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Interpretation Response #12-0157 ([Perkins Coie] [Mr. Christopher J. Sutton])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Perkins Coie

Individual Name: Mr. Christopher J. Sutton

Location State: CO Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

September 25, 2012




Mr. Christopher J. Sutton
Perkins Coie
1900 Sixteenth Street, Suite 1400
Denver, CO 80202-5255

Ref. No. 12-0157

Dear Mr. Sutton:

This responds to your July 16, 2012 letter requesting clarification of the exceptions for Class 3 flammable liquids under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). In your letter, you describe an ethanol-water solution containing less than 24% ethanol and greater than 50% water by volume. Additionally, the solution contains two non-hazardous additives in concentrations less than 2%. Both additives have flash points above 100 °C and are not a hazardous substance, hazardous waste, or marine pollutant. Specifically, you ask whether the ethanol-water solution qualifies for exception from the HMR requirements offered under § 173.150(e) for aqueous solutions of alcohol.

Section 173.22 of the HMR states that a shipper is required to properly class and describe the hazardous material in accordance with Parts 172 and 173 of the HMR. We do not perform this function. However, based on the information provided, it is our opinion that the aqueous solution of ethanol as described in your letter qualifies for the exception under § 173.150(e). Specifically, an aqueous solution containing 24% or less alcohol by volume and no other hazardous material is not subject to the HMR if the solution contains no less than 50% water by volume (see § 173.150(e)(2).

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further questions, please contact this office.



Robert Benedict
Chief, Standards Development Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.150, 173.22

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.150 Exceptions for Class 3 (flammable and combustible liquids)
173.22 Shipper's responsibility