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Extension of Regional Emergency Declaration Under 49 CFR 390.25-09-28-17

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
September 29, 2017

Extension of Regional Emergency Declaration Under 49 CFR 390.25
ALABAMA, ARKANSAS, COLORADO, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, KENTUCKY,LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI, NEW MEXICO, NORTH CAROLINA, OKLAHOMA,SOUTH CAROLINA, TENNESSEE, TEXAS,COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO ANDTHE TERRITORY OF THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

The Field Administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Western Service Center and the Regional Field Administrators for FMCSA’s Southern and Eastern Service Centers hereby declare that an emergency exists that warrants extension of the Regional Declaration of Emergency issued on August 31, 2017 as amended, and continuing the exemption granted in accordance with 49 CFR § 390.23(a)(1) from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), except as otherwise restricted herein. 

Affected States and jurisdictions included in this Emergency Declaration are:  Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands.  

On August 31, 2017, in response to anticipated fuel shortages due to refinery delays and interruption of delivery through pipelines because of damage from Hurricane Harvey, FMCSA issued a Regional Declaration of Emergency.  Because emergency conditions have not abated, FMCSA is extending the Emergency Declaration and associated regulatory relief in the Affected States and jurisdictions in accordance with 49 CFR § 390.25. This extension of the Regional Declaration of Emergency addresses ongoing emergency conditions creating a need for immediate transportation of fuel products, including gasoline, diesel fuels, kerosene, jet fuel, aviation fuel, aviation gasoline, propane and home heating oil into the Affected States and jurisdictions, and provides necessary relief.   

By execution of this extension of the Emergency Declaration, motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance to the emergency transporting fuel products into the above listed Affected States and jurisdictions are granted emergency relief from Parts 390 through 399 of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations except as restricted herein.   

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), hazardous materials regulations (49 CFR Parts 100 through 180), 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 emergency in the Affected States and jurisdictions 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 or provide services not directly supporting the emergency relief effort or when the motor carrier dispatches a driver or commercial motor vehicle to another location to begin operations in commerce.  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 requires any permit any driver used, nor shall any such driver drive in instate commerce until the drive has met the minimum hour of duty requirement of 49 CFR 395.3 (property carriers), and 395.5 (passenger’s carriers).

In Accordance with CFR 390.25, this extension of Emergency Deceleration is effective immediately and shall remain in effort for the duration of emergency (as defined 49 CFR 390.5) or until 11:59 P.M (ET), October 30, 2017, whichever is less.

Terry D. Wolf
Field Administrator
Western Service Center

Darrell L. Ruban
Regional Field Administrator
Southern Service Center

Curtis L. Thomas
Regional Field Administrator
Eastern Service Center

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