The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has widened the scope of emergency declarations it recently issued due to shortages of propane and other home heating fuels, extending it to the Southern region of the country.
Like ones issued earlier for the Midwest and Eastern regions, waiving hours of service and some other requirements, this one is in effect through Feb. 11 or for the duration of the emergency, whichever is first, in Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
The agency says the emergency declaration is in response to the extreme cold experienced throughout the Southern states from the polar vortex and the possible continuing effects of the arctic cold on people and property, including an immediate threat to human life or public welfare in the Southern United States.
Like the declarations covering the Midwest and Eastern regions, this latest one for the South provides for the regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations while providing direct assistance supporting the delivery of propane and home heating fuels into the affected areas and consumers in the above mentioned states during the emergency.
Direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services not directly supporting the emergency relief effort, according to FMCSA.
There are other restrictions and limits on this declaration, which can be read on the FMCSA website.