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Interpretation Response #15-0091 ([Ammunition Surveillance Division] [Mr. James Gibson])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Ammunition Surveillance Division

Individual Name: Mr. James Gibson

Location State: NC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

July 16, 2015

James Gibson
Ammunition Surveillance Division
6280 Sunny point RD
Southport, NC 28461

Ref. No. 15-0091

Dear Mr. Gibson:

This responds to your May 6, 2015 email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the reportable quantity (RQ) of a hazardous material. You offer an explosive article containing 15 to 16 pounds of white phosphorus classified as, "UN0243, Ammunition, incendiary, white phosphorus." Your questions are paraphrased and answered as follows:

Q1. Does the entry "phosphorus" in § 172.101 Table 1 to Appendix A apply to "white phosphorus"?

A1. Yes. Materials and their corresponding RQs listed in Appendix A to § 172.101 are designated as "hazardous substances" under Section 101(14) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). This definition includes substances listed under section 311(b)(2)(A) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. 40 CFR 116.4 provides a list of materials designated as hazardous substances including section 311(b)(2)(A) materials. Table 116.4A lists the common name, "Phosphorus" with the associated synonyms, "black phosphorus, red phosphorus, white phosphorus, yellow phosphorus." Therefore, the "phosphorus" entry listed in § 172.101 Table 1 to Appendix A includes "white phosphorus."

Q2. Does the explosive article described in this scenario meet the definition of a hazardous substance?

A2. Yes. If a package contains a quantity of hazardous material that meets or exceeds the RQ, it meets the definition of a hazardous substance and must satisfy all applicable requirements. Based on the information you provided, each package containing the article as described, would exceed the one pound RQ for phosphorus; and meets the definition of a hazardous substance (see § 171.8).

I trust this satisfies your inquiry. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.



Dirk Der Kinderen
Chief, Standards Development Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

172.101, 171.8

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations
172.101 Purpose and use of hazardous materials table