February 20, 1986
LINDA R. ANKU
JOHN B. MILES, JR.,
DIRECTORATE OF FIELD OPERATIONS
Some Clarifications of 29 CFR 1910.1006 and .1008
This is in response to your memorandum on this subject of January 28, 1986.
We understand from a reading of your memorandum and telephone conversations
with your staff, that Rohm and Haas Company is conducting some processes
involving bis-chloromethyl ether and methyl chloromethyl ether in what they
designed to be closed systems. According to 29 CFR 1910.1006(b)(4) and
.1008(b)(4), a closed system is one that prevents the release of either of
the two above mentioned ethers into regulated areas, nonregulated areas, or
the external environment. We can see no way to improve upon this definition.
From telephone conversations held since receiving your memorandum, we
understand that there are releases of the ethers due to deteriorating seals
and packings. Moreover, releases would be greatly reduced by correcting the
condition. Given these facts, it must be concluded that the systems,
although designed as closed systems, have developed openings and become
open-vessel systems. Rohm and Haas Company is thus allegedly violating 29
CFR 1910.1006(c)(3) and .1008(c)(3) which prohibit the operation of open
These releases of the ethers that are occurring due to the deteriorating
seals and packings are incidents that must be reported by Rohm and Haas
Company in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1006(f)(2) and .1008(f)(2).