HAZMAT Marking Enforcement Notice
The MMTA has met with the Maine State Police to discuss a very important upcoming enforcement change regarding HAZMAT placarding. In the past, HM carriers (particularly bulk haulers with multi-compartment tanks) were permitted to be marked with the commodity that has the lowest flashpoint. This made it convenient for drivers hauling gasoline and diesel in different compartments on one day to be placarded for the gasoline and keep this placard on the trailer even if both compartments were filled with diesel the next day. A recent PHMSA interpretation clarifies this practice as incorrect.
The new PHMSA guidance still requires a multi-commodity load to be placarded with only the lowest flashpoint cargo, however, the placarding must change to reflect the actual cargo if the commodities change. We understand this will be an issue for those who use the placarding stickers where the company has decided to have the static placard reflect the most hazardous commodity that they haul. Going forward, drivers will have to change the placard to reflect the lowest flashpoint commodity that is being hauled on that load.
For examples, please see the PHMSA interpretation letter.
For a link to the HAZMAT regulations, please click here.
Recognizing the need to communicate this change in practice to industry stakeholders, the Maine State Police will recognize soft enforcement for the month of July, but will enforce it in earnest starting August 15, 2015. For a period of time, they will allow the driver to change the placarding roadside, but this means your drivers will have to be prepared with the correct placard.
After August 15th, failure to comply with this regulation will be an out-of-service violation which will have serious impacts on your CSA scores.