(a) The commission shall have power and authority to promulgate rules implementing a hazardous materials transportation registration and permitting program for operators of motor vehicles transporting hazardous materials upon or over the public highways within the borders of this state. Rules adopted under this section shall be consistent with, and equivalent in scope, coverage, and content to, the report submitted by the alliance for uniform hazardous material transportation procedures to the secretary of transportation, United States Department of Transportation, pursuant to paragraph (c) of section twenty-two of the "Hazardous Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act of 1990", Public Law 101-615.
(b) The hazardous materials transportation registration and permitting program established in this section shall be coordinated with hazardous materials regulations enforced by other agencies of the state, and shall preempt and supersede hazardous materials transportation regulation and permitting programs administered or enforced by any municipality, county or other political subdivision of this state.
(c) The funds for the program established in this section shall be obtained from fees paid by registrants hereunder. Those fees shall be established by rulemaking and shall be apportioned; by the percentage of the registrant's activity in this state; by the percentage of a registrant's business that is related to hazardous materials; and by the number of motor vehicles operated in this state by a registrant. Rulemaking may also establish fees for processing and registration: Provided, That said fees established in this section shall not exceed $50 per registrant per annum, nor $50 per vehicle per annum: Provided, however, That said apportioned vehicle fee shall not be required under this program sooner than the registration year beginning on July 1, 1995.
(d) The commission may enter into agreements with other states, a national repository or federal agencies as necessary to implement the program established under this section.
(e) To achieve the purposes of this section, the commission may, through its inspectors or other authorized employees, inspect any facilities or motor vehicles of any person who transports hazardous materials subject to this program.
(f) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate, or cause to be operated, a motor vehicle transporting hazardous materials upon or over the public highways within this state without first having complied with the requirements of the registration and permitting program, as established by the commission. Failure to comply with the program requirements, as determined by the commission after notice and opportunity to be heard, may be sufficient cause for suspension or revocation of permits and registration under the program.