The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has waived Hours of Service restrictions for haulers of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, ethyl alcohol, and heating fuel including propane, natural gas, and heating oil. The Friday, May 13 announcement came after NATSO met several times this week with Biden Administration officials at the Departments of Energy and Transportation and the White House regarding fuel supply availability.
The announcement is technically amending an existing Hours of Service waiver for COVID-19 emergency response efforts. The existing waiver, NATSO explained, has been of limited utility to market participants because of a requirement that the fuel was being hauled as part of an emergency response to COVID-19. The Executive Director of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has communicated directly to NATSO in writing that it is now the Agency's position that all covered fuels (including gasoline and diesel) being hauled in the U.S. today are presumed to be part of the ongoing COVID-19 emergency response efforts and are therefore covered by the waiver. NATSO is working with FMCSA to encourage the Agency to formally clarify this understanding on the Agency's website, and the agency has committed to doing so in the coming days.
In the meantime, NATSO members are advised that it is the position of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that all deliveries of gasoline and diesel fuel are subject to the federal Hours of Service waiver.
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