to the Homeland Security’s United States Coast Guard National Response Center, when released in amounts that equal or exceed their listed “RQ” values into the environment.

EPA regulates hazardous substances, but so does DOT and OSHA. CERCLA mandated release requirements for all three agencies; DOT to regulate transportation releases, EPA to regulate environmental releases and OSHA to protect workers when these hazardous substances were released.



The CERCLA Section 101(14)  hazardous substances, are listed by chemical name and their Waste codes in 40 CFR 302.4. Did you know that the 49 CFR DOT Appendix A, List of Hazardous Substances of 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table, is simply a duplicate of the EPA 40 CFR 302.4, List of Hazardous Substances? Both lists give an Adipic Acid a 5,000 pound “RQ” value, Aldrin a 1 pound “RQ” and Allyl Alcohol a 100 pound “RQ”.

That is why the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency maintain separate lists of hazardous substances, one, in Appendix A of DOT and the other in Section 302.4 of EPA. The Department of Transportation list is for marking shipping containers and paperwork and the Environmental Protection Agency list is used for reporting to the National Response Center. DOT requires shippers of hazardous materials and waste to consult Appendix “A” and determine when a container could equal or exceed an RQ amount, then mark the shipping paper and non bulk container with the names of the hazardous substances and the letters “RQ”, so that in the event of a release the shipper and the carrier would know, that each DOT container could be subject to EPA notification requirements if some or all of its contents were released in transportation.



49 CFR  paragraph 172.203(c) requires that shippers list the names of two reportable quantity chemicals with the lowest  “RQ” values, if not shown in the shipping name on the shipping paper in association with the basic description, it should be noted if the material is a hazardous waste the shipper may use a waste code to designate the contents of the “RQ” hazardous substance. The second requirement on shipper documentation would be the notation “RQ” in front or after the basic description of the hazardous substance shipment. There is a third requirement in Section 173.323 for non-bulk containers to display the names of the hazardous substance and the letters “RQ” in association with the shipping name and UN number. By the way there is never a requirement to list the “RQ” amount such as “RQ 5000” pounds or “RQ 1 pound”, though many do.


2019/2020 Hazardous Materials, Substances & Wastes Compliance Guide
from 79.00
Price per Quantity:
Add To Cart

As I mentioned OSHA also regulates hazardous substances, under the “1910.120 hazardous waste operations and emergency response regulations”, which does not make you mark anything or notify anyone. The HAZWOPER worker protection regulations only requires you to protect workers from these very same hazardous substances, when cleaning up past spills or responding to current releases.

I tell people in the seminar, when you see a “hazardous substance” under DOT, pick up a marker, when you see one uunder EPA, pick up a phone, but when you see a hazardous substance under OSHA, put on a spill suit. If you’re not sure of the information presented on your hazardous material shipping papers or hazardous waste manifest attend one of our upcoming seminars or give us a call or drop us an email with your questions or concerns. 

Thank you for your readership and support.

Robert J. Keegan
Publisher and President
Hazardous Materials Publishing Company
Transportation Skills Programs Inc.


Copy of Copy of Shop now.png

 I have low self-esteem and because of it, I am needy, ask my wife, children and customers, they know. That’s why I am a seminar instructor!  It’s one of the few jobs where you're able to charge for a service, and at the same time have a captive audience. Because of this and other proclivities, “me, myself and I”, are my favorite words. Entrenched behind a podium, or in the spotlight, is my terrene, for physical, spiritual and emotional rejuvenation.

And, since our seminar schedule only runs from October to June each year, by mid July, I once again find myself overtaken and consumed by shame, guilt and doubt. So you can surely understand how happy I was to receive a call from a long time sponsor.

His concern was packaging, in this particular case, it was a hazardous waste, if discarded, but it was not a hazardous material when shipped as a product.  A 40 CFR EPA hazardous waste, under the 49 CFR DOT hazardous materials shipping regulations, what should be, my bread and butter. 

He had a damaged electrical component, which was considered to be a hazardous waste, so it was required to be shipped on an EPA hazardous waste manifest. However, because of the size and shape of this piece of equipment, it could not be practically shipped in a traditional Department of Transportation specification container ( i.e. 1A1, steel drum, or off the shelf 4G, fiberboard box), that seem to be required by column 8 of the 49 CFR 172.101 Hazardous Material Table for the Shipping description. “NA3077, Hazardous Waste Solid, N.O.S., 9, PG III”.


A lot of my customers ship hazardous waste. They know EPA hazardous waste, is always a DOT hazardous material when shipped for disposal. They know if the waste is a flammable liquid, they must ship it, as Class 3,  if a poison, as a Division 6.1 and if corrosive, the waste must be shipped as Class 8. Which makes perfect sense. What worries me is that, I’m not sure they all understand that if they ship any hazardous waste that meets no DOT hazard class definition, that hazardous waste must be shipped as a class 9. 

The Miscellaneous hazardous material or the Class 9 designation is not just for hazardous wastes, they’re also used when shipping hazardous substances and marine pollutants when they also meet no hazard classification under DOT, but are still regulated because of their constituent amounts or percentages, respectively. Think about  “Asbestos”, “PCBs”, and “Dry ice”, which are excellent examples of materials listed by proper shipping name in the 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table which meet none of the DOT hazard classes, but because of transportation safety concerns are regulated, as mentioned above, as class 9’s.


Because of its “lead” and the amounts, in my customers waste, it was not regulated as a product when shipped, because it met no DOT hazard class, we both agreed this hazardous waste should be shipped as Class 9.  Now, the Department of Transportation has provided a domestic “Generic N.O.S.” shipping name for materials which would not be regulated unless they were hazardous wastes, the proper shipping name HAZARDOUS WASTE LIQUID or SOLID, N.O.S,  9, PG III, and it is used consistently for wastes when they meet no DOT hazard class.

 So, I recommended the use of , “NA3077, Hazardous waste, solid, n.o.s., 9, PG III”, and then reviewed his limited container options, when using this name, namely the UN 1A1, steel drums, or the UN 4G, fiberboard boxes, authorized in column 8B non-bulk containers, in “173.213 Non-bulk packaging for solids in packing group III”. 

However, if these containers were not feasible, I mentioned, he could possibly manufacture, test and certify his own waste containers, to United Nation Specification requirements under 178.500, to the packing group III level, I even suggested he could search the DOT website or even call DOT to inquire about applying for, or joining a current packaging Special Permit, under Part 107. Which both, I admitted, seemed to me at the very least, very expensive and unnecessary.


I think one of the biggest mistakes we make when we ship hazardous materials, hazardous waste, marine pollutants and hazardous substances, is we fail to identify the material under the correct Proper Shipping Name. It’s not just the classification, more importantly it’s the identification of the material that matters. In most cases, shippers know the hazard class of the material, they know the packing group and they usually know if the material has a subsidiary hazard class. But, most people forget they must identify the material under one of 4 different and distinct proper shipping names.


All pure chemicals listed in the Hazardous Material Table, must be shipped using the proper chemical name as it appears in column number 2, of the 172,101 table, like 1) “Acetone” which is a Class 3 Flammable liquid or in the case of a waste; “Waste Acetone”, Class 3.  Then pure chemicals not listed or mixtures, must be described by “End-use” names, like, 2) “Paint”, as a Class 3. However if a pure chemical name or end-used name is not listed, the shipper must choose between a, 3) “Specific N.O.S., (not otherwise specified) name like Alcohols N.O.S. Class 3, or finally, 4) a “Generic N.O.S.” name such as Flammable liquid N.O.S. Class 3. 


A few days later, I was so generously informed, by this same kind patron, that through his further research, namely his quick call to the Department of Transportation Hotline, (1-800-467-4922), A specialist had suggested that the shipping description “UN3363, Waste, Dangerous Goods in Apparatus”, Class 9,  would seem to be more appropriate for this waste shipment. With the word “waste” in front of the shipping name, as required by 49 CFR 171.101(c)(9)), the shipping name “Dangerous Goods in Apparatus”, for this Class 9, (with no packing group), would make available more appropriate packaging,(i.e. non-spec containers). By using this “Specific N.O.S.”, shipping name, column 8 would authorize the use of non UN specification containers. That is because, Section 173.222, Dangerous goods in equipment, machinery or apparatus allows for the use of any appropriate ”strong outside packaging” or even the “apparatus itself”, as the shipping container.

(https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=91859b974c0e0c88701554814437b32c&mc=true&node=se49.2.173_1222&rgn=div8  page 649)



Section 173.222, states; that hazardous materials in machinery or apparatus does not require UN specification packaging, if the hazardous materials in machinery or apparatus is packaged in a strong outer packaging, or even it ‘s receptacle, if it affords adequate protection. 

The container, machinery or apparatus, must be marked with the “ID” number, “UN3363”, the shipping names, “Dangerous goods in machinery” or “Dangerous goods in apparatus,” and any required orientation marks under 172.312.

This only is provided, if the total net quantity of hazardous materials contained in one item of machinery or apparatus, does not exceed 1 kg (2.2 pounds), for solids or 0.5 L (0.1 gallons) for liquids. The package or receptacle must be secured and cushioned, to prevent any movement, or degradation, so that a release is unlikely, even in the event of damage.


Then as they like to say on TV, “THAT’S NOT ALL”. This Class. 9 Proper Shipping Name contains a Special Provision in column number 7, for which the shipping name “Hazardous Waste Solid N.O S.”, does not provide, Special provision 136. 

It seems that Special provision 136 states; that materials identified as “dangerous goods in apparatus” are also excepted from the Class 9 label, (unless offered by aircraft) and are never subject to vehicle placarding,


It’s all about identification when shipping hazardous materials, hazardous wastes, hazardous substances and marine pollutants. Shipping containers, labels and placards are never based on the material’s hazard class. They are based solely on identification; the proper shipping name. I had forgotten the golden rule of shipping hazardous materials ; “IDENTIFICATION, NOT CLASSIFICATION, DETERMINES REGULATION”.

I see now, I was wrong, but I am glad together, we, that is, both my customer and I (mostly he and not I), were able to answer, the question he asked me. I am fading fast, so with over a month until my next seminar, please keep those cards, calls and emails coming.

Thank you for your readership and support.

Robert J Keegan 

Publisher and President 

Hazardous Material Publishing Company

Transportation Skills Program Inc




I have a notorious and almost legendary reputation for forgetfulness. I can be halfway through writing a blog and not remember what it was originally about. In fact, if it’s on my computer or tv, for the first time, I will very rarely watch a movie or show to its end, because I can not remember what happened at the beginning. But I think my biggest problem is, trying to remember the names of who the actors play. I think they should show the actors and who they are playing before the movie starts, in the opening credits, not when the movies over.


So, if you are like me and sometimes suffer from short term memory loss, I was hoping to review the good and the bad actors in the new hazardous waste pharmaceutical final rule. I say actors because when I am reading this new rule, I feel like I am watching a movie. That is because at least five of the major players seem to share the same middle, first or last names.. Don’t worry, I am not going to give you the story line today, only the cast of characters.


Most movies are about the lives of humans, animals or insects, However this new rule is about the death and redemption of pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceuticals are defined as any drug or dietary supplement for use by humans or other animals; any electronic nicotine delivery system or any liquid nicotine packaged for retail sale for use in electronic nicotine delivery systems (e.g., pre-filled cartridges or vials). It also includes dietary supplements, as defined by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act; prescription drugs, as defined by 21 CFR 203.3, over-the-counter drugs; homeopathic drugs; compounded drugs; investigational new drugs; pharmaceuticals remaining in non-empty containers; personal protective equipment contaminated with pharmaceuticals; and cleaned up materials from spills of pharmaceuticals. 


See “Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals”, would be the star of this show, this A-lister could only be played by a pharmaceutical that exhibits one or more characteristics identified as ignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic in EPA 40 CFR part 261 subpart C or is listed in part 261 in the non-specific hazardous waste list, the specific hazardous waste list or the discarded waste  chemical list in subpart D.


And what is any good production without a good character actor, the costar, such as the sidekick, a Potentially credible hazardous waste pharmaceutical. This sidekick must be portrayed as a prescription hazardous waste pharmaceutical that has a reasonable expectation to receive manufacturer credit and in original manufacturer packaging (except pharmaceuticals that were subject to a recall), undispensed; and unexpired or less than one year past expiration date.


Then of course there is always a scorned villain, the B-lister, a Non-creditable hazardous waste pharmaceutical. In this blockbuster it would be a prescription hazardous waste pharmaceutical that does not have a reasonable expectation to be eligible for manufacturer credit or a non-prescription hazardous waste pharmaceutical that does not have a reasonable expectation to be legitimately used/reused or reclaimed, like an investigational drug, free samples of pharmaceuticals received by healthcare facilities, residues of pharmaceuticals remaining in empty containers, contaminated personal protective equipment, floor sweepings and cleaned up material from the spills of pharmaceuticals.


Most films, include a couple of lightweight henchmen, so in this production, they would be Non-hazardous waste pharmaceuticals. This type of pharmaceutical is a solid waste, but not a hazardous waste with very few lines in the regulations and Non-pharmaceutical hazardous wastes, a solid waste, that is also a hazardous waste but is not a pharmaceutical.


Finally, the love interest, which is usually portrayed by a femme fatale or big dumb palooka, but in this case, it is an Evaluated hazardous waste pharmaceutical. A prescription hazardous waste pharmaceutical that has been evaluated by a reverse distributor in accordance with § 266.510(a)(3) and will not be sent to another reverse distributor for further evaluation or verification of manufacture credit.


It’s not only the actors, but the production location, that matters. That’s because under the new rule any scenes at a Healthcare facility, would have to be shot at a location that provides preventative, diagnostic, therapeutic, rehabilitative, maintenance, or counseling services and assessments or procedures with respect to the physical or mental condition, or functional status, of a human or animal. This would encompass any backlot locations that distribute, sell or dispense pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, homeopathic drugs, or prescription pharmaceuticals. This would also  include wholesale distributors, third-party logistics providers that serve as forward distributors, military medical logistics facilities, hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, health clinics, physicians' offices, optical and dental providers, chiropractors, long-term care facilities, ambulance services, pharmacies, including both long-term care, and mail-order, retailers of pharmaceuticals, veterinary clinics, and veterinary hospitals. 

Whereas, if the script called for a Long-term care facility, the location scouts would have to find a licensed entity that just provides assistance with activities of daily living, including managing and administering pharmaceuticals to one or more individuals at the facility such as hospice facilities, nursing facilities, skilled nursing facilities, and the nursing and skilled nursing care portions of continuing care retirement communities.


This Hazardous waste pharmaceutical regulation also includes distributors and credits, not the film’s distributor or the actor credits but, Reverse distributors.  These extras receive and accumulate prescription pharmaceuticals that are Potentially credible hazardous waste pharmaceuticals for the purpose of facilitating or verifying manufacturer credit, and include forward distributors, third-party logistics providers, and pharmaceutical manufacturers that process prescription pharmaceuticals for the facilitation or verification of manufacturer credit.


And as with any film, there is always a disclaimer at the end, which states that the events presented are fictional and the people, do not Include any that are living or dead. So! Healthcare facilities do not include pharmaceutical manufacturers, reverse distributors or reverse logistics centers. The term Hazardous waste pharmaceutical does not include evaluated hazardous waste pharmaceuticals or non-prescription pharmaceuticals including, over-the-counter drugs, homeopathic drugs and dietary supplements if it has a reasonable expectation of being legitimately used/reused (e.g., lawfully redistributed for its intended purpose) or reclaimed and Long-term care facilities do not include group homes, independent living communities, assisted living facilities, and the independent and assisted living portions of continuing care retirement communities.


Opening night for the new rule is August 21, 2019, I will let you decide if this new rule is a comedy, drama, tragedy or romantic production. So, GO SEE, “THIS NEVER BEFORE SEEN”, “EDGE OF YOUR SEAT”, “INTRIGUING ENTERTAINMENT EXTRAVAGANZA DOUBLE FEATURE” ON A COMPUTER NEAR YOU, by downloading the final rule including it’s preamble at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-02-22/pdf/2019-01298.pdf .

Thank you for your attendance, readership and support
Robert J Keegan 
Publisher, President and Producer
Hazardous Materials Publishing Company
Transportation Skills Programs Inc