Authorities in two states are relaxing certain trucking regulations in order to address fuel supply shortages.
South Dakota Emergency Order
On October 26, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem issued an executive order providing truckers hauling liquid fuel products with relief from Hours of Service rules due to “extremely low inventories and outages of certain liquid products including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, propane, ethyl alcohol, natural gasoline, diesel exhaust fluid, and and anhydrous ammonia”
Nebraska Emergency Order
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts issued a similar emergency declaration on November 1 providing relief from Hours of Service requirements for drivers hauling gasoline or gasoline blends, diesel, fuel oil, ethanol, propane, and biodiesel.
The order was issued because “several multiple states including Nebraska are experiencing fuel shortages due to high demand for petroleum products.”
Under both Executive Orders, carriers cannot require fatigued drivers to operate. A driver who notifies a motor carrier that he or she needs immediate rest shall be given a least ten (10) consecutive hours off-duty before the driver is required to return to service.
Fuel Shortage Concerns Mounting
Fuel supply issues have been an area of growing concern over the past few weeks.
On October 25, Mansfield Energy issued a supply alert for diesel fuel markets on the east coast. The company described the current fuel market as “rapidly devolving” and noted that “markets are now seeing extremely high prices in the Northeast along with supply outages along the Southeast.”
On October 14, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the U.S. had only 25 days worth of diesel fuel in reserve. The White House has vowed to monitor the supply and is reportedly working to increase fuel reserves.