South Dakota, Nebraska Pause HOS Mandates
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Regional diesel and gasoline shortages prompted the governors of Nebraska and South Dakota to issue emergency executive orders temporarily waiving federal hours-of-service mandates for fuel haulers.
A 30-day state of emergency in South Dakota was declared June 10 by Kristi Noem as she exempted deliveries of diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, propane, ethyl alcohol and natural gasoline from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration HOS regulations. The waiver will address supply shortages being reported in the state by businesses and residents.
Noem in signing Executive Order 2023-09 noted the state is experiencing low fuel inventories, against an unknown timeframe for the resumption of normal supply flows. The order waived a state law (SDCL 49-28A-3) and FMCSA regulations (49 CFR Parts 390 to 399) for fuel haulers under a directive that following normal driving time restrictions may “unnecessarily delay the transportation of these products.”
“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 and transport functions,” stated the order.
Expiring July 9, South Dakota’s order prohibited fatigued drivers to operate a motor vehicle, and any driver who informs a carrier he/she needs immediate rest must be given “adequate rest before the driver is required to return to service.”
As before, the order temporarily allows drivers to work extended hours to haul diesel, biodiesel, gasoline or gasoline blends, fuel oil, ethanol and propane. Drivers operating under the temporary waiver must carry a copy of the emergency order.
Unlike South Dakota’s order, Nebraska’s waiver contains a timeline for rest periods that fatigued drivers must follow.
“No motor carrier operating under the terms of this emergency declaration shall require or allow an ill or fatigued driver to operate a motor vehicle. A driver who notifies a motor carrier that he or she needs immediate rest shall be given at least 10 consecutive hours off-duty before the driver is required to return to service,” Pillen’s order stated.
Nebraska’s directive is meant to help reduce delays at petroleum product terminals to ensure timely fuel deliveries to customers.
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