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EXTENSION OF EMERGENCY DECLARATION NOTICE UNDER 49 CFR 390.25

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Western Service Center
12600 West Colfax Avenue, Suite B-300
Lakewood, CO 80215

August 25, 2017

EXTENSION OF EMERGENCY DECLARATION NOTICE UNDER 49 CFR 390.25

The Field Administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) Western Service Center hereby declares that an emergency exists that warrants extension of the Declaration of Emergency and Notice of extension of State declarations of emergency and continuing the exemption granted from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), except as otherwise restricted herein.


On July 27, 2017, in accordance with 49 CFR 390.23(a) and 390.25, FMCSA issued a Declaration of Emergency and Notice of extension of State declarations of emergency in the States of South Dakota and North Dakota; it was amended on July 3 1, 2017 to include the State of Montana (Emergency Declaration). The Emergency Declaration was issued in response to requests from the States of South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana to address severe drought conditions and extend State declarations of emergency. On June 16, 2017, due to widespread severe drought conditions affecting the State of South Dakota threatening livestock, property and citizens, the Governor of the State of South Dakota signed Executive Order 2017-06 declaring that a state of emergency exists in the State of South Dakota. The Governor of the State of North Dakota signed Executive Order 2017-06.1 on June 30, 2017 declaring a state of drought emergency exists in the State of North Dakota. Additionally, the Governor of the State of Nebraska signed Executive Order 17-05 on July 13, 2017 based on the declarations in South Dakota and North Dakota issuing an Emergency Declaration applying to motor carriers directly participating in drought relief efforts in those States. In June and July 2017, the Governor of the State of Montana issued Executive Orders 5-2017 and 6-2017 declaring a drought emergency exists in the State of Montana. Because emergency conditions have not abated, on August 23-24, 2017, the States of South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana requested that FMCSA extend the Emergency Declaration. The extension of the Emergency Declaration is needed to address ongoing emergency conditions and provide necessary relief to drought stricken areas creating a need for the immediate transportation of hay, feed, livestock, supplies and equipment into and from those States.

By execution of this extension of the Emergency Declaration, motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance to the drought emergency in the States of South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana are granted emergency relief from Parts 390 through 399 of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations except as restricted herein.

The extension of the Emergency Declaration provides for the regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations while providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts transporting hay, feed, livestock, supplies and equipment into or from the States of South Dakota, North Dakota and/or Montana or providing other assistance in the form of emergency services during the severe drought emergency in the States of South Dakota, North Dakota and/or Montana. Direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services not directly supporting the emergency relief effort.

Nothing contained in this extension of the Emergency Declaration shall be construed as an exemption from the controlled substances and alcohol use and testing requirements (49 CFR Part 382), the commercial driver's license requirements (49 CFR Part 383), the financial responsibility (insurance) requirements (49 CFR Part 387), applicable size and weight requirements, or any other portion of the regulations not specifically authorized pursuant to 49 CFR 390.23.

Emergency Declaration Restrictions & Limitations

By execution of this extension to the Emergency Declaration, motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance to the drought emergency in South Dakota, North Dakota and/or Montana are not granted emergency relief from, and must continue to comply with, the following Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and conditions:

  1. 49 CFR 392.2 related to the operation of a commercial motor vehicle in accordance with State laws and regulations, including compliance with applicable speed limits and other traffic restrictions.
  2. 49 CFR 392.3 related to operation of a commercial motor vehicle while a driver's ability or alertness is so impaired, or so likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other cause, as to make it unsafe for him/her to begin or continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle.
  3. Motor carriers shall not require or allow fatigued drivers to operate a commercial motor vehicle. A driver who informs a carrier that he/she needs immediate rest shall be given at least ten consecutive hours before the driver is required to return to service.
  4. Drivers are required to comply with the portions of 49 CFR Part 395 related to the preparation, retention and accuracy of a driver's record of duty status (RODS). Drivers are directed to note "Emergency Declaration" in the remarks section of the RODS to identify that their operation is in direct assistance to the emergency relief.
  5. A motor carrier whose driver is involved in a crash while operating under this emergency declaration must report any recordable crash within 24 hours, by phone or in writing, to the FMCSA Division Office where the motor carrier is domiciled. The carrier must report the date, time, location, driver, vehicle identification, and brief description of the crash.
  6. Motor carriers or drivers currently subject to an out-of-service order are not eligible for the relief granted by this declaration until they have met the applicable conditions for its rescission and the order has been rescinded by FMCSA.
  7. Drivers for motor carriers operating under this declaration must have a copy of the declaration in their possession.
  8. Upon termination of direct assistance to the emergency relief effort, the motor carrier and driver are subject to the requirements of 49 CFR Parts 390 through 399, except that a driver may return empty to the motor carrier's terminal or the driver's normal work reporting location under the terms of the declaration. Direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo not in direct furtherance of the emergency relief efforts. Upon return to the terminal or other location, such driver must be relieved of all duty and responsibilities.
  9. Upon termination of direct assistance to the emergency relief effort, no motor carrier shall require or permit any driver used by it to drive, nor shall any such driver drive  in interstate commerce until the driver has met the minimum hours off duty requirements of 49 CFR {395.3 (property carriers), and 395.5 (passenger carriers).

In accordance with 49 CFR S 390.25, this extension to the Emergency Declaration is effective immediately and shall remain in effect for the duration of the emergency (as defined in 49 CFR 390.5) or until I I P.M. (ET), October 26, 2017, whichever is less.

  Sincerely,
  Terry D. Wolf, Field
  Administrator
  Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

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