Agricultural producers who ship or transport certain hazardous materials in quantities that require placards must develop and implement a transportation security plan. The revised Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMA) rule went into effect on September 25, 2003 and may affect the transportation of hazardous materials needed to support commercial activities such as farming. The rule's aim is to deter terrorist and other illegal acts while simultaneously limiting a producer’s exposure to liability in the event that an illegal act occurs.
Producers who do not ship or transport hazardous materials in amounts that require placards do not need security plans. The DOT PHMA rule does apply to suppliers who deliver certain hazardous materials to a farming operation when the materials exceed established threshold amounts. In those cases suppliers must develop security plans. If a security plan is required, it must include measures to address personnel, unauthorized access and en route transportation issues. A summary of the types and quantities of hazardous materials that require placards and a sample security plan for agricultural operations is at US DOT Hazmat Safety Community-Security.