NPGA Bobtail

FMCSA Proposes More Restrictive Hours-of-Service Regulations; NPGA Will Advocate on Behalf of the Industry.   

On December 8, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed imposing additional limitations on Hours of Service (HOS) waivers in emergency declaration situations. Under the new proposed regulation, only HOS limits will be waived under these emergency declarations, not other safety regulations. Additionally, the proposed rule would limit the duration of the automatic regulatory relief for both intrastate and regional emergencies – the duration would be only five days, rather than 30 days. However, Presidential declarations of emergency would continue to trigger a 30-day exemption, and when a Governor declares a state of emergency due to a shortage of residential heating fuel, the automatic regulatory relief within that state lasts for a period of 30 days (and may be extended for up to two additional 30-day periods).

NPGA has immediately jumped into action, meeting with stakeholders and like-minded trade groups, setting a meeting with the FMCSA, and preparing a comment to the agency advocating against these changes, focused especially on opposing FMCSA’s proposed language to shorten the duration of the exemptions. Because of the length of the regulatory process, in any circumstance, we do not expect this to impact this winter’s heating season. While NPGA assesses our comprehensive strategy, we kindly request the industry channel any questions and suggestions to NPGA rather than FMCSA.

Separately, NPGA’s Special Exemption Waiver is still pending with the agency. The proposed exemption would waive various hours-of-service (HOS) requirements to enable the propane industry to prepare and respond to peak periods of consumer demand.  Questions? Contact NPGA Director, Regulatory Affairs & Associate General Counsel Kate Gaziano.