Suspension of hours rules extended

Oil Spill OdThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended its temporary lifting of hours-of-service rules for haulers of some emergency supplies to four Southeast coastal states because of the oil spill off Louisiana’s coast.

Haulers of certain loads are exempt from HOS through May 30 at 11: 59 p.m. ET if transporting to or from the states, both within the affected region and outside it.

FMCSA had declared a regional emergency affecting Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida for April 30 through May 14 at 11:59 p.m. ET. “However, the need for emergency relief has not abated,” Darrell Ruban, FMCSA field administrator, wrote this week in FMCSA’s amended declaration of regional emergency.

The declaration affects transportation of equipment to seal the ruptured well head and repair it and adjacent pipelines; booms, skimmers, chemical dispersants, flammable liquids and oil containment equipment; and other equipment, supplies and materials used for direct assistance for related emergency relief. 

Drivers operating under this declaration must have a copy of it in their possession. Motor carriers or drivers subject to an out-of-service order are not exempt unless they have met conditions for rescission.

On April 20, an explosion and fire on an oil rig, which subsequently sunk, resulted in a major oil spill known as the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill. The resulting oil slick is threatening the four coastal states.