South Dakota Issues HOS Executive Order for Fuel Delivery

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem
Gov. Kristi Noem's executive order states that although the hours-of-service rule has been suspended for commercial deliveries, all other road safety and vehicle compliance regulations still apply. (Tristan Wheelock/Bloomberg News)

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem issued an emergency hours-of-service waiver for fuel deliveries to better prepare for harvest season and colder weather amid low diesel and gas supplies.

Noem granted a 30-day hours-of-service waiver “for certain liquid products being transported through South Dakota” by signing Executive Order 2022-09. Expiring at midnight Nov. 25, the Oct. 26 order declared a state of emergency and exempted deliveries of diesel, gas, jet fuel, propane, ethanol, natural gasoline, diesel exhaust fluid and anhydrous ammonia (used in agricultural refrigeration systems) from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations regarding drivers’ hours of service.

The emergency order stated that residents are facing extremely low inventories along with outages of liquid fuel and heating products with an unknown return to normal time for supply flows in South Dakota storage terminals.

“Drivers of transport vehicles delivering these products must maintain a reliable supply so that the people of South Dakota have steady access to these products for their agriculture, transportation and heating functions,” the order declared.

According to the governor’s office, the waiver will address supply shortages being reported in South Dakota businesses and residences, partially due to harvesting needs and winter preparation.

Agriculture is the state’s top industry providing more than a $21 billion economic impact annually, notes Agriculture United for South Dakota, a coalition of local farming groups.


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Although the hours-of-service rule has been temporarily suspended for commercial deliveries, companies may not require or allow fatigued drivers to make deliveries. All other road safety and vehicle compliance regulations still apply.

“Nothing contained in this order requires or allows fatigued drivers to operate a motor vehicle. A driver who informs a carrier he/she needs immediate rest shall be given adequate rest before the driver is required to return to service,” the order stipulates.

According to 2020 figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, South Dakota uses less total petroleum than all but two other states (Vermont and Rhode Island), but consumes more petroleum per capita than most states partly due to its low population density, high vehicle miles traveled and less access to urban public transportation compared with other states.

South Dakota’s transportation sector accounts for nearly 75% of its petroleum consumption, which is mostly diesel and gas.

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The state has more than 31,000 farm and ranch families (98% family owned and operated) with the average farm size spanning nearly 1,400 acres.