Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
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Restricted CDL For Transporting Ammonia Nurse Tanks

Click below for the application form to the IL Sec of State to obtain a restricted CDL for transporting ammonia nurse tanks.  

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Nurse Tank Inspection Program Reminder

On February 1, 2011 the Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), issued it final rule incorporating the special permit SP-13554 into the hazardous materials regulations.  As a result of this final rule, anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks with missing or illegible dataplates no longer need to be marked with the special permit sticker, but the requirements outlined in the special permit for continued operation still need to be met.  This means for these tanks, there is a five year testing cycle to continue to keep these tanks in service.  Click here to review the requirements contained in Section 173.315 (m) (1) and (2) for operating nurse tanks with missing or illegible dataplates.    

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CDL Medical Card - Provide Proof to SOS

If you declared Non-Exempt Interstate (NI) on your medical card with the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) a copy of your medical card must be kept on file with SOS office.  If a copy is not provided then your CDL can be cancelled by SOS.  There are three different ways to provide a copy of your medical card to SOS.  You can scan the medical card and send it to bthompson2@ilsos.net, fax it to 217.785.5156 or go to the SOS office in person and provide a copy.  Once they have a copy on file, you no longer need to carry your medical card with you since the information will be available electronically.  Keep in mind you only need to send a copy of your medical card if you declared NI, Non-Exempt Interstate.  Interstate motor carriers are also required to go to a doctor certified by USDOT to get their medical card.  Click here to find an approved doctor in your area.  If you have any questions, please contact Kevin Runkle at the IFCA office.

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Medical Cards Require Certified Medical Examiner

Effective May 21, 2014, interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers can only receive a valid medical certificate from a certified Medical Examiner (ME) listed on the FMCSA's National Registry.  To access the National Registry and locate a certified Medical Examiner click here then enter the city, state or zip code to find a list of MEs.  At this time, intrastate drivers are not required to use a ME on the National Registry.  If you are operating a commercial motor vehicle in a commercial enterprise that crosses state lines, please ensure you are in compliance with this new requirement and prepare to find a certified ME before your medical card expires.  If you have any questions, please contact Kevin Runkle at the IFCA office.

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Air Injection Not Legal in Illinois in Ammonia Application Systems

You may see advertisements for ammonia application systems that introduce air into anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks to increase tank pressure during cold weather.  The system is mounted on NH3 toolbars equipped with a hose that attaches to the vapor valve on nurse tanks during cold weather ammonia application.  Introducing air into anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks can eventually causes stress crack corrosion compromising the integrity of the metal which could lead to a catastrophic failure.  Additionally, once air is introduced into NH3 nurse tanks, the air can travel from the nurse tank, back to the storage tank, rail car or transport semi and eventually back into the distribution chain.  Ethanol plants that use anhydrous ammonia as well as distribution facilities have problems such as locked compressors from air being introduced into their ammonia system.    Illinois Department of Agriculture regulations specifically prohibit the addition of any additive, including air, due to incompatibility with ammonia system components.  This applies to systems used in custom application and by farmers, so please keep an eye out and help us spread the word that any compressed air system utilized in anhydrous ammonia application is ...more

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Hours of Service Rules Update

On October 22, 2013, the Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) approved of changes to Part 395 in the Illinois Vehicle Code to expand the air mile radius for the ag input hours of service exemption from 100 to 150 air miles.  This would bring intrastate movements between distribution points for ag inputs in line with the federal law which allows for 150 air miles.  While JCAR has approved the rules, IFCA is still waiting to determine when the rule will become official since the final rule still needs to be published in the Illinois Register.  Until we are certain of the finality and the enforcement provisions, all deliveries of ag inputs within the borders of Illinois should continue to utilize the 100 air mile radius until further notice.  We expect we will have the go ahead for 150 air miles within 7-14 days.  We always want to be in lock step with IDOT and the Illinois State Police on any major change to the transportation regulations to ensure there isn't confusion when a new rule goes into effect.  IFCA thanks both IDOT and ISP for their support of making the change to 150 air miles and the work they have ...more

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Obama Signs Bill Requiring Sleep Apnea Test For Drivers

On October 15, 2013, President Obama signed a bill (H.R. 3095) requiring FMCSA to use a formal rule making process if they wish to require sleep apnea testing for commercial truck drivers.  Although the law was signed just over a week ago, many doctors have been using their discretion to require commercial truck drivers to submit to a sleep apnea test prior to issuance of a medical card.  In order for a sleep apnea test to be a regulatory requirement prior to issuance of a medical card, FMCSA now has to address the issue through the formal rulemaking process by writing a rule requiring a sleep apnea test which will be open for public comment.  Sleep apnea testing for commercial truck drivers will most likely be based on medical criteria and a person's propensity to be diagnosed with sleep apnea.  The rulemaking process can take several months before sleep apnea testing is a requirement.  If you have any questions, please contact the IFCA office.

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Annual HAZMAT Registration Due July 1

If your company offers for transportation or transports a shipment of placarded hazardous material, you must complete the annual HAZMAT registration and pay the registration fee by July 1, 2013.  The 2013-2014 registration fee for a small business (less than 100 employees) has been reduced to $150.  If your company has more than 100 employees the 2013-2014 HAZMAT registration fee is $1300.  The annual fee for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations for registration year 2014-2015 and following years will be $250 and $2,575 for all other registrants.  If your company already paid for the HAZMAT registration prior to the reduced 2013-2014 fee you are eligible for a refund from PHMSA.  Click here to download the HAZMAT registration form, register on-line or submit a request for refund.  If you are unable to take advantage of the on-line refund option, you may request the mailed refund option and instructions by calling PHMSA at either 202.366.4109 or 800.942.6990, or email at register@dot.gov.  If you have questions, please contact Kevin Runkle at the IFCA office.

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Class A CDL Not Needed to Transport Ammonia Nurse Tanks

IFCA has received clear guidance from both the Illinois Secretary of State CDL division and the Illinois State Police enforcement division regarding the type of CDL needed to transport anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks.  There has been some confusion on this issue which we are happy to clarify as follows:    1.  An anhydrous ammonia nurse tank is an implement of husbandry and as such, the weight of the nurse tank is not factored into the CDL weight classification.   2. Anhydrous ammonia is a placarded hazardous material and therefore a CDL with hazmat endorsement is required for a commercial entity (ag retailer) to transport the product.  Farmers or farm family members and farm employees are exempt from the CDL requirement when transporting nurse tanks to the farm.   3.  A Class B CDL with hazmat endorsement is needed for an ag retail employee to transport anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks, no matter what the weight or combination of the nurse tanks (1,000 or 1,450 gallon nurse tanks pulled in singles, in tandem or mounted side-by-side on a single running gear).    4.  A restricted Class B Farm Service CDL is available to ag retail employees on a seasonal basis.  ...more

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CDL Medical Card Reminder

Effective January 30, 2012, all drivers applying for an Illinois CDL for the first time and all current CDL holders renewing, upgrading or replacing their CDL must visit a CDL facility to declare your driver category. The purpose of this new requirement is to create a national medical certificate data base for interstate motor carriers. If you are not a first time CDL holder and your license does not expire until after January 30, 2014, you must appear in person at one of the 47 Illinois CDL facilities prior to January 30, 2014 to declare one of the following categories:   1. Non-excepted interstate driver (NI) 2. Excepted interstate driver (EI) 3. Non-excepted intrastate driver (NA) 4. Excepted intrastate driver (EA)   Only people who mark non-excepted interstate (NI) will be required to submit their DOT Medical information to the SOS office. Keep in mind, all law enforcement officials in the U.S. will have access to the category you declare. If you are caught in an interstate operation and you chose category 2-4 you will be considered medically out of compliance.  If you have any questions, please contact Kevin at the IFCA office. For a detailed explanation go to the IFCA homepage www.ifca.com and click ...more

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Hours of Service Ag Input Exemption

Click here to see various guidance documents on the Hours of Service agricultural exemption.  On November 15, 2013 IDOT expanded the air mile radius for the delivery of ag inputs to 150 air miles.  See Illinois Register Notice below. 

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New Requirement For HAZMAT Endorsement

Now when renewing a CDL with HAZMAT endorsement, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is requiring proof of citizenship along with identification.  When you get fingerprinted for the background check to receive a HAZMAT endorsement on your CDL, you need to take certain forms of identification in order to complete the fingerprinting and background check requirements.  One primary form or two secondary forms of identification are now required.  An example of a primary form of identification is a U.S. passport or card which shows U.S. citizenship.  Only one primary form of identification is required.  If you can not provide a U.S. passport or card then you must bring in two forms of secondary identification one of which must show proof of U.S. Citizenship and one government issued photo identification.  Examples of secondary forms of identification include:   Original or certified copy of birth certificate Social Security Card U.S. Military ID Military discharge papers DOT Medical Card Marriage Certificate Voter Registration Card State Issued ID Card State Issued Drivers License   Remember, for the secondary identification, one form must show proof of U.S. citizenship and one must be a ...more

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American Welding & Tank Update

Anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks manufactured between June 2009 and September 2010 by American Welding & Tank, LLC have experienced some defects.  American Welding & Tank has asked the industry to distribute information on the inspection and warranty of these nurse tanks.  Please click on the attachment to this email view the notice and inspection program.  IFCA is here to assist with any issues you have relative to ammonia equipment, operations and safety so please don't hesitate to contact Kevin Runkle. 

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Implements of Husbandry Crossing State Lines

Taking implements of husbandry, such as NH3 nurse tanks, across state lines has been a controversial topic over the last few years.  DOT has just recently clarified that implements of husbandry are not commercial motor vehicles (CMV) and therefore not subject to the CMV regulations.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) authority covers persons who operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.  Therefore, when an implement of husbandry crosses state lines in interstate commerce it is not subject to CMV regulations since it is not a Commercial Motor Vehicle.

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SOS Office Requiring New Medical Card Certification

According to the Illinois Secretary of State Office, any person applying for a CDL for the first time and/or renewing their current CDL on or after January 30, 2012 must certify, for medical card purposes, with the Illinois Secretary of State's Office no later than January 30, 2014.  In order to self certify, applicants must appear at any of the Secretary of State's CDL facilities and certify one of the following four categories as part of the new medical card requirement.   1.  Non-excepted interstate (NI) 2.  Excepted interstate (EI) 3.  Non-Excepted intrastate (NA) 4.  Excepted intrastate (EA)    If you have any questions regarding medical card self certification, please contact the IFCA office.  A detailed description of each of the certification categories is attached in this email and can also be found at www.ifca.com. 

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DHS Re-Evaluates Tier Rankings within CFATS Program

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) reports that on Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) conducted a conference call with industry representatives to discuss technical issues with the Risk Assessment methodology used for establishing Tier Rankings in the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program.  There was a correction made to the methodology that resulted in a re-evaluation of 360 facilities with final Tier Rankings.  These facilities were originally tiered based on Sabotage or Release-Toxic concerns.  There will be no change for 100 facilities, a reduction in Tier Ranking to another 150, and 100 facilities will drop/tier out of the CFATS program.  If your facility was initially placed in one of the four tier structures by DHS, there is a chance your facility may drop out or lower on the tier structure.  Contact Kevin if you have any questions regarding the CFATS regulations or tier structure. 

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Changes To Nurse Tank Inspection Program

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has informed IFCA that effective immediately, no new company can register for Special Permit (SP) 13554 through TFI’s online Nurse Tank Inspection Program (NTIP). Policy changes within USDOT now prohibit new company requests to be a party to the SP-13554 exemption. Existing companies who have already registered their facility through TFI’s NTIP will continue to use the SP-13554 exemption provided nurse tanks with missing or illegible data plates undergo the proper testing and inspection procedures. Any company that has not previously registered with TFI for exemption status must now submit a request in writing to USDOT at specialpermits@dot.gov.  The written request must include the company name, complete mailing address, telephone, e-mail address (if applicable) along with a company contact. Companies requesting party status must also include the number of anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks to be covered by the special permit.    USDOT is currently in the process of developing a final regulation which will incorporate SP-13554 into the USDOT regulations, making the special permit obsolete.  Final incorporation of the Special Permit into DOT regulations is expected by the end of 2010. If you have ...more

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NTIP Permit Expires

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has advised that Special Permit (SP) 13554 has expired.  SP-13554 authorizes nurse tanks with a missing or illegible identification plate to continue in operation so long as they are tested and pass an external visual test using the procedures in 49 C.F.R., Section 180.407(d), a thickness test as specified in 49 C.F.R., Section 180.407(i), and a pressure test as specified in 49 C.F.R., Section 180.407(g).  If you have party status through The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), you are authorized to operate under SP-13554 after the expiration until the Department of Transportation (DOT) acts on TFI’s request for renewal. In addition, in August, IFCA met with USDOT Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) officials to get a better understanding of the addendum required to be added to inspection forms for the Nurse Tank Inspection Program (NTIP).  This information was passed along to IFCA members with instruction how to complete the addendum and add it to your NTIP file. Attached is a copy of the addendum and instructions how to complete the addendum which must be completed and attached to each original inspection form no later than February 3, 2011.&...more

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IFCA Clarifies NTIP Addendum Requirements

Recently, IFCA met with USDOT Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) officials to get a better understanding of the addendum required to be added to inspection forms for the Nurse Tank Inspection Program (NTIP). Please click on the link to view a copy of the memo that explains how to fill out the addendum and be in compliance with this requirement. If you have any questions about the addendum or have trouble opening the file, please contact Jean Payne or Kevin Runkle at the IFCA office.  For your convenience, we have included a copy of the addendum which should be attached to each inspection form for each NH3 nurse tank enrolled in the NTIP.

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TFI Requests Information To Renew SP-13554

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) recently sent out a memo to facilities enrolled in the Nurse Tank Inspection Program (NTIP) to help secure the exemption for the industry.  Every two years TFI is required to apply for Special Permit (SP) 13554 which allows anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks with missing or illegible data plates to remain in service as long as they pass a series of tests and inspection.  TFI's request to renew SP-13554 requires that information regarding nurse tank shipping history be contained in the application for renewal.  TFI must provide this information, on behalf of the industry, to USDOT in order to secure renewal of the permit.  Once you have received the memo from TFI please follow the instructions and log into the website by submitting your ten digit code unique to your facility.  The information provided to TFI is necessary to help renew the permit.  If you have any questions regarding the memo or process to submit information, please contact Kevin Runkle at the IFCA office.

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HAZMAT Registration Due July 1

Don't forget that if you offer or transport any amount of DOT placarded hazardous material, you must remit your annual hazardous material registration fee to USDOT by July 1.  You can register and pay the fee online at www.phmsa.dot.gov  and click on "e-payments" to pull up the hazardous materials registration program.  If you have questions please contact Kevin Runkle. 

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Nurse Tank Inspection Program Entering Fifth Year

In 2005, USDOT Office of Pipeline & HAZMAT Safety Administration (PHMSA) began requiring anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks with missing or illegible data plate to enroll in the Nurse Tank Inspection Program (NTIP) in which the nurse tanks must undergo and pass hydrostatic pressure testing, thickness testing, and a visual inspection once every five years in order to keep them in service.  The industry is now coming upon year five of the program in which tanks will need to be retested and pass in order to use the NH3 nurse tanks.  If you have any questions about the USDOT requirements or need to find an inspector, please contact Kevin at the IFCA office. 

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How to Prepare for DOT Audit

Click here to see what IDOT expects when it comes knocking at your door for a hazmat audit. 

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Seasonal, Restricted CDL Option

Part time employees without a CDL have the option of submitting an application to the Illinois Secretary of State rather than completing theA fingerprint and background check.  Employees must choose between a CDL with HAZMAT or apply for the Restricted Use CDL.  A person can not have both a full CDL and the restricted license.  The restricted class B license can be used for either two 90 day periods or one 180 day period over a twelve month period.  The cost is $50 for the restricted license which only needs to be paid once every four years.  Employees with a restricted CDL are limited to hauling up to 1,000 gallons or less of diesel fuel, 3,000 gallons or less of liquid fertilizer (including NH3) or solid fertilizers not mixed with organic substances.  Fingerprinting and background checks are not required for the restricted CDL.  The application form is on our website under "Regulations" then "Secretary of State" or contact the IFCA office and we can fax you a copy. 

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HAZMAT Endorsements Up For Renewal This Year

It is hard to believe, but it has been four years since the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began conducting background checks on drivers wanting a HAZMAT endorsement on their CDL.  A CDL with HAZMAT endorsement expires every four years in Illinois in which case each time you renew your CDL with HAZMAT endorsement, you will have to submit fingerprints for a background check.  Thats right, even though our fingerprints do not change, each applicant will have to submit a new set of fingerprints and undergo another background check prior to issuance of the CDL/HAZMAT endorsement from the Illinois Secretary of State.  Estimated cost is around $140 for the background check, CDL renewal and fingerprinting by a third party vendor.  If you need step by step instructions submitting information toA or fingerprinting, please contact the IFCA office.  You can renew your CDL with HAZMAT endorsement within one year of expiration of the license.   

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80,000 lb Highway Access Fact Sheet

On Jan 1, 2010 the 80,000 lb highway access rules goes into law.  Click here for an excellent fact sheet provided by Illinois Farm Bureau. 

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Motor Carrier Identification Report

IFCA received a call today from the Illinois DOT asking us to remind our members once again of the new laws governing the filing of your Motor Carrier Identification Report.  There is an article in the Spring 2009 IFCA Newsletter on this subject.  Enforcement is already taking place and some carriers have been issued thousands in penalties for failing to meet the new schedule for filing this report.  As of June 17, 2009 all interstate motor carriers (as well as intrastate carriers who have a federal safety permit) must file a Motor Carrier Identification Report Form MCS-150 or MCS-150B with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.  This form must be filed every 24 months according to the schedule below.  The forms must be filed in that month.  You must strictly adhere to this new schedule.  Enforcement is already taking place in Illinois and a few carriers have been fined several thousand dollars by FMCSA.  If you happen to file early instead of on the designated date depending on your USDOT #, you can still get cited!  We recommend that you send in your reports the first week of your scheduled month to avoid processing ...more

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NH3 Nurse Tanks & Ethanol Plants

Ethanol plants as well as other petroleum refineries throughout Illinois use anhydrous ammonia in their process.  It is used in ethanol plants as a pH balance.  Many ethanol plants have called upon IFCA members to supply them with anhydrous ammonia.  Some ethanol plants have NH3 storage tanks, but some choose to use nurse tanks as a form of supply to bypass IDA NH3 regulations as well as RMP requirements.  If anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks do not have a MC 330/331 stamped on the data plate, they can not be used to supply ethanol plants.  Federal hazmat regulations 173.315(m) state that ammonia nurse tanks are exempt from many USDOT requirements only if they are used for agricultural purposes only.  USDOT has determined ethanol plants and petroleum refineries are not "agricultural purposes" (i.e. crop production).  If you are supplying NH3 to an ethanol plant the tanks must bear the MC330/331 stamp and undergo the same testing and inspection requirements as NH3 cargo tanks.  Some pressurized vessel manufacturers do make MC330/331 tanks as small as 2,000 gallons which could be used to supply ethanol plants as long as ...more

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DOT Shipping Paper Requirements

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) recently notified the industry regarding requirements of a final rule issued by DOT on May 3, 2007.  According to TFI, a provision of the final rule requires shipping papers to have a shipper's signature below a statement certifying a shipment is properly classified, described, packaged, marked and labeled and in proper condition for transportation according to applicable DOT regulations.  This requirement will become effective on May 4, 2009.

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ASMARK & IFCA Posters

Thank you for being patient!  The Asmark Institute & IFCA compliance posters for USDOT descriptions, WPS requirements and USEPA registration numbers will be mailed the end of this month.  The product manufacturers made last minute changes to some of the items this year and Asmark wanted to be sure you would get the most accurate information for the 2009 crop year. 

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Illinois Department of Transportation Conducting Audits

IFCA has received several calls pertaining to IDOT conducting audits at ag retail facilitites.  So far the audits are geared toward reviewing security plans, Security Vulnerability Assessments (SVA) Security Awareness Training and HAZMAT Training.  While at some IFCA member facilities, IDOT is also inspecting anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks for compliance with the Nurse Tank Inspection Program.  If NH3 nurse tanks have a missing or illegible data plate, they must undergo a series of test to ensure the integrity of the nurse tank by a certified cargo tank inspector once every five years.   Please contact the IFCA office if you need assistance complying with any of these regulations.

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Regulatory Alert: USDOT Nurse Tank Advisory Letter Dec 2008

Click here to see the IFCA Regulatory Alert and December 2008 letter from USDOT containing information and photographs on anhydrous ammonia nurse tank compliance issues. 

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Illinois Hours of Service Law

This document explains the hours of service exception for transporting agricultural inputs including anhydrous ammonia.

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New USDOT Regulation Effective October 1, 2008

Effective Wednesday, October 1, 2008, no person may offer a motor carrier any hazardous material specified in FMCSA 385.403 unless that motor carrier holds a safety permit issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.  The HAZMAT safety permit requirement took effect back in January 2005.  Anyone hauling a hazardous material such as anhydrous ammonia or hazardous materials listed in FMCSA 49 CFR 385.403 are required to obtain a hazardous material safety permit.  According to the new regulation effective October, 1 2008, the ammonia terminal can not load an NH3 transport semi unless the motor carrier shows proof of possessing a HAZMAT Safety Permit issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).  HAZMAT permits are good for two years after the issuance date so if it is time to renew your permit make sure you send in the renewal application at least 45 days prior to the expiration of the permit.  DOT OFFICERS WILL BE CHECKING FOR COMPLIANCE THIS FALL.  Part of the original HAZMAT Safety Permit application required motor carriers to have in place a current security plan, communications plan and hazmat employees must have security awareness training.  As part of the communications plan, the motor carrier or driver must&...more

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IFCA Regulatory Workshop

On October 1, 2008 IFCA will sponsor a 1/2 day transportation regulatory workshop in Bloomington, IL.  State and federal agencies are actively enforcing hazardous material and motor carrier regulations.  IDOT is currently organizing an enforcement detail in Southern Illinois.  This workshop is designed to ensure your understanding of the rules, what to expect in an audit, and a preview of upcoming requirements for TWIC which is required for companies loading anhydrous ammonia at secure areas within river terminals. TWIC compliance has been moved from its original compliance date of April 15, 2009 to October 31, 2008 by the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port in the Chicago region.  Certain anhydrous ammonia terminals located north of Peoria on the Illinois River will be impacted by this new compliance date and ammonia haulers will be required to present a TWIC card before entering a secure area of a river terminal.  IFCA workshop speakers include representatives from U.S. Coast Guard, IDOT, Illinois SOS, USDOT and Compliance Crossroads, a company specializing in contesting certain DOT violations.  The workshop brochure and registration form can be downloaded on the IFCA website or you can register over the phone by contacting the IFCA office.

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IFCA Regulatory Workshop 2

Are you ready for the fall fertilizer season?  On October 1, 2008 IFCA will be hosting a Transportation Regulatory Workshop from 8:30 am to Noon at the Doubletree Hotel, 10 Brickyard Drive in Bloomington, IL.  We want our members to be prepared for another busy fall season, particularly those who transport anhydrous ammonia in cargo tank motor vehicles.  The agenda includes:  * The US Coast Guard will review the requirements for the Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC) which will be required of all motor carriers who load anhydrous ammonia or fuel at terminals located on the river. * The Illinois DOT will review the safety permit, hazmat and motor carrier regulations including what to expect during an audit. * The IL Secretary of State will review the CDL program including the proposed federal rules which may change the training requirements for CDL drivers. *USDOT will review the USDOT # requirements and the federal compliance review process. *Crossroad Compliance will wrap up the day with information on how you can protest DOT violations and penalties that you feel are not justified. Watch for a flyer from IFCA on this workshop.  The fee to attend this 1/2 day seminar is $15.00 if you register by September 24, 2008. &...more

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Unified Carrier Registration FAQ for Farmers

Farmers who transport grain to and from a grain elevator are now defined by USDOT as Interstate Motor Carriers, even if staying within Illinois, as it is considered the first leg or last leg of interstate commerce unless the grain will be processed into another commodity.  If your customers have questions about this new regulation, click on this link to view the UCR Q & A published by the Illinois Farm Bureau.

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Unified Carrier Registration Form and Instructions

Click on this link to print a copy of the UCR form and instructions for completing the form.

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Uniform Carrier Registration Coming Again Soon 2

The Illinois Commerce Commision will be mailing out the 2008 Uniform Carrier Registration Forms soon.  This registration and fee applies to any commercial motor vehicles involved in interstate commerce.  IFCA members who deliver products across state lines must register your vehicles engaged in these movements and pay the corresponding fee.  Farmers who deliver grain, even to an elevator in Illinois, will also have to pay the fee if the elevator does not process the grain into a different form, since grain often is exported from the state.  ICC and DOT have indicated that delivery of grain to an elevator (unless the elevator mills or processes the product on site) is considered the first leg of interstate commerce.  IDOT has put together a very good Q & A document answering questions about the UCR and other common questions about agricultural movements and the regulations.  Go to www.ifca.com, click on "Regulations" and click on "DOT" to view or download the document.  The UCR registration form and instructions are also available on the IFCA website by clicking on "Regulations" then "DOT".  If you have questions ...more

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Railroads Petitioning To Be Released from Obligation to Transport NH3

On July 22, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) will take testimony at a hearing in Washington D.C. on a petition by the railroads to release them of their federal common carrier obligation to transport hazardous materials, particularly anhydrous ammonia and chlorine gas. For the past few years, the railroads have been making the case that their liability exposure in carrying these products far exceeds the value of the revenue from this service. A major derailment and rupture of chlorine tankers in Graniteville, SC in 2005 served to accelerate the debate.  A copy of the STB press release is attached.    IFCA's Jean Payne has been asked to present 10 minutes of testimony at the July 22 hearing to explain the importance of this service to Illinois ag retailers, your customers and agriculture.  IFCA will also be submitting written comments on this issue and will post them on our website as quickly as possible.    We urge IFCA members to also submit comments to STB on this issue and how this would impact your individual company. Even if you do not receive ammonia by rail, you will be impacted if this service is ...more

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July 1 HazMat Deadline

If you offer or transport any placarded hazardous materials, don’t forget that your USDOT hazardous materials registration is due by July 1.  The instructions and registration form are available on the IFCA website, just click on Regulations and then DOT. 

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Plan To Attend 2008 National Safety School

Online registration is now available for the 2008 National Agronomic Environmental Health and Safety School (NAEHSS) held at the Interstate Center in Bloomington, IL on August 19th and 20th. The national safety school covers a wide variety of industry hot topics including presentations from DHS, USEPA, OSHA, JJ Keller & Associates, USDOT, The Fertilizer Institute and Illinois EPA. Topics of discussion include SPCC, RMP electronic submission, EPA Pesticide Container and Containment Regulations, DOT Drug and Alcohol Compliance, future of NH3 nurse tank testing and Ag-chemical facility fire prevention plan just to name a few.  The safety school keynote speaker will be TFI President, Ford West. For a more detailed agenda and to register online, go to www.naehss.org and click on the registration button. The registration fee is $135 per person with lunch provided both days.

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DHS Notifying Companies of Incomplete Information

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently sent an email to several IFCA members notifying them they did not complete the required information for Top-Screen Submission. IFCA has learned some companies failed to complete the final step of hitting the submit button at the end of the Top Screen process. If your company received an e-mail from DHS earlier this week stating the information was not submitted, then all you need to do is go back into the Top Screen with your user name and password and go to the very last page of the submission process an click on the submit button. All of the information you have entered for your facility is automatically saved so there is no need to re-enter the required information. If you have any problems finding the submit button in the Top Screen program, please contact Kevin at the IFCA office.     In addition, IFCA has learned within the next week, DHS will issue its tier ranking letters to affected chemical facilities.  Roughly 6500 facilities are covered, out of 35,000 Top Screen submissions. These facilities will be placed in 4 tiers and submission times for their Site Vulnerability Assessment (...more

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HAZMAT Registration Due July 1 3

Any company who, between July 1of a year and June 30 of the following year, offers or transports in commerce a shipment of hazardous materials must register for that twelve-month period with U.S. Department of Transportation as an offerer or transporter of hazardous materials. For a copy of the HAZMAT registration application and instructions go to the IFCA website and click on Regulations then DOT.  If you would like to register on-line, go to www.hazmatonline.phmsa.dot.gov/services then click on HAZMAT Registration applications. In addition, companies required to register with USDOT are also required to have a written security plan including a risk assessment and measures to address personal security, unauthorized access, and en route security. Companies required to have security plans must also provide security training to all hazmat employees.   Through the IFCA’s highly efficient and well balanced working relationship with The Asmark Institute, IFCA can provide timely security plans and security vulnerability assessments (SVA) which satisfy the above mentioned DOT requirements. IFCA has helped several trucking companies who ship anhydrous ammonia to our members as well as many of our ag retail members get out of a ...more

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HAZMAT Registration Form and Instructions

Click here to access the site to download the HAZMAT Registration form and instructions.

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Renew HMSP Sixty Days Prior To Expiration

A recent change in the hazardous materials safety permit (HMSP) application process allows carriers to renew their MCS 150B 60 days before the carrier's HMSP expires. Previously, a renewal application was considered an update if received more than 30 days before the HMSP expiration.   According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, carriers may continue to operate under an existing HMSP until they are required to renew according to the schedule in 49 CFR 390.19. Carriers are encouraged to use the 60-day grace period before the current permit expires to correct any noncompliance issues that may impact their HMSP renewal. This change will be stated in the Biennial Update Letter mailed to carriers approximately 60 days prior to the renewal schedule.   For more information on other hazmat changes that were effective Jan. 1, 2005, visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/hazmat/safety-permits.htm.

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More Stringent CDL Regulations on the Horizon

The Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) has submitted a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) requesting more stringent requirements in order for drivers to obtain a CDL.   The NPRM is proposing a Federal requirement for a commercial learner's permit (CLP) as a pre-condition for issuing a CDL in addition to proposing various other changes to enhance the CDL program.   Specifically, proposals that will impact IFCA members include:   1.  New CDL holders must obtain a commercial learner's permit (CPL) for 30 days and only operate a commercial motor vehicle with a person who already has a CDL.   2.  The only endorsement allowed on the CPL for 30 days while waiting for a CDL is a passenger (P) endorsement.   3.  No other endorsement wil be allowed on the CLP such as doubles/triples, tanker or a HAZMAT endorsement.  New drivers will use a CLP and must train for 30 days with a person who already has a CDL.  New drivers will then obtain a CDL.   4. Drivers will obtain a CDL after 30 days of driving with a CLP. After a driver receives their CDL, they must seek additional ...more

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Court Ruling Changes Definition of Interstate Commerce

Depending on the type of agricultural movement, farmers may now be subject to USDOT Federal Motor Carrier Regulations from which they were previously exempt.  Previously, shipping a load of grain to the local elevator was defined as intrastate commerce if within the state of Illinois.  Now, USDOT states a farmers' movement of grain from the farm to elevator constitutes the first leg of interstate movement of product because it is assumed the grain will eventually leave the state.  Since hauling grain to the local elevator is now defined as interstate commerce, farmers will now be required to apply for a USDOT number, register with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) and pay the Uniform Carrier Registration (UCR) fee based upon the number of trucks used in interstate commerce.  The annual fee structure is as follows: 0-2 vehicles=$39.00 3-5 vehicles=$116.00 6-20 vehicles=$231.00 21-100 vehicles=$806.00 101-1000 vehicles=$3,840.00 1001 or more vehicles=$37,500.00 IFCA members who conduct interstate commerce (i.e. take product across state lines) must also comply with the UCR registration and pay the fee for the number of vehicles in your fleet that cross the state lines.  The UCR registration forms for 2008 will probably ...more

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36,000 Pound Reminder

The Illinois Vehicle Code considers floaters an implement of husbandry and therefore exempt from the commercial motor vehicle regulations (including the CDL requirements) but only if the floaters weigh less than 36,000 lbs--loaded or unloaded.  Even if you have a license plate on your floater to enable you to take a load to the field you cannot exceed 36,000 lbs or you lose the exemption and then your driver needs a CDL, pre and post-trip inspection reports, etc.  We realize that floaters get bigger every year but please keep this in mind.  You also cannot exceed 30 mph on public roadways or exceed 12 feet in width.  The Illinois State Police love their portable scales so please be cognizant of the implement of husbandry criteria.  For a more detailed explanation of this definition go to the Regulations section of our website and click on DOT. 

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R Stamp Welders & CT Facilities in Illinois/Iowa

Click on this PDF to view R-Stamp Welders and DOT CT facilities that are certified to weld on anyhdrous ammonia nurse tanks in Illinois and perform testing for the Nurse Tank Inspection Program.

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