In response to requests from NEFI and other organizations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a Regional Emergency Declaration to provide hours of service relief for heating fuel delivery drivers. The declaration provides relief from 49 CFR 395.3 (daily and weekly driving time limits) for drivers providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts transporting heating fuel, including propane, natural gas, and heating oil, in 30 Affected States.
According to the FMCSA, heating oil also includes kerosene and biodiesel. The Emergency Declaration is valid through February 6, 2022, but may be extended.
The 30 Affected States are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Note that Massachusetts is not included. NEFI has alerted the Massachusetts Energy Marketers Association and Propane Gas Association of New England to this matter.
The FMCSA Emergency Declaration provides regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations supporting emergency relief efforts. Direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services that are not in support of emergency relief efforts as set forth in this Emergency Declaration.
At the end of a delivery where the driver has exceeded the normal daily or weekly driving time limits under this declaration, the driver may return empty to the company’s terminal or the driver’s normal work reporting location without complying with 49 CFR § 395.3. The driver must then take a 10-hour break before returning to normal operations.
If the Governor of a State has also issued an emergency declaration relating to this emergency, that State Declaration may provide additional regulatory relief. For example, New York has issued an Emergency Declaration that provides companies and drivers some additional relief. Other states may issue similar relief in the days ahead. We recommend you closely monitor communications from your state heating fuel associations for updates.
Drivers should keep copies of Regional and State declarations in their cab throughout the duration of the Emergency.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE REGIONAL EMERGENCY DECLARATION (HOS WAIVER)
If you have any questions, please contact NEFI Regulatory Counsel Rick Schweitzer at email@example.com or 202-508-3645.