In order to keep the supply of gas flowing in Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal extended the suspension of HOS rules three more days through midnight on Sept. 26.
Deal’s original suspension ran from Sept. 16 to Sept. 23. It was prompted by a leak in the Colonial Pipeline in central Alabama that was discovered on Sept. 9 and caused 336,000 gallons to spill and subsequent gasoline shortages in Georgia. The pipeline began flowing again on Sept. 22.
“The uninterrupted supply of transportation fuel is an essential need of the public and any perceived shortage threatens the public welfare,” Deal’s order read. “A state of emergency is hereby extended for the limited purpose of suspending the federal rules and regulations that limit the hours operators of commercial vehicles may drive, in order to ensure the uninterrupted supply of transportation fuel throughout Georgia.”
Under Georgia law, Deal can maintain the suspension until Oct. 16, but he doesn’t expect that will be necessary.
“We’ve extended the executive order for another three days to ensure that the supply of gasoline is as abundant as possible,” Deal said in announcing the extension. “The new executive order expires at midnight Sept. 26, by which point normal supplies should have been restored.”
Ed Crowell, CEO of the Georgia Motor Trucking Association, said the HOS suspension “hasn’t really affected our members other than increasing their workload [since] the losses were all gasoline and not diesel. Trucks have been running non-stop to keep gas stations supplied and things have generally gone well.”