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Interpretation Response #11-0077

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date: 07-07-2011
Company Name: Minnesota State Patrol, District 4700    Individual Name: Sgt. Jay K. Sletten
Location state: MN    Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

July 7, 2011




Jay K. Sletten
CVI Sargent
DataQs Administrator
Minnesota State Patrol, District 4700
1110 Centere Pinte Curve, Suite 410
Mendota Heights, MN 555120

Ref. No. 11-0077

Dear Sgt. Sletten:

This responds to your March 23, 2011, request for clarification on placarding under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you ask if the enclosed photos of placards represent placards in compliance with the color tolerance requirements in the HMR.

Section 172.519 (d) requires that the background color, symbol, text, numerals and inner border on a placard must be as specified in §§ 172.521-172.560 of the HMR, as appropriate. Black and any color on a placard must be able to withstand without substantial change (1) a 72-hour fadeometer test and (2) a 30-day exposure to open weather test. Upon visual examination, color on a placard must fall within the color tolerances on the approved Hazardous Material Label and Placard Color Tolerance Chart (see §§ 172.407(d)(4)). As an alternative, the PANTONE formula guide coated/uncoated as specified for colors in § 172.407(d)(5) may be used. If you choose to use PANTONE colors, the placards must be an exact match to the color in the PANTONE formula guide coated/uncoated. Color charts conforming to Appendix A of Part 172 are on display in the Standards and Regulations Division, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590. You may also order these charts from a commercial source, Hale Color Charts, Inc., 3709 Ocean View Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066; or you may call them at 800-777-1225.

The fading of the color on the placards indicates the placards are not in compliance. Therefore, it is the opinion of this office that the placards in the enclosed photos are not in compliance with the color tolerance requirements in the HMR.

I hope this answers your inquiry. If you need additional assistance, please contact this office
at 202-366-8553.


Ben Supko
Chief, Standards Development
Standards and Regulations Division


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
§ 172.519 General specifications for placards