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Interpretation Response #15-0128 ([Ground Up Road Construction Inc.] [Scott Stultz])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Ground Up Road Construction Inc.

Individual Name: Scott Stultz

Location State: WA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

August 17, 2015

Scott Stultz
Ground Up Road Construction Inc.
PO Box 1690
Milton, WA 98354-1690

Ref. No. 15-0128

Dear Mr. Stultz:

This responds to your April 24, 2015 email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to prohibited placarding. Specifically, you ask whether your company logo, when affixed to the door of a transport vehicle or to a piece of equipment, would be prohibited from being displayed while in transportation.

Section 172.502(a)(2) of the HMR states that, "any sign, advertisement, slogan (such as "Drive Safely"), or device that, by its color, design, shape or content, could be confused with any placard prescribed in this subpart is prohibited." In your email, you cite a letter from PHMSA Chief Counsel (Edwards to Mietus, August 2, 2006) that reverses an earlier interpretation that a particular company logo was prohibited in transportation. The letter states that because the company logo does not intend to mimic hazmat labels or placards, and is displayed at or near points on the vehicles where hazmat communication is not normally displayed, it is not prohibited.

The scenario you describe is similar to the August 2, 2006 letter mentioned above in that your proposed company logo contains similar design elements to those that are contained in hazmat placards (e.g., shape, color), but contains other graphics (e.g., company name, depiction of a road), as well. You also note that your company logo is placed on the sides of equipment and on the doors of vehicles, positions that hazmat placards are not normally located.

Based on the photographs and the information you provided, it is the opinion of this Office that your company logo does not constitute a prohibited placard when placed on the doors of vehicles and equipment, as described. However, we caution you to use care in the sizing and placement of your company logo in order to avoid any possibility of confusion with a hazmat label or placard.

I trust this satisfies your inquiry. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.



Dirk Der Kinderen
Chief, Standards Development Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.502 Prohibited and permissive placarding