OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

July 1, 1988

Mr. Ronald H. Gaswirth
Gardere & Wynne
717 North Harwood Street
Dallas, Texas 75201

Dear Mr. Gaswirth:

This is in response to your letter of June 17, concerning the Apex 1000 emulsion to be manufactured by Atlas Powder Company.

Review of the material provided by you has been accomplished by our technical staff. As the result of our review, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) concludes that the Apex 1000 emulsion which contains ammonium nitrate (76.36% by weight); water (15.64%); and oil and emulsifiers (8%); is regulated as an ammonium nitrate mixture which is not a blasting agent.

Storage of the Apex 1000 shall, as a minimum, comply with the requirements specified at 29 CFR 1910.109(i), Storage of ammonium nitrate. However, OSHA recommends that storage comply with the requirements and recommendations of NFPA 490-1986, Code for the Storage of Ammonium Nitrate, copy enclosed, which describes the current industry state-of-art specifications. Any new facility should meet or exceed the current National Fire Protection Association, Inc., (NFPA) requirements. Such facilities which so comply, but which deviate in part from OSHA standards, would be considered de minimus violations as described by an enclosure.

If we may be of further assistance, please contact us.


Thomas J. Shepich, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs