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Interpretation Response #09-0142 ([Westinghouse Electric Company LLC] [Mr. Michael D. Alston])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC

Individual Name: Mr. Michael D. Alston

Location State: PA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

September 11, 2009





Mr. Michael D. Alston

Westinghouse Electric Company LLC

Principal Hazardous Materials Engineer

4350 Northern Pike

Monroeville, PA 15146-2886

Ref. No.: 09-0142

Dear Mr. Alston:

This responds to your June 11, 2009 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) pertaining to the selection of a proper shipping description for your material. Specifically, you ask for the appropriate shipping description for Zirconium alloy chips and turnings from manufacturing processes.

According to your letter, the chips and turnings are mechanically produced fine-to-course chips and ribbons which are larger than 53 microns (0.002 inches). You have conducted laboratory tests that indicate the materials are Division 4.1 (Flammable solid) in either Packing Group II or III. Based on your laboratory tests and regulatory research you have determined that "Metal powders, n.o.s." is the most suitable proper shipping name because it provides the most relevant description, hazard class, and packing group and an appropriate reference to guide 170 of the ERG for emergency responders.

Under § 173.22, it is the shipper's responsibility to class and describe a hazardous material. This Office does not perform that function. However, based upon the information contained in your letter, it is the opinion of this Office that "Metal powders, flammable, n.o.s." is an appropriate proper shipping description for the material you describe.

If you believe that the existing proper shipping descriptions in the HMR are not appropriate for your material, you may submit a petition to amend the HMR in accordance with the procedures set forth in 49 CFR Part 106.


Charles E. Betts

Chief, Standards Division

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.22 Shipper's responsibility