USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #16-0189 ([CTI and Associates, Inc.] [Ms. Terri Zick])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: CTI and Associates, Inc.

Individual Name: Ms. Terri Zick

Location State: MI Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

May 04, 2017

Ms. Terri Zick
CTI and Associates, Inc.
28001 Cabot Drive
Suite 250
Novi, MI 48377

Reference No. 16-0189

Dear Ms. Zick:

This letter is in response to your November 30, 2016, letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the classification of waste rags and wipers. You provide a scenario in which containers are filled with waste rags and wipers that are classified as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hazardous waste D001. The waste rags and wipers are primarily a solid, with some free liquids on the bottom of the container that would meet the definition of a D001 EPA hazardous waste. You note that special provision 47 in § 172.102 of the HMR authorizes use of "UN3175, Solids Containing Flammable Liquids, n.o.s., 4.1, PG II" for mixtures of non-regulated materials and flammable liquids even if they do not meet one of the three criteria for Class 4.1 defined in § 173.124, provided there are no free liquids visible at the time the container is closed or shipped.

Specifically, you ask if it is appropriate to use the proper shipping name "Waste Solids Containing Flammable Liquids" to describe a D001 EPA hazardous waste provided there is no visual indication of liquid on the top of the waste, or if the assignment of waste code D001 (due to the presence of free flammable liquids) conflicts with the intended use of this proper shipping name.

As specified in § 173.22, it is the shipper's responsibility to properly classify a hazardous material and select the proper shipping name that most accurately reflects the material being shipped. However, it is the opinion of this Office that the proper shipping description "UN3175, Solids Containing Flammable Liquids, n.o.s., 4.1, PG II" would only be appropriate for the material you describe in your letter if there is no free liquid around the rags or on the bottom of the drum.

Under special provision 47, the phrase "no free liquid" describes the physical state when a liquid hazardous material is completely absorbed onto a solid material such that no free liquid is visible away from the solid material at the time the material is closed within the package. Provided there is no free liquid visible when the packaging is closed and at the time the rags are loaded, the proper shipping names listed above may be used to describe the used cleaning rags. In accordance with § 172.101(c)(9), the term "waste" should be placed before the proper shipping name provided the material meets the definition of a hazardous waste. However, if there is any free liquid visible in the used rags when they are loaded or when the packaging or transport unit is closed, the above listed proper shipping name would be inappropriate, and the used cleaning rags must be classed in accordance with the appropriate hazard class definitions.

Using the proper shipping name "UN3175, Solids Containing Flammable Liquids, n.o.s., 4.1, PG II" should not conflict with use of the D001 EPA hazardous waste code. However, it is recommended that you contact EPA on any issues that may conflict with their hazardous waste manifesting requirements.

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.



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

172.102, 173.124, 173.22, 172.101(c)(9)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.101 Purpose and use of hazardous materials table
172.102 Special provisions
173.124 Class 4, Divisions 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3-Definitions
173.22 Shipper's responsibility