The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is reminding carriers to be sure to use proper placards for tank trailers hauling diesel, especially in multi-compartment cargo tanks.
In short, FMCSA says there has been confusion with the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the marking requirements of containing petroleum distillate fuels.
For many years, carriers and enforcement agencies relied on an old interpretation that if a trailer had ever transported gasoline in one compartment of a cargo tank, the carrier can just leave the 1203 placard in place, even if the tanker is currently transporting diesel fuel (which now requires a 1993 placard).
However, the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA), which is part of the Dept. of Transportation, issued a rule change a couple years ago that in essence changed some wording around, and now requires more stringent interpretations of the marking requirements.
The upshot, according to DOT, is a driver can still use gasoline (1203) placards if hauling both gasoline and diesel, even if you only have the residue of gasoline. But if all you have is diesel fuel, you have to display 1993 placards.
For specific questions or more information, contact: David Ford, Hazardous Materials Program Manager USDOT/FMCSA/Southern Service Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.