46 CFR § 151.45-5 - Open hopper barges.
(a) All open hopper barges not constructed or modified in conformance with the provisions of Subpart 151.10 of this part when carrying in bulk any cargoes regulated by this subchapter shall meet the provisions of this section. However, the provisions of this section are not applicable to such barges when empty (not necessarily cleaned or gas-freed).
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no such open hopper type barge shall be placed as lead barge in any tow. These barges shall be placed in protected positions within the tow so that the danger from diving or swamping will be minimized. Where, due to operating conditions, compliance with this paragraph is impossible, the provisions of paragraph (a)(3) of this section apply. The person in charge of the towing vessel shall be responsible for compliance with this paragraph.
(2) No such open hopper type barge shall be moved from a loading facility unless all void spaces and bilges are substantially free of water. Periodic inspections and necessary pumping shall be carried out to insure the maintenance of such water-free conditions, in order to minimize the free surface effect in both the longitudinal and transverse directions. Except when considered necessary for inspection or pumping, all hatch covers and other hull closure devices for void spaces and hull compartments shall be closed and secured at all times. In the case of unmanned barges, the person in charge of the towing vessel shall be deemed to be in charge of the barge, and all requirements to be carried out on the barge shall be carried out by or under the direction of this person.
(3) When an open hopper type barge is in an exposed position, such that protection from swamping provided by adjoining barges cannot be obtained from the location within the tow, it shall be the responsibility of the person in charge of the towing vessel to control speed so as to insure protection against diving and swamping of the barge, having regard to its design and freeboard, and other operating conditions.
(b) To show that special operating requirements apply to a specific open hopper type barge, additional placards or signs shall be displayed in at least four different locations on the barge when the cargoes subject to this part are carried in any form in the cargo tanks. The placards or signs shall be posted on the barge approximately amidships on each side and near the centerline fore and aft facing outboard. Racks, or other suitable means for mounting such placards or signs, shall be so arranged as to provide clear visibility and shall be protected from becoming readily damaged or obscured. The placards or signs shall be at least equal in dimensions to the DOT standard tank car “Dangerous” placard (10 3/4 inches square or larger) and shall display a circle (10 inches in diameter or larger) with alternating quadrants of white and red, and so mounted that the red quadrants are centered on the vertical axis. The shipper and/or owner of the barge shall be responsible for the installation of the required placards or signs, including maintenance of them while such barge is in temporary storage with cargo aboard. The person in charge of the towing vessel shall be responsible for the continued maintenance of the placards or signs while such barge is in transit.