Ask a Trooper: What are the hazards of spilled loads on the roads?
Question: I often see piles along the edge of state highways where semi drivers have either leaked or emptied out their hopper trailers, usually grains and even fertilizers. Isn't this a problem that attracts wildlife to the roadway? As well as hazardous material dumping in the form of fertilizer?
Answer: All of these can be issues for the things you mention. State law requires that all vehicles must be constructed, loaded, or the load securely covered as to prevent any of its cargo from dropping, sifting, leaking, blowing, or otherwise escaping therefrom.
There are some exemptions for motor vehicles operated by a farmer or the farmer's agent when transporting produce. This includes: small grains, shelled corn, soybeans, or other farm produce of a size and density not likely to cause injury to persons or damage to property on escaping in small amounts from a vehicle. In cases where significant amounts accumulate, the driver is responsible for the removal and clean-up.
In circumstances where it is unknown who is responsible for the issue and we find a problem, we will contact the proper highway department (state, county or city) to take care of the cleanup. In incidents where a hazardous material is involved, the Minnesota Duty Officer would also be contacted.