PHMSA Issues Incorrect Checklist to Inspectors
PHMSA has posted on-line and distributed thousands of brochures giving law enforcement officers and inspectors nationwide incorrect and sketchy compliance guidance on hazmat and specifically Class 1. Regrettably, when informed of their errors, rather than take corrective action, PHMSA claimed the checklist was reviewed extensively internally by DOT and threw the ball back into IME’s court to identify their mistakes for them. IME has identified the following issues with this document:
- Certain drivers of hazmat and Class 1 do not need a CDL or medical certificate as implied in the first two bullets. (i.e. non-placard load in pickup truck)
- Although the title says “hazmat”, the only hazard Class mentioned is Class 1.
It says that the following are required for all Class 1, and does not mention the exceptions.
- Route plan
- Safe haven
- The reference to 49 CFR 397[.7] is poorly written. IME is unaware of any specified distance for parking near and “open fire” or “inhabited building”. Oddly, it mentions here that 1.4 is excepted. This is incomplete and implies that all the exceptions were accounted for in the list.
- HMSP communication requirements.
- Good luck trying to come up with an “ATF License for Transport” or an “ATF storage code” to show the inspector. Neither of these exist; although the latter is probably intended to refer to a Federal Explosives License (FEL). The only time an inspector should ask a carrier to voluntarily provide an FEL is if they suspect a security threat. Even then, lack of one does not indicate a threat exists, but presence of one gives some credibility to the carrier. This type of guidance should be given in a different forum and both bullets on ATF should be removed.
- Shipping papers for small articles do not have to show NEW and can show gross weight.