In a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, the National Propane Gas Association on Wednesday called on him to grant regional exemptions from federal hours of service regulations for the Midwest and Eastern parts of the U.S., to relieve what the group says is "pressure on the current propane distribution network."
Richard Roldan, NPGA's president and CEO, said the matter is a transportation and distribution issue, not a supply problem.
"What the industry is experiencing now is a distribution challenge brought on by a number of factors, including a late, wet grain and corn harvest, historic low temperatures, insufficient propane storage, pipeline maintenance, reduced capacity for propane transports via rail, and a change in the flow of energy in North America,” he said.
So far, 24 states, primarily in the Midwest and Northeast, have issued HOS waivers, according to the group. Highlighting the need for a regional waiver, Roldan said, "Some states forgo issuing exemptions citing the significant expenditure of resources and coordination needed between the industry and state officials. A regional waiver would eliminate the patchwork of state exemptions and provide an important measure of uniformity throughout these regions."
The National Propane Gas Association is the national trade association of the propane industry, which represents approximately 3,000 companies, including producers, wholesalers, transporters, and retailers of propane gas as well as the manufacturers and distributors of associated propane equipment and appliances.
A copy of the letter can be downloaded at www.npga.org/RegionalWaiverLetter.