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Interpretation Response #14-0006 ([Veolia ES Technical Solutions, L.L.C.] [Mrs. Jennifer Eberle])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Veolia ES Technical Solutions, L.L.C.

Individual Name: Mrs. Jennifer Eberle

Location State: NJ Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

July 15, 2014

Ms. Jennifer Eberle
Manager, Transportation Compliance
Veolia ES Technical Solutions, L.L.C.
1 Eden Lane
Flanders, NJ 07836

Ref. No: 14-0006

Dear Ms. Eberle:

This is in response to your January 9, 2014 letter to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR 171-180) applicable to the transportation of wetted fireworks being shipped for disposal.  The fireworks you describe in your letter are confiscated illegal consumer fireworks that have been placed in United Nations (UN) specification plastic or metal 55-85 gallon drums, and are wetted with water or other wetting agents by enforcement officials.  You indicate that this process makes it impossible for your company to research and determine the original EX numbers assigned to the fireworks.  However, you state that these fireworks are no longer capable of being ignited or functioning as an explosive because they have been completely saturated.  Your questions are paraphrased and answered below:

Q1:      May illegal consumer fireworks that have been desensitized through dilution be reclassed as a Division 4.1 flammable solid per § 173.124(a)(1)?

A1:      The answer to your question is no.  Only desensitized explosives specifically listed by name in the § 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table (HMT) (e.g., UN2852, Dipicryl sulfide, wetted with not less than 10 percent water, by mass), can be reclassified without further testing or Approval.  Illegal fireworks that are confiscated, and then soaked in water or other wetting agents in order to suppress explosive properties cannot be shipped unless classified in accordance with § 173.56.  In addition, the original classification and EX number of the illegal fireworks is no longer valid due to the wetting of the fireworks.  Therefore, the desensitized illegal fireworks should be reclassified using the same classification process for a new explosive (i.e., EX number approval).  In order to show that the material does not meet the definition for Class 1 (explosive) under Subpart C of Part 173, you may apply for a new EX number to verify the wetted fireworks no longer meet the definition of a Class 1 hazardous material.  This application must include either an examination report from an approved test lab as specified in § 173.56(b) or a competent authority approval as specified in           § 173.56(f) of the HMR.

Q2:      If PHMSA believes the waste fireworks should remain a Division 1.3G or 1.4G material, would Veolia be required to apply for and obtain an EX number for each individual drum containing wetted consumer fireworks?

A2:      In accordance with § 173.22, it is the shipper’s responsibility to ensure that the material is properly classed and described in accordance with the HMR.  The procedures for classification and approval of Class 1 explosives are provided in                  § 173.56.  Whether one EX number could be applied to all drums of wetted consumer fireworks, or if each drum would require its own EX number, would be dependent on the recommendation of the test laboratory or competent authority as described under A1.

I trust this information is helpful.  Please contact us if you require further assistance.



T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division


173.56, f), 173.22

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.22 Shipper's responsibility
173.56 New explosives-definition and procedures for classification and approval