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

Interpretation Response #18-0101

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Interstate Batteries Recycling, LLC

Individual Name: Dan Lane

Location State: TX Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

October 11, 2018

Dan Lane
Regulatory Compliance Manager
Interstate Batteries Recycling, LLC
12770 Merit Drive, Suite 300
Dallas, TX  75251

Reference No. 18-0101

Dear Mr. Lane:

This letter is in response to your June 4, 2018, letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the shipment of lead-acid batteries for purposes of recycling.  You explain that your company wants to ship both intact and broken, damaged, or burned lead-acid batteries in the same vehicle for transport to secondary lead smelters for recycling.  Specifically, you ask whether these batteries may be shipped together in compliance with 49 CFR 173.159(e) and (k), and if they are subject to additional requirements. 

The answer is yes.  Electric storage batteries containing electrolyte, acid, or alkaline corrosive battery fluid (i.e., wet batteries) that are intact and broken, damaged, or burned may be transported in the same vehicle for the purposes of recycling.  Provided the requirements in 49 CFR 173.159(e) are met, wet batteries are excepted from the HMR when transported by highway or rail.  Additionally, 49 CFR 173.159(k) allows for highway or rail transportation of damaged wet electric storage batteries for recycling purposes.  Batteries that are transported in accordance with the requirements in paragraph (k) are eligible for the exception provided in 49 CFR 173.159(e).  Please note that in addition to the conditions listed in paragraph (k) of this section, damaged wet electric storage batteries must also meet the requirements of 49 CFR 173.159(a).

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


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

173.159(e) and (k), 173.159(a)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.159 Batteries, wet
173.159a Exceptions for non-spillable batteries