The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued two emergency exemptions for propane and other home heating fuel haulers, covering the Eastern and Midwest regions of the country.
It exempts them from hours of service regulations through Feb. 11 or for the duration of the emergency, whichever is first. Both are in response to extremely cold weather in the regions.
The Eastern declaration covers the states of: Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont and West Virginia, along with the District of Columbia.
The Midwest declaration covers: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Both were issued over the weekend, saying the same thing. “This declaration provides for the regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicles 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.”
Drivers operating under either declaration must carry keep and copy in their possession.
Both emergency declarations are also in response to a request recently made by the National Propane Gas Association to relieve what it says is "pressure on the current propane distribution network."
Three other states that are not in either region, Kentucky, South Dakota and Oklahoma, also have exemptions to hours of service rules for propane and/or home heating oil transporters. More details about them are on the FMCSA website.