FMCSA Rescinds Requirement for Permit for Ammonia Transporters
On August 31, 2017, the USDOT announced they are no longer requiring transporters of anhydrous ammonia in cargo tanks to obtain a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit. This requirement had applied to ammonia transporters with MC 330/331 cargo tanks (i.e. semi cargo tank trailers).
This is welcome news. Ammonia transporters who have served the ag retail industry were under this additional regulatory requirement to obtain this permit and renew it every other year. Ammonia transporters still have to comply with extensive levels of hazmat regulation including driver training, recordkeeping, cargo tank testing and reinspection, tank conformance standards, etc. USDOT is requesting that companies who have been in the HM permit system for ammonia email them at email@example.com to request removal from the permit program. You must include your company name, USDOT number, a point of contact, and a brief statement as to the reason why you want to be removed from this program. Your reason could be that you only have the permit to transport anhydrous ammonia and do not transport any other hazardous materials that fall under this program.
While we celebrate this news, be advised it does not directly impact most ag retailers, unless you own and operate an ammonia MC 330/331 cargo tank. Bear in mind:
1. Ammonia transporters and ag retailers with ammonia nurse tanks still have to be enrolled in the Hazardous Materials Registration Program. You should carry a copy of your hazmat safety registration certificate in each vehicle that transports anhydrous ammonia. Information on this program is available by clicking here.
2. Persons working in ag retail who transport ammonia nurse tanks are required to have a CDL with a hazmat endorsement. You can get a restricted use CDL, which does not require a hazmat endorsement, but it is a seasonal license and you cannot hold both a full CDL and a restricted CDL. If you already have a CDL, you would have to forfeit it to obtain a restricted farm service CDL to transport ammonia nurse tanks. Still, it is a good option for persons who have a Class B license and are working for an ag retail company.
If you have any questions about this issue please contact IFCA at (309) 827-2774 and ask for John Rebholz, IFCA's Director of Safety and Education and our ammonia expert. Don't forget you can still pre-register for the upcoming fall ammonia safety classes and be certified under Illinois law to handle ammonia. Go to www.ifca.com to see the dates and locations of the classes and to register on-line. We will shut down the pre-registration program on Sept 4. After that date, you would need to register at the schools and provide payment. Again, contact John with any questions.