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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 #22-0068

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Detroit Scrap Consulting Services

Individual Name: Ty Cox

Location State: WA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

September 9, 2022

Ty Cox
Account Manager
Detroit Scrap Consulting Services
114 W. Magnolia Street, Suite 400-107
Bellingham, WA  98225

Reference No. 22-0068

Dear Mr. Cox:

This letter is in response to your June 6, 2022, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the transportation of wet batteries filled with acid. You note that the batteries—classified as "UN2794, Batteries, wet, filled with acid, electric storage, 8"—are transported for recycling and that you believe that you have met all the conditions for exception from further regulation under the HMR as provided in § 173.159(e).

We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:

Q1. You ask for confirmation that the transport of your company's batteries is eligible for the exception from the requirements of the HMR as currently specified in § 173.159(e).

A1. The answer is yes, if the conditions for exception as provided in § 173.159(e) are met. This Office is unable to verify the accuracy of your statement beyond your assertion that you believe your company has satisfied all listed conditions. Lastly, PHMSA notes that transport of UN2794, Batteries, wet, filled with acid, electric storage, 8 for purposes of recycling is not one of the required conditions.

Q2. You ask whether transport of these batteries—while utilizing the exception provided in § 173.159(e)—relieves you of the requirement to employ a driver that is "hazmat certified" and the need to declare the materials as hazardous on the bill of lading for transportation by rail.

A2. The answer to both questions is yes. A shipment of these batteries prepared in accordance with §173.159(e) that is transported by highway or rail is not subject to any of the requirements of the HMR—including shipping papers (i.e., declaring the material on a bill of lading)—with the exception of incident reporting requirements in § 171.15. Furthermore, the driver who is transporting these batteries in accordance with this exception is not required to have a commercial driver's license (CDL) hazardous materials endorsement in accordance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. The hazardous materials endorsement is required when transporting materials required to be placarded according to 49 CFR Part 172, or when transporting certain Select Agents and Toxins (see §383.5 for the definition of Hazardous Materials for CDL hazardous materials endorsement purposes).

Q3. You ask whether the provisions in § 173.159(e) except these batteries from the requirements of the HMR when they are transported by vessel for recycling.

A3. The answer is no. The exception from the requirements of the HMR provided in § 173.159(e) is applicable only to shipments transported by highway or rail.

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


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

171.15, 173.159(e)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.15 Immediate notice of certain hazardous materials incidents
173.159 Batteries, wet