A Crossville-based trucking company has been ordered to stop transporting explosives and other hazardous materials by the Department of Transportation after a federal investigation found the company was endangering the public.
On March 23, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a Rock City Stone Company truck was inspected by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. During the inspection, troopers found the truck was transporting an ammonium nitrate-fuel oil mixture, electric detonators, blasting caps and detonating cord. The Class 1 explosives were stored next to metal pipes, buckets and work tools inside a metal toolbox.
The FMCSA says the detonators and detonating cord were in the cab of the truck in an unlabeled cardboard box.
THP investigators found that the company hadn’t prepared hazardous material shipping papers, hadn’t place hazardous material placards on the vehicle and hadn’t prepared emergency response information in case a hazardous materials incident took place.
Investigators also said the driver of the company’s truck didn’t have a commercial driver’s license, a hazardous materials endorsement or a medical certificate.
FMCSA investigators also found the company in violation of regulations “… so widespread as to demonstrate a continuing and flagrant disregard for compliance … and a management philosophy indifferent to motor carrier safety.”
Investigators says the company’s records show the company transported hazardous materials to approximately 44 blasting sites in Tennessee since January 1 without proper placarding or preparation of shipping papers.
A spokesman for Rock City Stone and Farm said the company is now in full compliance. He said the company did have some training and labeling issues, but they have applied to have the transportation ban removed. He added that the company is asking the state to investigate the incident because they believe something “underhanded” was at play in the investigation.
The company may be assessed civil penalties of up to $25,075 for each violation. They may also be assessed penalties of up to $14,502 for operating a vehicle without the necessary TDOT registration. FMCSA is considering civil penalties for the safety violations discovered during the investigation.